Happy Birthday, Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad


Today is a special day. My father–who also happens to be my best friend–is another year cooler today. And wiser. And older. He’s made me into the person I am today and I’m forever indebted into the time, money, and food he’s invested in me. As I thought about this post, I challenged myself to think of three memories of my father that molded my perception of the world. And my backbone.

Memory One
It was the first time. The first time I had seen him cry in my eight years of life.
My father had a decent paying job cleaning septic tanks. He drove a large truck and spent his days hauling waste, but came home with a smile. Sometimes, there’d be smut in the creases of his smile and I’d wipe them away with the palm of my hand. One day he discovered the company owner ran a side business under the table, which compromised my father’s integrity. That same day, he quit. I remember standing outside my parents’ bedroom staring at my father’s back as it shook in correspondence with his heavy sobs. He sat by a window and the curve of his silhouette was sad.
That day, I learned my integrity never has a price.

Memory Two
On my tenth birthday, I broke my leg. Badly. Two bones to be exact. I was rushed to the hospital but for some reason, I wasn’t allowed to have a cast placed on my leg. The doctors told my father that my leg would be placed in splint instead. Behind closed doors, the doctors explained to my dad that I’d endure quite possibly the most excruciating pain of my life. With a somber face, he walked back into the room and patted my hair that fell on the tear-stained pillow. He pulled off his sweatshirt and rolled the sleeve into a ball and placed it in my mouth. He told me to bite down when the pain comes. As the doctors worked my mangled leg into a splint, I screamed for dear life. The entire time, my father held the sweater in my mouth with shaking hands.
That day, learned pain can be transferred, and shared by two people.

Memory Three
He told us he wanted to do it by himself. It was time to shave my mom’s head because the chemotherapy was causing her hair to fall out in large, red chunks. We five children sat downstairs and heard the hum of my father’s razor come alive. Then all was quiet. My parents descended the staircase with matching bald heads, like two comrades fighting a silent battle.
That day, I learned love is counting every moment together as life’s most beautiful gift.

Dad, happy birthday. Thank you for everything you are, and–especially–the person who aspire to be. I love you. And, yes, I love you even more than my Little House on the Prarie book set. And, as you know, that’s a lot. Te amo y estoy muy orgulloso de ser su hija…

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  1. mar5195 -

    OMGish I have tears!! It’s my Grandpa’s 80th birthday today. Sounds like some pretty amazing men were born this day.

    Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad!!

      1.29.09 - 7:12 pm

  2. Jen Olsen -

    How beautiful…I have tears in my eyes and can’t seem to hold them back. Maybe it is the longing of this same kind of affection and love I wish I received from my dad. Thank you so much for sharing Jasmine…it makes me realize that there ARE father’s out there who are capable of showing this kind of love.

      1.29.09 - 7:13 pm

  3. Lydia -

    Your father is a beautiful man.

      1.29.09 - 7:14 pm

  4. john waire -

    maybe it’s because i have a daughter or maybe it’s because you write so damn well…but that really choked me up.

    happy birthday jasmine’s dad!

      1.29.09 - 7:18 pm

  5. Tammy Chavies -

    Jasmine, that was beautiful! I lost my dad a few years ago and reading your post reminded me of my own amazing father. Daddies can be one of God’s greatest gifts. They teach us so much but most of all love us in a way no one else can. I am glad you are blessed to have one of those special daddies too! Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Daddy!!!

      1.29.09 - 7:19 pm

  6. Alicia -

    Beautiful. Heartfelt. Moving. Feliz Cumpleaños Jasmine’s dad! Con much cariño, J*’s biggest fan

      1.29.09 - 7:19 pm

  7. Karen (Mikols) Bonar -

    Wow! So powerful! My dad is totally my hero, and I’m always touched to hear about the dad/daughter bonds….

      1.29.09 - 7:21 pm

  8. Krista -

    Your dad sounds like an amazing man. What a blessed daughter he has!

      1.29.09 - 7:21 pm

  9. Adrienne Byrd -

    How sweet, Jasmine! What heartfelt memories… it sounds like you and your dad have a beautiful relationship – a true blessing 🙂

      1.29.09 - 7:21 pm

  10. tisha -

    That is just too SWEET!!! Brought tears to my eyes to read such a sweet post inhonor of your fathers. Happy bday to your father..

