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Doing what fathers must do

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She came down the church back stairs slowly and deliberately, a little unsteady, her feet sounding a less-than-graceful thunk-thunk as she went. Descent in unfamiliar shoes and that incredible flowing white dress was not easy, but never mind. To me, she was the better of Princess Grace floating down the palace steps. It had begun. The bridesmaids were slow-stepping down the aisle. The bell choir was chiming away on Pachalbel’s Canon. Guests were ready to rise and turn toward the sanctuary door.

My daughter offered her right hand. I tucked it in the crook of my arm, leaned left and kissed her forehead through the veil. “I love you,” I whispered. “I love you, too. Don’t walk too fast,” she answered. Not for 29 years, the last time a bride took my arm, had I seen anyone so beautiful. The organ sounded the first notes of the processional. It was time to go.

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