Her Father's Daughter (and now she's gone)

On Thursday/Friday of this past week, I dropped off my 18-year-old daughter, Katie, at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She graduated high school with a 4.75 weighted GPA, a year's worth of university credits and USD $70,000 in scholarships ... every penny of which was awarded for "merit." She will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering and continuing her almost decade-long research into the cause of, and cure for, Alzheimer's Disease. 

For those who follow this blog, you know how close Katie and I are and can imagine, I surmise, the heartbreak our separation entails. It is the end of an era, and the beginning of a new ... and we both know it.

For eighteen years, we have been each other's best friend. And for eighteen years, we've heard a refrain so often that its become part of our shared DNA: 

"She is her father's daughter."

The same love of learning. The same taste in music. The same twisted sense of humor. And the same (some would say archaic) reverence for those things which once were called "noble." 

Besides being her best friend, I was also her chief mentor ... and chief tormentor ... instilling in her a drive to succeed and an acceptance of the fact that no thing worth having is free. Such ambition was instilled in her in the same manner it was instilled in me ... by the French Foreign Legion. Perhaps predictably, almost everyone I know thinks my "parenting practices" and "teaching techniques" border upon the insane. Who the Hell makes 5-year-olds do push ups?

But as I told Katie and her girlfriends (I did a lot of tutoring):

I will make you very smart or very strong. If you cannot be the former, you will need to be the latter.

The expression, "Warrior-Poet," articulates the fact that human beings have two sides. Strength and beauty are not mutually exclusive, a fact that often seems unidirectional in its understanding ... perhaps explaining why the expression is not "Poet-Warrior." In any event, I reminded Katie to take time to take notice of that which is beautiful, whether in the sensibilities of Aristotle or the sentiments of Shakespeare.

If there was one thing in life at which I wished to succeed more than any other, it was in the raising of my daughter. And, if you'll forgive the conceit, it was an ambition at which I succeeded phenomenally, as evidenced by the result.

The writing of new chapters requires the turning of old pages, an insight both poignant and profound. Life moves forward, and though one is well-advised to learn from the past, one is ill-advised to live there. And so, unable to avoid the inevitable, one settles for waxing poetic.

I leave you with our favorite song. It is also Billy Joel's favorite song, written by him for his daughter. It is a song which reminds us of ourselves.

Best of luck at UF, Little One. You are brilliant and beautiful and in possession of all you will need.

And remember ... Dad is but a phone call away.


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You guys know the QuillDrill. Be verbose ... but articulate.

And remember ...

Go Love a Starving Poet

For God's sake ... they're starving!



This post is manually curated by @kenny-crane and received an upvote from @SchoolForSDG4
School For SDG4
A School For Social and Educational Development of Underprivileged Children

@schoolforsdg4 & @kenny-crane,

Thanks guys ... and keep up your good work. A mind is a beautiful thing to develop, a terrible thing to waste.

Kenny, thanks mate.


If there was one thing in life at which I wished to succeed more than any other, it was in the raising of my daughter.

You are an amazing father - Katie is really blessed. ((:

We can never know how much we owe our parents.

We never know til we are old, and never finish knowing.

I think I will realise just how much my parents did to help me become the person I am.



Hey Joey ... all true.


Ah, @quillfire

I was expecting this post. I feel for you. Of course you know, once a daddy's girl, always a daddy's girl.

I know.


Hi Fiona.

I have always been somewhat surprised that Katie (or for that matter, every single woman I have ever met to whom it applies) doesn't object to the term, "Daddy's Girl." Being called a "Mommy's Boy" would make any self-respecting alpha-male wet his pants. Katie, despite all her independence, wears the moniker like a badge of honor and damn anyone who doesn't like it.


I've been out of university for a few years now, and all I can say is that she's not gone yet 😂

Best of luck, and congrats on the scholarships!!


I hear of parents who cannot wait to have their kids leave the house ... a chance to rehab their bedrooms into offices or work-out rooms. Not me, I'd be happy for Katie to stay with me forever. She, on the other hand, is more of a realist ... she needs to grow up and have her own space.

So, her plan is for us to have two houses ... next door to one another. :-)

Of course, there is a method to her madness. She's planning on getting a Masters and a PhD ... and having a couple of kids. But do the math: That's threading the needle on the biological clock. Part of her having kids will require that they have a "daily tutor" just as she had (me). But she'll still be in school or doing a fellowship. So, if she can't tutor them herself ...

"Daddy, you are the best teacher since Plato taught Aristotle. Would you mind ..."



I can relate to your mixed feelings, Quill. I'll b saying good bye to mine shortly and she will be in another country. It's going to be very tough.
Good thing about Katie she is super smart, she has plenty of support, both emotional and financial, and she is a call away from Dad, as you say.
I wish her the best. I'm looking forward to her discoveries. I have plenty of relatives who can use some Alzheimer's Disease medication. :)
Beautiful song, by the way. I did not know it.


Hey Henrry.

We're getting old, Ol' Boy. I'm just getting back from a bit of an absence from Steemit but I'll drop by your blog tomorrow to catch up on what's going on in your tiny piece of Hell (Venezuela for those who don't know Henrry).

Joel's rendition of "Vienna" is this video is not my favorite but I included it because of the live performance. Here's the version I prefer:


Bittersweet moment, their leaving to live their lives as adults. Been through it twice. But mine remain very close to me, and I'm sure the same will be true for you.
Such a good song. Chills.


Thanks for the kind words.

