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Declaration of Peace

Dancing with my DadAs you know, it was Tracey’s (my first-born daughter) wedding a few weeks ago and we recently received the official photos. The photographer managed to capture the memories of the day in every shot. She looked so beautiful, but then I think most brides look incredibly beautiful to their Daddy’s (and their Grooms) on that special day.

Tracey wasn’t the only one looking beautiful on the day. I was so proud, Tiffiny is growing up so fast and looked so cute in her first big-girl dress. The girl-to-girl relationship between the two sisters is quite strong and it was wonderful to watch them bond deeply through the process. My daughters looked stunning, laughing about their secrets and nervousness together. And Ryno, well, he is a strapping young lad, out of the house and on his own feet already. As the MC at his Sister’s wedding he was even wearing a suit and tie!

And the privilege of walking my oldest daughter down the aisle, seeing all our friends and family trying to get the first glimpse of the Bride’s dress and hearing them gasp at the beauty of it, smiling at us, that was very special too.

Then later, when I had the honour and privilege of taking my now-married daughter in my arms for the opening of the dance floor, well, I cannot tell you how proud and emotional I was. We finished the whole song before I let her go to her new husband I was so jealous of her beauty. I cried when she posted on her facebook “Dancing with my Dad”

But that wasn’t the only beautiful and special thing at the wedding either. There were other, much more special things happening that day. See, almost everybody was there and was having a good time with the bridal couple. Tracey’s Mother and her partner were there, My wife and I were there, family and friends from all sides joined in the fun and laughter and it was such a stress-free evening. When doing the thank-you speech Ryno said something that made a lot of sense to me: “I want to thank my Mom and Dad, because without them making effort this would not have been possible”. It made sense because for the past twenty years Elna and I put the children first and our differences second. We knew that Tracey loved both her parents equally and that was more important to us than any issues we might have had between us.

So was it worth it, working at a proper conflict-free relationship for twenty years just to have a few hours at her wedding? Yes, absolutely yes. It was her most beautiful and special day, and it wasn’t my place to spoil it for her by causing conflict with her mother.

I want to do it again, with Tiffiny, because I know that she also loves her parents equally. It isn’t long, in 7 or 8 years we might be faced with the real possibility that Tiffiny wants to get married. I want Tiffiny’s wedding to be as special and as beautiful, as that of her older sister. She must be able to invite any and all of her friends to the party, no matter on whose side of the family they are. Tiffiny must remember her wedding day with love, and she must look at the photos afterwards and have good memories of every person on every picture.

My advice to divorced / divorcing parents are that it is never too late to start. We can still make a difference to our children, we can still work towards creating a beautiful and special wedding for them where they can feel comfortable inviting both their parents to their most special day. Whatever might have happened is history now, and there is no reason to hang on to hatred and conflict. Let us put the past to rest and move on to a future where our children learn to live with love and respect and not with fear and concern.

I know it might take a lot effort from both sides. A lot. But we should start today. Please join me in creating a beautiful and special wedding for our girls.


One Response to “Declaration of Peace”

  1. Dancing With My Father Again « Leon's Random Ramblings Says:

    […] headbangingOne of my previous posts [Declaration of Peace – click here] generated a huge amount of comments. Some were just reflecting on the popular song “Dance […]


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