I’ve been searching the Internet for weeks now, trying to pick the perfect song for the father-daughter dance at my wedding. I’m marrying the love of my life in a month and I’ve been swept up in dress fittings, ring shopping, house warming, and daydreaming about our future together. I’m not stressing out about the little things you hear about on wedding reality shows, like the flowers, the color of the tablecloths, but I do want the song I dance with my father to be perfect. But where to start?
I’ve asked my father for suggestions, but he doesn’t know where to start. I want the perfect sentiment to be expressed, a three-minute snippet to show my unspeakable gratitude for my father, the most devoted, loving and hard-working man I know. I want a song that will evoke the joy he’s constantly filled my life with. Every 22-hour
road trip to Disneyworld, every piano recital he sat through, every karate class he carpooled me to – what kind of song can let him know I remember every small, selfless act? How will he know I remember each “dad-gram” he’d send me at summer camp, or each Turner Classic Movie he’d attempt to show me? How can one show let him know the appreciation I’ve kept deep in my heart but haven’t always been able to share when he followed us around for hours on family vacations with a camcorder? We all hated the “paternal paparazzi” at the time, but now, my brothers and I relish every moment of our childhood caught on film.
Maybe my father isn’t much help with song suggestions because he too is overwhelmed with feeling. I often wonder how he feels letting go of his only girl and youngest child. I’m sure he is sentimental as he recalls his first dance with my mother more than forty years ago. He also must worry about me and how I will fare in the uncharted territory of marriage and adulthood. When I become a married woman in just under a month away, I will be closing a chapter of my life – a chapter that has been filled with unexpected medical turbulence and a bit more time spent with my parents than I had anticipated as a teen. Nobody could have predicted my coma at 18 years old and the life-altered events that would unfold in the next ten years. Nobody could have warned my father that his duties as a physician would extend past his office. But without a second of hesitation, my father doubled his role as a love-filled, dedicated dad, and now a tireless hero. My father was incredible as just being a “dad”. but proved himself to be instrumental in saving my life, then keeping my spirit alive.
Nobody wishes for their child to get sick, and I often think of the dual responsibilities that my father had to manage. As a physician, he understood the danger I was in as I was transported from hospital to hospital, surgery after surgery. And to this day, I still see the unwavering strength and determination in his eyes to make sure nothing prevents me from living the health-filled limitless and vibrant life I deserve. Growing up, it was making the 22-hour drive to Disneyworld every year, teaching me how to ski by making “pizza-wedged” shapes with my heels, or taking me to Yankee games even though I still can’t figure out the game. When I was stuck in hospitals for months, when he wasn’t trying to analyze my latest blood work with the nurses on call, he was taking me for wild and crazy wheelchair rides, rubbing my feet to ease the neuropathy, or reading to me by my bedside. And now I just want to repay him with the perfect song.
The wedding is in less than a month and the band and I still don’t have a song in mind. But perhaps it’s not the song that is so important. As a daughter, I want to show him that I love him, even when I lose my patience, or rush by him, or forget to thank him for every little act of kindness he’s shown me since I could say the word “dad.” I want to make my father proud, to give him the confidence that I will make a wonderful wife, the faith that I will thrive living on my own, swept away by the new man in my dreams. I want the song to show that although my fiancé is the love of my life, my father will always have my heart.
I’m still waiting for the song to come to me. All I want is to show my dad how unconditional my love is – whether it’s the bratty little girl he raised, the moody teen, the busy bee, the out-and-about woman, the me that is hard to reach sometimes…
…But that’s the thing about fathers, I think. They always know. Whatever the song, whatever the mood, my father knows how much I love him. I just want him to know that I know it too!
I’m searching all over the internet still, and I’m lost in the pages and pages that that come up with “father-daughter wedding song.” But with my heart in the right place, I hear the music already.
Amy Oestreicher is a 28-year-old actress, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and general lover of life. Surviving and thriving through a coma, 27 surgeries and other trauma has inspired Amy to share her story with the world through her passionate desire to create and help others. Piecing her life together after her initial dreams of performing musical theatre took on a beautiful detour into broader horizons. Amy has written, directed and starred in a one woman musical about her life, Gutless & Grateful, has flourished as a mixed media and acrylic artist, with her art in multiple galleries and mounting dozens of solo art shows, and continues to share her story through her art, music, theatre and writings.
More information on her unique story, as well as her creative ventures, can be found at amyoes.com, and visit her blog for her newest art, music and inspirational musings. You can also visit her Etsy shop here. Read Amy’s first Miss Millennia article here.