For My Daughter on Her Birthday

This is Jennie at about 2.

My favorite daughter, with whom I have had a challenging and often wonderfully rewarding relationship for more than half a century, is 51 today.

She’s one of the smartest and most compassionate people I know and she believes with a passion that I wish I could emulate.

Jennie has always been one who thinks fairness is next to godliness and though our approach to the political arena is different, I love the way she fights for what is important to her.

She is a great protector of animals, for example, housing the abused and loving them like her children, especially horses and dogs. She is a barrel racer with her quarter horses, riding like a 19th century cowboy rounding up the herd.

This is Jennie now. Happy 51st birthday, sweetie.

I don’t know if she would agree, but she and I are alike in more ways than we are different and that has often led to conflict. Stubbornness does that and I wish it were a little easier for me to let go of things that don’t matter. My birthday gift to her today is my promise to do just that and to love her without condition.

I love you, sweet girl. You’re my diamond.

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