      1.29.09 - 7:24 pm

  11. Mary -

    wow…i am in tears. That was very moving and I am so happy to hear that you two are so close. I hope he has a wonderful birthday!

      1.29.09 - 7:25 pm

  12. Tira J -

    Happy Birthday Papi J*! You are a truly remarkable man. Jas, now I have to go wipe the tears.

      1.29.09 - 7:27 pm

  13. Nick Abadilla -

    Now that made my eyes wet. As the loving father of a beautiful 9-year old girl, I totally get it.

      1.29.09 - 7:28 pm

  14. Beki -

    This brought me to tears. Your dad sounds like an amazing man! Hope he has a kick ass bday 🙂

      1.29.09 - 7:28 pm

  15. Jamie Delaine -

    You are such a talented writer Jas.

      1.29.09 - 7:29 pm

  16. Annie -

    This is just beautiful, Jasmine. It brought tears to my eyes…

      1.29.09 - 7:29 pm

  17. tish -

    Your father is a wonderful man! Happiest birthday to him!

      1.29.09 - 7:29 pm

  18. Nycia Emerson -

    WOW!! Jasmine you definitely have a way with words girl.. Reading your last memory brought tears to my eyes, as well as a memory of my own. The day that my sister and I shaved my moms head after chemo set in. I will never forget that day. Now my mom is a six year survivor of breast cancer. Happy B-day to your dad!! Blessings Always!!

      1.29.09 - 7:29 pm

  19. Papi -

    Thank you, Jas. Your comments are so tangibly raw and potent…I am just happy and so at peace an content to be alive and knowing God loves me, your mother loves me, and all of you, Jaz, Bb, Alec, Sebastian and Zoe also love me, too. What else would a man need? Love you! Tati, Papi, Dad. Papa, Old-man, Piolin…whatever! Semper Fi!

      1.29.09 - 7:35 pm

  20. Mary Marantz -

    this post is amazing!! you come from great stock, my dear!

      1.29.09 - 7:35 pm

  21. courtney -

    Every time I read your blog, your writing gives me chills 🙂
    Happy birthday to you dad. He sounds like one heck of a man!!

      1.29.09 - 7:35 pm

  22. faye -

    i loved this post as much as i loved the one about your friend’s wedding. i miss my dad! he’s about 8000 miles away =(

      1.29.09 - 7:41 pm

  23. Angie -

    Thanks for sharing, this is truly beautiful and inspiring! What a great dad!!!

      1.29.09 - 7:42 pm

  24. Rene Skrodzki -

    Aww this such a great post. Having a cool dad is so special.

    Wish him a happy birthday from me too.

      1.29.09 - 7:43 pm

  25. christine -

    I’m sitting here crying at work. 🙂

    My dad once told me that he believes a measure of a succesful life is if your grown children still respect, admire, and love you. How proud you are of your dad, and how proud he must be in return!

      1.29.09 - 7:47 pm

  26. Becka Knight (Studio222 Photography) -

    Geez Jasmine, now I’m crying. Happy Birthday Papa J* 🙂

      1.29.09 - 7:49 pm

  27. Jordana -

    How blessed you are to love and be loved by such a man.

    Happy Birthday!

      1.29.09 - 7:50 pm

  28. Kevin -

    Thank you for sharing this. Wow is a word that came to my mind as I read this entry. Happy Birthday to your Dad.

      1.29.09 - 7:54 pm

  29. Christi -

    As I read your blog I am struck with the truth that the most intense happiness is only born through the passage of intense sadness. You are helping so many people to understand this and look at life differently. Through your words and through your pictures. Happy Birthday to your Dad!

      1.29.09 - 7:54 pm

  30. Aubrey -

    How wonderful! What a great tribute to your dad…

    Today is my dad’s birthday, too!

      1.29.09 - 7:55 pm

  31. Christopher Grisanti -

    Those are beautiful memories of your dad. I already felt like I knew him through his Bible studies. But he’s obviously very compassionate, too.
    One more thing. . .today is my son’s 11th birthday!

      1.29.09 - 8:02 pm

  32. Shannon -

    I love this! Happy birthday to your daddy!

