I have been away from my kids for over 9 months and wanted them to know what is in my heart, so I sent them this letter today.  They are 4 and 9 years old.  I love them so.

Dear Hana and Aya,

I wanted to let you know some things about love and life

Love – For me this means the way I feel about the two of you.  It’s the feeling in my heart and soul that says you are the most important things in my life.  It is you and Aya that give my life meaning, joy, happiness, peace, fun, commitment, respect, understanding, compassion, trust, forgiveness,  and so much more.  It is if you are the beautiful light that lives within a rainbow or, like you are the stars that light up the night sky. When I look at your photographs or simply think about you girls, I feel such pride, and joy that it could fill the ocean.

Like – I like ice cream, Mexican food, daddy nachos, walking in nature, looking at beautiful sunsets, pretty landscapes, cold drinks on a hot day, fresh garden salads, and watching good movies.

There is a difference between like and love. I cannot live without love but I can live without like.  Of course I do not want to live without the things I like, but the truth is I can’t enjoy life without you two girls. The feeling of love for you both is so strong and big that it makes wonderful things like ice cream and Mexican food not as important. I hope this makes sense to you. Your mom feels the same way as she loves you girls so very much.  That is what parents do.  They love their children.

Sometimes however the love parents have for each other changes.  Sometimes they fall out of love.  Other times the love changes and becomes something new.  This is what has happened between your mom and me.  Our love has changed.  Your mother wants to change our relationship to be true to her inner feelings.

I respect your mom and truly want her to make her life all that she desires, even if it means we are no longer man and wife. I will always love your mom and am proud of her.  I believe with all my heart we will be friends, and as such will work together to raise you girls will love. Just because the love your mom and I have changes, does not mean the love each of has for you will change.  It will not.  We will both continue to love you girls will all our hearts.  That I can promise.

This time that I have been away has been hard for you.  It has been hard on your mom and myself. But this period will end and soon I will be home.  I cant wait.  I am so excited to see you girls.  There are so many things I want to do with you guys but most of all I just want to be with you. I am very proud of you.

I have changed a lot since I have been gone.  Just like you have grown so have I. Your minds have developed and you have gotten taller.  I on the other hand have grown on the inside in my heart. I think of what I have been through as a great change and rebirth just like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  A caterpillar starts as an insect that crawls.  Then nature tells it that it’s time to go into a cacoon and it changes completely. After a time the butterfly comes out of the shell and flaps its wings and takes flight.  It is more beautiful than it was before.

While I am not an insect, I have gone through great changes inside, and once free of this place I will flap my new wings and come home a new and better daddy.  Some of things that you did not like about me are gone.  I am no longer a person that gets angry easily.  I have learned patience, forgiveness, understanding, and the true meaning of love.   I have thought about you girls, a well as your mom, and my family.  I am at peace and living with love in my heart.  The problems that were once here have gone.

I cant wait to show you the new me.  But you will have to look carefully because unlike the butterfly I did not change how I look on the outside, just how I think and feel on the inside.

All my love daddy