“Did you watch that Mark Twain movie with us?” Papa asked me as I sat on his bedroom floor. “No,” I answered. “Was it good?” He shrugged. “He had a daughter—his youngest I think. Susie was her name. I guess he was kind of enigmatic. Hard to understand. And she really just intuitively understood him. They were very close.” I looked up. “I think I remember hearing that,” I answered. “Didn’t he get really depressed when she died?” Papa nodded, but he didn’t say anything more. When I came to kiss him good night he said, “I love you, Baby.” “I love you, too,” I responded, thinking how far we’ve come since the days of my early teens, when we seemed to have drifted miles apart. Then he added, “Hearing about Mark Twain’s daughter made me think of you.” My heart swelled and pressed against the inside of my ribs so I could hardly breathe. I didn’t answer. What could I say? Papa’s not a sentimental person. He rarely says things that earn an “aw.” I quietly walked down the hall and into my room, my eyes filling with tears—happy tears. What amazing things Jesus can do! Just a few words, but I knew exactly what he meant. He couldn’t have said it better.
Lord, ‘tis Thou whose grace imparts
The turning of a father’s heart
To his daughter, hers to him
And sets love like a diadem
Upon the brow of each in Thee,
To mirror Thy paternity.
When I gaze on both my fathers
I am blessed among all daughters.