      1.29.09 - 8:03 pm

  33. ~abi~ -

    wow, reading this made me cry. happy birthday to your dad–he did a great job raising you!

      1.29.09 - 8:10 pm

  34. Lindsay -

    Thank you so much for writing this! I follow your blog, and this post really touched me bringing tears to my eyes. I am so glad that you and your father are so close…it is truly a relationship to treasure.

      1.29.09 - 8:10 pm

  35. Graeme Sharkey -

    Not only do you have beautiful photography, you also have beautiful words, beautiful family and a beautiful soul! Thanks for having me tear up so early in the morning. Next week I become a father for the forth time You inspire me on so many levels and now you even inspire me as a father!.
    Happy birthday to your father!

      1.29.09 - 8:16 pm

  36. Fishgirl -

    OMG!! You made me cry! I can feel the love and bond that you and your dad share and have and it is beautiful. Happy Cumple Jasmine Dad and GOD BLESS you two..

      1.29.09 - 8:17 pm

  37. Tanya Jose -

    omg, i’m totally crying. yes, it COULD be the pregnant hormones, but i know that it’s not that. you have the ability to write words that pierce my soul like no other. your memory #3 is beautiful, as my Dad used the vacuum to suck off all of my Mom’s hair during her chemo treatments. after he was done, he went & got his hair all shaved off & when i saw them that evening…they, too, were matching bald heads. thanks for your beautiful words, photos & memories.

      1.29.09 - 8:22 pm

  38. craig -

    "FISHGIRL – OMG!! You made me cry!"….me too!!!

      1.29.09 - 8:23 pm

  39. crystal -

    hi jasmine! i’ve been reading your blog for awhile but i never commented because i didnt think i had anything important to say. but reading this i just wanted you to know how deeply it affects me because my dad is my best friend, too, and remembering the things he’s taught me, i am reminded to never take family for granted. thanks for that. your writing and art are beautiful 🙂

      1.29.09 - 8:23 pm

  40. Sharon -

    Okay, I’m a complete mess now.
    Could you squeeze your dad for me?

      1.29.09 - 8:27 pm

  41. Ma'ele -

    What an awesome tribute to a father. I, too, have memories of my own father that conjure life’s greatest lessons and continue to mold me into the person that I am today. You are beautiful and it comes across in your photography and writing. It’s awesome to know that behind all this is an amazing example. Thanks for sharing.

      1.29.09 - 8:27 pm

  42. Joyce -

    Bless your heart for this post and happy birthday to your dad! 🙂

      1.29.09 - 8:27 pm

  43. Tracy -

    That was truly touching, and brought me to tears. You and your father have a beautiful relationship. Happy Birthday to him!

      1.29.09 - 8:29 pm

  44. Michael -

    Jasmine – without a doubt this is your most beautiful post.

    Happy birthday to your father.

    Best Wishes,

      1.29.09 - 8:32 pm

  45. Melissa -

    I can’t STOP the tears coming down on me. =/
    Happy B~day to one of the Best.. you get to call Dad. =)

      1.29.09 - 8:32 pm

  46. Amanda Sedeno -

    Dearest Jasmine,
    Ive read your blog for a while, you are quite a writer. Although i have never commented before, I felt like i had to after this posting. . You are a fantastic photographer, funny and charasmatic writer and you seem to look like an all around fun woman. I cried when i read this posting. You see, Im raised in a family of four and I am the only girl. My father is my WORLD! I recently found out that my father might have cancer in his knee. Being the typical mexican man, he is in full of pride and is still trying to do his best to help everyone around him. Your father reminds me of my dad and how he would do anything for anybody. You are very lucky. I wish you and your family the best!

    Amanda Sedeno

      1.29.09 - 8:37 pm

  47. Kristina Young -

    I cannot stop crying. Beautiful.

      1.29.09 - 8:43 pm

  48. Jennifer -

    Jasmine, I follow your blog because your photos are STAGGERING but I stay because your words are PRICELESS. Girl you are REAL and this post has me crying at work…and I should not be crying at work! Oh the next time I am privileged to visit my family there in Lakewood, I KNOW there are pictures with you in my future! Thank you for baring your soul..it is a beautiful thing.

