Photo of balloons.
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

To my darling baby: It’s your sweet 16th birthday. You were born Aug. 22, 2005. I am so proud of you. My God blessed me with you, so enjoy your day! 

I’m trying to be the best dad that I can be. You are my first and only baby girl. I am always with you. 

You are in my heart every day. I hope I’m in your heart. Remember you are a leader. You are Leo, a born leader. 

I dedicate this poem to you. I didn’t write it and the author is unknown. But I have carried a copy with me for years:

Poem: The Bottom Line  Face it. Nobody owes you a living. What you achieve or fail to achieve in your lifetime           is directly related to what you do                     or fail to do. No one chooses his parents or childhood           but you can choose your own direction. Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome           but that too is relative to each individual. Nothing is carved in stone,           you can change anything in your life,                     If you want to badly enough. Excuses are for losers:           Those who take responsibility for their actions                     are the real winners in life. Winners meet life’s challenges head on,           Knowing there are no guarantees,                   and give it all they’ve got. And never think it’s too late or too early to begin,          Time plays no favorites,

Photo courtesy of Anthony Carney