I was sitting at the mall minding my own business when over the speakers came the voice of Natalie Merchant singing her song, “Wonder.”

I immediately started to cry. It took me by surprise, and I did my best to hold back, but I couldn’t as I listened to the lyrics.

Ooo, I believe, fate, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as she came to my mother
Know this child will not suffer
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She’ll make her way, she’ll make her way.

I thought of my oldest daughter, born to us after I, both of us, had made peace with not being able to have children. I thought of the joy I felt when I saw her for the first time right when she was born; when her tiny hand held my finger and I knew I was hopelessly in love with her; when she first called me “Daddy,” or better yet, “Papi.”

I thought of my youngest daughter, born to face the greatest battle of her life, a warrior right from the moment she drew breath. I thought of the struggle those first three weeks of her life were, how the only thing that held us together was the love we felt for each other and for this tiny new baby girl, and of the absolute joy we felt when she finally came home cured.

I thought of my beautiful girls, each a miracle in her own right, one spirited and independent, the other cuddly and joyful. I thought of the immense love I have for them, of how in so many ways my life is now lived for them, of the great moment’s we’ve had so far, of the great moments yet to come.

How could I not cry?

Clearly, I’m a mess and I need help, crying over songs playing at the mall.


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