      1.29.09 - 8:46 pm

  49. Stacy L. -

    OMG that made me cry!
    I never had that kind of relationship with my dad or step dad…I’m a tinge envious.
    Thank you for sharing.

      1.29.09 - 8:46 pm

  50. jeramy -

    this is a strange world we live in….crying at my desk after reading the thoughts of love from a daughter to a father that i’ve never even met. maybe the reason it resonates so clearly is because, at the core of each one of us are people that value and appreciate the truths of love, integrity, truth, hope. even in the midst of a world that doesn’t. maybe. happy birthday to your dad. great writing. great! you really do connect with people. have a great day!

      1.29.09 - 8:46 pm

  51. Joan Solitario -

    WOOooOOoOOOooW!! You made me SEE and FEEL your memories!! Happy Birthday to your Dad!!

      1.29.09 - 8:52 pm

  52. Joan Solitario -

    WOOooOOoOOOooW!! You made me SEE and FEEL your memories!! Happy Birthday to your Dad!!

      1.29.09 - 8:52 pm

  53. The Last Forty Percent Photography -

    That was beautiful and made me cry. I hope you share these memories with your dad and he knows how special he is to you.

      1.29.09 - 8:58 pm

  54. Jenn Galloway -

    Yowza! I am so glad to read that I am not the only one in tears! 🙂 What an inspiration to us all! (Both your father and yourself.)

      1.29.09 - 9:02 pm

  55. Rick Fernandez -

    Ok, wait a minute…guys aren’t supposed to cry right?! It’s not like I’m crying or anything, it’s just that I wanted to make sure. All I can say is you hit this one outta the park Jasmine, way out. I pray that my kids will say the same about me one day.

    btw, I posted this under the Thirst Relief Auction section too, sorry it was meant for the Happy Birthday Dad section.

      1.29.09 - 9:02 pm

  56. Candace Prokopets -

    This is exactly why I love life. Difficult things while enduring them are horrible but they always bring such depth and strength that you can’t get any other way. These are amazing memories of your father. You are truly blessed.

      1.29.09 - 9:04 pm

  57. Navy Sou -

    Mrs. Star…I hope you know how powerful your words are. It’s very moving!

      1.29.09 - 9:06 pm

  58. Rachel Langan -

    This is an amazing posting! I am sure your father is blessed beyond words to have you as a daughter. I loved reading this. Well done.

      1.29.09 - 9:06 pm

  59. StacyZ -

    Jasmine this is one of the most beautiful and touching posts I have every read. Thank you for sharing.

      1.29.09 - 9:09 pm

  60. Ashley Rose -

    Oh Jasmine! Your dad must be so unbelieveably proud of you! 🙂
    Happy Bday Papa Star!

      1.29.09 - 9:12 pm

  61. lindsey d -

    Geez Jasmine…that is the most beautiful "happy birthday" i’ve ever read! Teared up of course.

    Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad!

    { Lindsey }

      1.29.09 - 9:12 pm

  62. kia -

    Your Dad Rocks!

      1.29.09 - 9:16 pm

  63. Sheila -

    Jasmine – I’ve been stalking your blog for quite a while, and love everything that you do, writing AND phototgraphy. What a beautiful tribute to your dad, who is quite a beautiful person. Memory #1 made me cry.

      1.29.09 - 9:18 pm

  64. Lesley -

    this brought tears to my eyes. Your dad is an admirable man.

      1.29.09 - 9:24 pm

  65. erin. -

    I was reading through the comments and saw your Dad’s post. His words are as eloquent as your own. I especially loved how he said that he was just happy to be alive knowing God loves him & all of you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your Dad! Many more wonderful years of happiness !! 🙂 Erin

      1.29.09 - 9:34 pm

  66. Bobbie Brown -

    Awww! Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad! I hope your day – and the whole year through – is filled with more love and happiness than you know what to do with….

      1.29.09 - 9:36 pm

  67. brooke bowland -

    amazing post jasmine.
    i truly cried. your father is a gift!

      1.29.09 - 9:36 pm

  68. Jennifer Corridan Photo -

    I’ve never met your dad, but I love him. What a strong, kind person…How lucky you are to have such a hero in your family.

