Dear Channie and Koren,
Time Magazine recently printed letters of famous dads to their children. Since they overlooked me (go figure), I thought I’d send you a note.
On January 22, 2015 you were together in Mexico thousands of miles from your California home. That was the day I received a text message stating that my Jila had died. Less than two seconds after reading that text, you were both on my FaceTime screen helping me through my intense grief. I’ll never forget that devotion.
Growing up, my father didn’t think to teach me about the things he enjoyed to do nor take me places he relished. I learned from that experience. I decided that when the time came, I would become a hands-on-daddy.
When I reached my late twenties, I prayed that one day I’d be a dad. So, Channie, when you were born, I felt truly blessed. I made a conscious effort to always be there for you—changing diapers, teaching you to ride a bike, read a book, put together a puzzle, and fight a weakened eye. I savored the days we went on hikes, played miniature golf, or spent a rainy afternoon at the movies.
Today, you include me in family events as well as welcoming me into your home every Sunday evening to play with my grandkids, enjoy dinner together, and play cards. It’s no surprise that Sunday is my favorite day of the week.
Koren, you were my bonus child. A lot of my friends wanted a son. Not me. I wanted a daughter. So when you were born five years after Channie, I couldn’t believe my luck.
When Channie went away to college, Koren, you were twelve years old. So I had you all for myself during your adolescents, cementing a bond that is strong and true, even today. Remember the time we went to San Diego? On the way home, we stopped off at Lego Land. I drove you to most of your soccer games and got myself a front row seat to watch you block those goals as the team’s best goalie. Since I had lost my hearing when you were a toddler, you agreed to take ASL classes in high school, even though you really wanted to take Spanish. I’ll never forget that.
Together, Koren and Channie, we’ve enjoyed so many wonderful moments together—trips to Bryce and Zion National Parks, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, New York, and Oaxaca, Mexico. I think my favorite was the Mexican Riviera Cruise we took with Jila.
Through all our happy times together there has always been a thread—made of steel—that binds our love and commitment to each other. My prayer now is for that love of family and devotion to the child be passed down to your children and theirs.
Channie, I can see you and David have continued that tradition with Ari and Shaye. Koren and Magic, when you’re ready, I know you too will be fantastic parents.
My daughters, you are the finest, most respectful, and loving women I know. And I’m proud to say I look up to you for advice and your creativity.