A Letter From a Dad to His Daughter Before Her Wedding Day

The priest at a father daughter retreat that my daughter and I were attending, asked the fathers to look into their daughters’ eyes and explain to her how precious she is to him.

He said it might be difficult for some of you, embarrasing for some, you may feel self-conscious about saying these things, or at least a little uneasy! Well for me, there was no problem at all telling you how very precious you are to me now and always will be.

Years before you were born, your mother and I were watching a movie in our first apartment. The movie title was “The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness” starring Ingrid Bergman. The role she played was a dedicated , kind, compassionate, loving nurse serving in China during the war with Japan.  She was an extrordinary person and the people in the town she was serving expressed how they felt about her by calling her Jeni. The name translated into English means “Wonderful Person”!  Well, after the movie I was so moved by the story, I mentioned to your mother that if we ever have a daughter I would like to name her Jeni.   Six years later when you were born.  I fought tooth and nail to name you Jeni!

Your mother and I compromised on Jeni as your middle name.  Charlene, you are definitely Jeni, a wonderful person. You have always fulfilled and upheld the meaning of the name Jeni. When I recall this story I wonder if there wasn’t some Divine Intervention associated with us seeing the movie to discovering that name for you!  You were always a wonderful person from the first time I saw you in the delivery room until the present, and I know you will always remain Jeni.

I wish you and Kyle all the happiness in the world!!!!!!


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About Jack Bottinger

Jack Bottinger
Retired teacher and football coach

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