      1.29.09 - 9:39 pm

  69. Krista Photography -

    You always make me cry when you write about your parents!!! Your Dad sounds pretty wonderful 🙂

      1.29.09 - 9:47 pm

  70. Laura -

    Okay. You made me cry again… I remember your last Daddy post, and it made me cry too! 🙂 Your dad is an amazingly blessed man. Amazingly blessed!

      1.29.09 - 9:49 pm

  71. Michelle Guzman -

    Oh my goodness! This is so beautiful. I am all teary eyed, but happy.

    "That day, I learned my integrity never has a price. " I love this! It reminds me of my parents. What a blessing it is to have great parents. 🙂

    Memory 3 really got me. I can’t even imagine going through this. What a beautiful love.

    Happy Birthday to your wonderful, amazing father!

      1.29.09 - 9:59 pm

  72. Cristen Clark -

    Get post Jasmine!! Thanks for sharing!

      1.29.09 - 10:00 pm

  73. missphom -

    i am going to have to stop coming to your blog! why do you insist on making all of us cry… all the time? it’s like i come here, cry, then laugh, then cry… then eat, then cry!

    but i love YOU and this blog, whole-heartedly.

      1.29.09 - 10:11 pm

  74. Korey -

    Gosh darnit! You made me cry. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful father, and I’m glad you appreciate him.

      1.29.09 - 10:12 pm

  75. Dawn B -

    what an awesome man, dad, and husband. That is a great example of what a man should be. Happy Birthday to your dad!

      1.29.09 - 10:12 pm

  76. missphom -

    oh, almost forgot… happy birthday daddy*

      1.29.09 - 10:13 pm

  77. stephanie -

    I am in tears. What a wonderful dad. I REALLY needed to read this. My son is a cancer survivor and I still feel horrible guilt for having to hold him down for spinal taps and spinal chemo…when you said "pain can be transferred, and shared by two people." it really changed my perspective. I hope that he remembers it this way instead of remembering that I let the doctors hurt him. Thank you.

      1.29.09 - 10:15 pm

  78. B -

    Great! I’m crying at work. Thanks, Jas?! Did Daddy read this yet? He’s totally going to choke up.

      1.29.09 - 10:17 pm

  79. Michele Rivera -

    Happy Birthday to your dad… This was such a sweet post… I was teary eyed when I read all 3 momories. They (dad’s) always know how to be there for you… no matter what…

      1.29.09 - 10:17 pm

  80. cassandra m -

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY jasmine’s Dad!!! What a wonderful tribute to clearly a man of integrity! Thanks for making me reflect on how awesome my Dad was & how I still try to make in proud, even as he looks down from above. Again, your story touches the SOUL!!!!

      1.29.09 - 10:20 pm

  81. Courtney -

    This was so touching! Happy b-day to your Dad. How lucky you are to have such a great Dad, and how lucky he is to have a daughter who truly appreciates him!

      1.29.09 - 10:22 pm

  82. photography by shay -

    This seriously brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could say or write the words that would express my grattitude for my father as beautifully as you did for yours.

      1.29.09 - 10:22 pm

  83. Jamie Weiss -

    Yeah, just go ahead and make us all cry, why don’t cha!!!

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

      1.29.09 - 10:35 pm

  84. rhonda -

    that was simply beautiful Jasmine. You are blessed to have each other.

      1.29.09 - 10:38 pm

  85. jackie h -

    omg i’m almost cried at work reading this on my rss feed.
    you are very lucky to have such an awesome dad.
    happy birthday to him!

      1.29.09 - 10:41 pm

  86. T -

    Sometimes we all just need these little reminders about love and appreciation. I’m so blessed to have two parents that are there for me for everything I attempt and old as they are, they even still help me lug heavy boxes/such when I have events. It’s easy to forget a parent’s endless love sometimes (we kids can still be kids that get annoyed slightly at random comments/questions!) and I’ll try my best to keep your post in mind whenever I see them. Happy Birthday to J’s Dad!

      1.29.09 - 10:44 pm

  87. Andie Smith -

    You have a wonderful dad! Happy birthday to him!

      1.29.09 - 10:45 pm

  88. Jackie -

    Happy birthday to your dad! He seems like a wonderful and beautiful person!!

