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Yesterday I gave my daughter’s hand in marriage. As a decidedly non-traditional individual I had no idea of the emotional repercussions that would resonate through my being. Those of you who have been through this know what I am talking about.

As parents, our job is to get our children to adulthood, to provide them a platform to succeed in life, to be fulfilled and happy, and to have the kind of life they want. When we can do that, we can feel like we have been relatively successful in the venture.

The dichotomy of being successful is that we also know that our child no longer needs us the way they did before. Thus, the bittersweet nature of being a parent. There is no more poignant moment than a wedding. It is in that moment that it is obvious our child is no longer a child but a full grown adult about to embark on their own journey.

There was a moment yesterday when I was so proud of my daughter, of the woman she has become, the things she has accomplished, the love she has found, and the life she has built. My heart was full and overjoyed. It is difficult to express the overwhelming emotional whirl in that moment.

At the same time I remembered all those moments growing up…the moment of her birth, her first steps, the baby teeth, the skinned knees, the push and pull of growing up and growing away, the young adulthood of freedom, and now the joining of the community of family. It is in that remembering that a life of memories, joys and sorrows, and the hope and wishes for the future lie.

Yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life and one of the most poignant. I would not trade it for anything in the world.
To my daughter and her new husband I wish you all the love and all the joy and success in the world.
To my daughter I say this: Thank you. Thank you for all your love, thank you for taking the lessons that worked for you and rejecting the ones that didn’t. Thank you for being strong, thank you for being open to love. Most of all, Thank you for being my daughter. I love you now and forever.

John Mariotti

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