the school building hosts both primary schools of the village-Catholic and non denomination-the two separate schools have had new headmistresses in the past year, both young and full of new ideas, one of the new heads thought up of a daddy’s day for both schools to get fathers involved, this is one story

Her hair was tied up in a ponytail, her favourite dress tied with a bow, today was daddy’s day at school and she couldn’t wait to go. But her mummy tried to tell her that she really should stay at home, why the other kids might not understand, if she went alone. But she was not afraid, she knew just what to say, what to tell her classmates of why daddy wasn’t there. But still her mother worried for her girl to face the day alone, and that was why, once again, she tried to keep her daughter home. The little girl went to school, eager to tell them all about a dad she never see’s, a dad who never calls. There are daddies all around the hall for everyone to meet, children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats. One by one, a teacher calls a student from the room to introduce their dad, as the seconds, the minutes slowly pass, at last the teacher called her name, everyone turned to stare, all of them searching, searching for a daddy not there. Then a boy called out, she probably doesn’t have one, others laughed, and from the back a daddy was heard to say, looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy to spare his day. The words did not offend her as she smiled up at her mum, then she looked towards her teacher who urged her to go on. And with her hands behind her back she slowly began to speak, and from the mouth of a child came words incredibly unique, “my daddy couldn’t be here, because he lives so far away, but I know he wishes he could be, on this, a special day, and although you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know all about my daddy and how he loves me so, he loved to tell me stories, he taught me to fly a kite and ride how to my bike, he surprised me with pink roses, he used to share fudge sundaes and ice cream in a cone, and though you cannot see him, I’m not standing here alone, my daddy’s always with me even though we’re apart, I know, because he told me so, he’s forever in my heart”. With that, her little hand reached up and lay across her chest, feeling her own heartbeat beneath her favourite dress. And from somewhere far among the dads, her mother stood in tears, proudly watching her daughter, who was so wise beyond her years, for she stood up for love of a man not in her life, doing what was best for her, doing what was right. The little girl dropped her hand and staring straight into the crowd, she finished with a voice so clear and loud, “I love my daddy very much, he’s my shining star and, if he could, he’d be here today, but heaven is too far away, you see, he was a solider, he died this very year, when a roadside bomb hit his convoy, that taught us all to fear, but sometimes when I close my eyes, it’s likee he never went away” with that, the little girl closed her eyes and saw him standing there that day. And to her mother’s amazement she witnessed with surprise a room full of daddies and children all starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them or what they felt inside, perhaps, for just a second, they saw him at her side. “I know you are with me daddy” to the silence she called out, and what happened next made believers of those once filled with doubt, not one in the room can explain it, for each had closed their eyes, but on the table next to the girl, was a long stemmed rose and a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star, and given the gift of believing that heaven is never too far away

Hi Corrie This made me sob - there is nothing on earth like the beauty and purity of a child. Their love for their family is always exuberant and overflowing there is nothing so heart rending. Thank you for sharing, Teresa xx