      1.29.09 - 10:48 pm

  89. natt -

    jasmine, you’re such a soulful person…this post is so very emotional and nearly brought tears…happy b’day to your dad

      1.29.09 - 10:49 pm

  90. Amy Herkert -

    Now…that deserves a comment. Beautiful.

      1.29.09 - 10:52 pm

  91. Virg -

    What a nice post. This in itself is already a gift to your dad. Its such an expressive and emotional piece, that brought tears to my eyes. You’re lucky to have such a dad, and he’s lucky to have someone so appreciative of him. Thanks for this post and happy birthday to your dad.

      1.29.09 - 10:54 pm

  92. Seini -

    My father is the world to me! There was always a saying that I’ve known growing up as I watched my mom and dad push through adversity together and triumph any challeges that came their way…." the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother"..I immediately thought of that when I read about your Dad shaving your mom’s hair. Love it Jas!

      1.29.09 - 11:01 pm

  93. Cherie -

    I wish that I could have had those moments with my Father. You are so fortunate to have a Dad that loves and adores his family so dearly. You are envied!

      1.29.09 - 11:02 pm

  94. Megan Beth -

    wow, brought me to tears 🙂 Happy b day to your father!

      1.29.09 - 11:02 pm

  95. fiona andersen -

    I’m not one to follow a blog but Jasmine I have to say yours is a daily investment and worth every penny. I love that you share such a love with your dad. Happy birthday to him and thank you for being so great!!!

      1.29.09 - 11:09 pm

  96. Abra Morris -

    Yet again, your way with words has moved me to tears. I sit here on the couch with my husband reading him your memories with a shaking voice because I can’t hold back the emotion that your words evoked. Thank you.

      1.29.09 - 11:10 pm

  97. ashley bugg -

    my eyes are filled with tears..amazing writing..amazing love.

      1.29.09 - 11:12 pm

  98. Amelia Thornton -

    Jasmine – that was so beautiful. You and your father are lucky to have one another. My Dad and I are like two peas in a pod too – it’s the best kind of best friend in the world. Cheers to your Dad – Happy Birthday!

      1.29.09 - 11:26 pm

  99. Christina -

    You continue to amaze me. I worked half the afternoon with a Latina cancer patient with an awesome loving family. I was already close to tears and you pushed me over the edge.;-) Para tu papi: !Feliz Cumpleaños! Le mando un abrazote lleno de gracias por criar y compartir con nosotros una hija tan fabulosa. Ella es una súper bendición para mí, y para muchos, con sus fotos, sus palabras y sobre todo con su fe. Gracias por enseñarle que eso es lo más importante! Dios lo bendiga!

      1.29.09 - 11:29 pm

  100. Cathy Crawley -

    J* you made me cry! I can not tell you how deeply I feel that your writing should be put into a book, seriously, you’d be on Opra’s Book Club in a heart beat! Bless you for being so open, honest and gorgeous!
    p.s I love that line "another year cooler!" 😉

      1.29.09 - 11:29 pm

  101. Cathy Crawley -

    Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your father!

      1.29.09 - 11:29 pm

  102. ashley -

    Sounds like you have a pretty special dad. Your stories brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday to your dad!

      1.29.09 - 11:54 pm

  103. Nikole -

    Thank you for sharing! This was amazing.

      1.29.09 - 11:58 pm

  104. Diana Vermeulen -

    That post made me CRY! Like, big crocodile tears. And I am totally not a cryer. I feel the same way about my dad – thanks for putting it in words for me….

      1.30.09 - 12:02 am

  105. Megan -

    Sounds like you have a pretty amazing dad, Jasmine. Thanks for sharing these stories, they brought tears to my eyes. 🙂

      1.30.09 - 12:08 am

  106. Tarah -

    Jasmine- This brought tears to my eyes. Im a young teenager (15 to be exact) and I only hope and pray that when I "grow up" I will have this kind of close relationship with my dad.

      1.30.09 - 12:16 am

  107. Nellie Guerrero -

    I called my daddy and told him I love him….yes I still call him daddy and yes I am 32 years old :-0

      1.30.09 - 12:31 am

  108. katycoffey -

    another one of your posts brings tears to my eyes. thanks for sharing this insight into your life.