A fellow poet I see. Followed.


I used to write much more poetry than I do now, but I am getting back into it here.
Nice to meet you!

If there was one thing in life at which I wished to succeed more than any other, it was in the raising of my daughter. And, if you'll forgive the conceit, it was an ambition at which I succeeded phenomenally, as evidenced by the result.

And remember ... Dad is but a phone call away.


Hey mate.

I translated the lyrics ... tough song. Apropos I suppose.


Yes mate. A short separation, no matter how brief it can be, away from those who we love the most and are our close best friends in our daily life feels a bit like is expressed in this song.

However, time heals everything. And both will come strengthened from this experience as a new triumph more to celebrate.

Cheers!! :)

So much love to you both my friend


Posted using Partiko Android


Thanks Reiki. (Insert Heart emoji here.)


Your Father/Daughter relationship is a strong bond, you have done what you set out to do, made her strong and smart, now it is up to her.

Oh the emptiness when they are away Quill, joy when arriving home with new stories, new adventures you are sure to have many good times in the future, girls always come home looking for Dad's approval or acceptance...


Hi Joan.

Katie's ready ... it's me who's the problem. Emotionally, men are simple creatures compared to women. We only have a limited set of gears and that makes "nuance" difficult. Everything we worked so hard for was in preparation for this day, but now that its here ... what am I supposed to do?


Thankfully, we have about a dozen technologies set up so that we can keep in touch. I guess that will have to do.


Best of luck at UF, Little One. You are brilliant and beautiful and in possession of all you will need.

And remember ... Dad is but a phone call away.

Been there twice now and the era that’s about to pinfold is one to watch as a new parent. To live your frat part yet again but now through her eyes and with the advice and knowledge you know of when you left your parents to do the quillthing
It’s an empty feeling of pride, it’s a sickening feeling of lonelyness, and an amputated life they way it feels but above all a way you want your kids life to be and know it will be ok cause everything goes as planned
Take quillcare


Everything's relative. As Katie reminds me, at her age I had enrolled in the French Foreign Legion and was stationed in Africa, on the other side of the planet, and in environs that gave my parents amply opportunity to worry.

"FFL or UF ... Daddy, be happy I'm not you."



I feel you as my daughter is at the same age of yours. You are an amazing dad and paved the way for her in facing the world. Wish her all the success.


Thanks. You are a fellow traveler and as they say ... misery loves company. :-)

Katie reads the comments on my blogs and I'm sure all the support and well wishes will be much appreciated.


Dear @quillfire

When I was growing up and I needed to go to college, it was also difficult for me to leave home but, that's life. I learned a lot of things in college but one of the things that dawned on me was that- my parents prepared me for it.

I am sure you did the same with your daughter. All I can say is that, yes, it takes quite a while to adjust but eventually, when she gets settled in, you'll see how it changed her.


You are, of course, correct ... which, alas, changes nothing. Dad's are not designed to lose their daughters. :-)

I suppose, if one were being philosophical, the pain of separation makes one more appreciative of those times that can still be spent together.


Yeah. I understand that part. My dad still gets a bit protective of me after all these years. I guess, its part of your instinct as a dad.

At least you've had that. I've always wanted a daughter. My son has a 18 month daughter that I see sometimes


Hey Wales.

Ah, you missed out on something big, my friend. There is something endlessly mysterious about women and watching them come into their own is a priceless experience. It's like getting to re-live your life but from the other side. The frustration and fascination of femaleness ... are two sides of the same coin.


Beautifully written. Best wishes to both of you as you start this new chapter in your relationship.


Thanks mate.


An ode from a proud father and well done indeed to both you and your daughter!
Interesting that they had a poet in the French Foreign Legion.
Our guys only knew the rhyme of LMG bullets flying through the air.


Because the Legion is legendary, it draws an astonishing array of recruits from all over the world (100+ countries). The social/economic/cultural/linguistic/educational backgrounds are incredibly diverse and unlikely replicated by any other institution in the world. Poets are amongst the least strange things you'll find.

Interestingly, such dynamics have resulted in the Ultimate Meritocracy. Prince or pauper, it makes no difference. The ONLY thing the Legion cares about is demonstrated performance and excuses (good, bad or indifferent) are utterly irrelevant. Merit, as an organizational First Principle, has become ingrained in my own thinking which is why much of what transpires here on Steemit drives me nuts. It is utterly insulting to me that incompetence and flagrant cheating are not only being tolerated, but actually encouraged ... at the expense of the highly competent.


I think much of what is happening in this sick world will drive souls of your pedigree crazy my friend.
Some of the Legion's stories have reached us here over the years and the old South African army was built along similar lines. Many of our fighting battalions also became legendary.
In fact General Erwin Rommel stated; "Give me a handful of South African soldiers and I will rule the world"

I am one of those strange ones that tends to settle everything in kindness, love and respect.
To discern both good and bad and to try to turn the bad onto a better road.
Some one can win and many one can lose.
Such is life.


True on the SA troops. They were still around during my time in Africa and were extremely competent. As I recall, we stole a counter-ambush tactic from them. :-)


In my two years at 1 SAI during the 70s, fitness was paramount and we even beat the parabats in the obstacle courses. Sadly I feel that discipline has diminished vastly over the years and most if not all of the old guys are gone.
When did you serve?


Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I served in the late 80's and early 90's.


Kudos to you my friend.
Hope you have a good weekend.

precious! i am sure she will do so well with such a great foundation 💜