10 July 1990


My dearest Hanako, happy 20th birthday.

I am writing this letter to you on the evening of your first birthday. As I type you are sleeping gently in your mother’s arms; the two most beautiful girls in the world. I couldn’t help myself, I took a polaroid and will keep it with this letter.

You will probably never remember today, so that is why I decided to write you this letter and post it to your adult self. I’m not sure if it will reach you, but I will try to keep it safe until then

As I stare at your sleeping face I find it hard to think that it will be a grown-up version of you reading this. Even now, after a year of growing, you’re still so small. I can’t picture what you will look like. Will you be beautiful like your mother? Will you be as tall as me? Taller? I’m almost too excited; I wish you were already grown up so I could see you.

Ah, but you are grown up now, aren’t you? I wonder what our life together was like? I’m sorry if I have been hard on your boyfriends and an embarasment to you. But I guess by now you know me well enough to know I’m just a fool. Plus, it’s a parent’s job to embarrass their kids.

I’m letting myself get carried away. This letter is supposed to remind you of your past, not for me to see into the future.

Let’s see.

I will admit that I didn’t think I was ready to be a father. When your mother first told me the news I didn’t know what to think. Thankfully my father (your Grandfather) knew what to say to me; he hit me in the head and said I’d be fine. And I was fine. You have changed my life in ways I never thought possible.

Of course, there have been some hard times. You were teething a month ago; crying all the time and obviosuly in pain, but that is over now. You’ve been crawling for some time now and are almost able to walk on your own; a moment that I secretly dread. When you take that first step I will be both celebrating your achievements and lamenting the fact that you are starting on a road to becoming an independent girl who no longer needs her foolish Dad.

I hope this letter finds you in good health. It’s kinda strange; the “me” writing this and the “you” reading it are almost the same age.. In fact, you’ll be the same age as your mother when we first met… Of course, that will be nearly a generation ago; I can’t even imagine what that will feel like.

Oh… it looks like you’ve woken up, and it’s my turn to nurse you back to sleep. I guess that this is goodbye then.

Thank you Hanako, for changing my life. And happy 20th birthday! I guess we can finally share a drink now.

Love, Dad


22 thoughts on “10 July 1990

  1. I don’t care if people call me weird, a weeaboo or whatever: I will light a birthday candle every 10th of July for her, you wrote an amazing character and really made me aware of my emotions Crud. Thank you.

  2. I loved the story and was captivated the whole way through, but I never came close to crying. Not that I didn’t feel emotions through it all, it just never got me in that way, but then this….that one tear slipped out.

  3. You really know how to capture love, don’t you?

    The illustration at the end topped it off, made it perfect. Thank you.

  4. This is strangely heartwarming. And the picture at the end tops it off with a smile. I rarely feel that sensation I still wonder how you invoke these kind of emotions out of your readers. Bravo.

  5. So I just finished Hanako’s good ending. I didn’t really cry and I think that because I have always felt the need to hold in emotions, I don’t really know why, I just do. So the feelings I got from the ending were just trapped inside me and I have just been sad, to the point were I haven’t really been doing much. I haven’t even been able to start on a different girl yet. Some of my friends actually started noticing that I haven’t been myself lately. This. This letter, it just opened up the floodgates. I have had blurry eyes for the past 20 minutes or so. It took quite awhile to actually compose my self enough to type this. It feels like I had shackles on my hands and feet and you just took them off. Thank you for this very much, I really needed it. Maybe I’m getting more into this than others but then again maybe a lot of people feel similar. I may only be fourteen years old but that doesn’t change the fact that I really connected with Hanako.

    1. Your teenage years will always throw things at you that you will find it difficult to comprehend at first. But it is also one of the best times to learn a lot about yourself – even if those lessons don’t become obvious until you’re well past your adolescent years.

      Thanks for your comment!

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