      1.30.09 - 12:46 am

  109. Jacqueline Tse -

    When I was reading your blog, I felt teary eyed…so emotionally vulnerable. Thanks for sharing such an intimate piece of your life with me.

      1.30.09 - 12:48 am

  110. Paula Emery -

    This post is the most amazing birthday gift you could ever give him. You’re an amazing writer and you have an amazing heart.

      1.30.09 - 12:57 am

  111. Julie Avina -

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PANCHERELO!!!! LOVE YOU!!! Jas, you’re lucky I’m writing because I can’t even talk right now. Your words are so beautiful but not only because they’re words…but because I am so blessed to know your beautiful family and your loving father and KNOW that all that you wrote is sooooo true!!!!! GOD BLESS!!!! LOVE YOU

      1.30.09 - 12:58 am

  112. Katie Beale -

    This made me cry… and I only know you from being a blog stalker! I can relate to the last memory… really hit home. You have such a way with words… keep being fabulous!

      1.30.09 - 1:22 am

  113. Jackie J -

    Tears! lots of them… Happy Birthday Mr. Papi J* you are wonderful. God Bless!

      1.30.09 - 1:30 am

  114. barbara -

    Daddy’s are awesome and you are as much an artist with words as you are with a camera!! and yesterday was my daddy’s b’day! 95!! We will travel to see him this weekend..but my sis took him to HOOTERS yesterday….what a hoot!!! I should send you a pic they sent me 🙂

      1.30.09 - 1:35 am

  115. risawest -

    beautiful…and yes tears

      1.30.09 - 1:35 am

  116. Eric Lagstein -

    Powerful. Thank you for sharing.

      1.30.09 - 1:41 am

  117. Lindsey -

    I am speachless. Your writing is absolutley amazing and your use of words captivate me. Rock on and Happy Birthday to your dad!!

      1.30.09 - 1:49 am

  118. Ashley Mauro -

    Fierce. Strong. Awesome.
    Thanks for sharing… that is what life is all about Jasmine!

      1.30.09 - 1:54 am

  119. Dee -

    Happy Birthday, Jasmine’s Dad! Having raised such a fine daughter as Jasmine gives testament enough to the character of the man you are but then to be validated by Jasmine’s beautiful words does indeed resonate with all of her readers of the integrity, love, and other honorable characteristics you possess. Jasmine, your words make me miss my own beloved Dad who passed away last year. He was my first hero and I cherish every memory I have of him. He never let me down. Thanks for sharing. Ciao, Dee Rasmussen

      1.30.09 - 2:09 am

  120. Lindsay -

    Happy Birthday to Jasmine’s Dad, who must be insanely proud of quite an amazing girl he has raised! Hope he had a fantastic day because through that post, I feel like I know him. Even though I don’t.

      1.30.09 - 2:09 am

  121. michelle leigh -

    not only are you a fabulous photographer but you are an amazingly heartfelt human being…you just rock. period.

      1.30.09 - 2:26 am

  122. Stephanie -

    i have tears. you write so beautifully.

      1.30.09 - 2:29 am

  123. Nicole Mc -

    Oh my, this is breathtaking. you are very lucky. I’m inspired. I lost my wonderful father when i was 10. this has made me realize in a short decade my father has taught me and shaped me also.

      1.30.09 - 2:30 am

  124. Melissa Salomon -

    Wow. This is powerful stuff. Congratulations on getting this down on paper.

      1.30.09 - 2:39 am

  125. Jenny Sun -

    wow… you really are a testament to life, perseverence, love and faith. I was moved. Really really. I was.

      1.30.09 - 2:48 am

  126. Lorelei -

    What a beautiful gift for your dad! Happy Birthday to him!!

      1.30.09 - 3:08 am

  127. Melissa Oholendt -

    I adore you.

    Your post on your daddy made me cry and miss my daddy like no other.

    I thank God for reminders like you to cherish our parents. They truly do teach us the world. Thanks Jas.

      1.30.09 - 3:13 am

  128. Amy Clifton -

    Daddys are so special, and this is such a perfect tribute to yours. Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad!

    And ohmygosh I cannot tell you how many times I read my Little House boxed set. Laura Ingalls Wilder is on my list of people to have dinner with if I got to have my fantasy dinner party…

      1.30.09 - 3:22 am

  129. Amy -

    O man, that was a tear jerker for sure! Happy birthday to your wonderful dad!

      1.30.09 - 3:23 am

  130. Lorrie -

    tear drop, tear drop, tear drop, lotsa tear drops

      1.30.09 - 3:37 am

  131. Jacklyn Kaye -

    I’ve been a long time reader but this is my first time to comment. I admire how honest and real you are and this post really brought tears to my eyes. I just wanted to let you know your stories and your photos are amazing and you’re are truly an inspiration.

      1.30.09 - 3:49 am

  132. Jamie -

    The way you remember is so amazing.. the way you describe it.. I feel like I am curling up to a good book.

      1.30.09 - 4:05 am

  133. amanda -

    your stories made my bawl! i hope your dad has the happiest birthday ever. he definetely deserves it!

      1.30.09 - 4:08 am

  134. Yvonne -

    Happy Birthday to your Dad. And thank you J* for sharing.

      1.30.09 - 4:31 am

  135. Susan -

    wow. your writing gave me tinglies. great life lessons your dad showed you. happy birthday to him! 🙂

      1.30.09 - 4:41 am

  136. Amy Nave -

    Jasmine, now that made me cry. Your dad sounds like an amazing father, husband, and godly man.

      1.30.09 - 4:43 am

  137. Hanssie -

    Made me cry. What an awesome man and an awesome retelling…

      1.30.09 - 4:52 am

  138. Karen -

    That was really beautiful, I’m tearing up now. You are such an amazing writer.

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

      1.30.09 - 5:26 am

  139. Mindy -

    What wonderful memories…they made me teary-eyed! Happy birthday to your Papi…wishing him thousands of wonderful birthday wishes!!!

      1.30.09 - 5:39 am

  140. Rhendy Amador -

    I don’t have any words, though I am moved to say something…Maybe just to say that your memories moved me so deeply. Thank you for taking the time to share such beauty.

      1.30.09 - 5:57 am

  141. Stefanie -

    Jasmine, The love you share with your family inspires me everyday and today is yet another day where you’ve moved me to tears. All the best to you, your father and the rest!

      1.30.09 - 6:34 am

  142. Holli True -

    Amazing. Honestly, Jasmine! This is such an amazing post. Your third memory hits home to me, it brought tears to my eyes. When my Grandma was being treated with chemotherapy for her Breast Cancer she decided it was time to shave her head on Easter morning. She was beside herself with fear that her hair would fall into our Easter Dinner. (My Grandma is a Baker and she REFUSED to sit-out on making Easter Dinner. We knew better than to argue with her!) So, my Grandpa, my Husband and all my Cousin’s shaved their heads, too. She still claims that the Easter Bunny stole her hair that year. 🙂 9 yrs later, she is still in remission!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing story!!

      1.30.09 - 7:07 am

  143. Apple -

    Happy happy birthday papi!
    it’s such a pleasure to know you through the most beautiful poignant words of one of the most fabulous people in the world. ayee!

      1.30.09 - 7:21 am

  144. jenn -

    I was compelled to comment for the first time today because this has got to be the most powerful and most beautiful blog post I have EVER read. You truly have a way with words. Just spectacular! I can only hope that my one day hubs will be as amazing with our children as your dad was with you. Happy bday to your awesome dad!

      1.30.09 - 8:15 am

  145. Daniele Florio -

    JASMINE… I am without words… you are a so special girl… H-DAY TO YOUR FATHER.

    Kiss from ROME ITALY

      1.30.09 - 8:21 am

  146. Nancy Ramos -

    Jasmine your words bring me down to tears. You have an amazing Dad.

      1.30.09 - 8:29 am

  147. Regina -

    That was so moving. Although I do not know him, reading your memories makes it clear that your father is a wonderful man. Happy birthday to him!

      1.30.09 - 8:44 am

  148. a little bit of whimsy photography -

    If you ever need backing for "the book" just let me know.. I’m in!!
    Happy B-day to your father..

      1.30.09 - 10:47 am

  149. mary beth graff -

    sometimes i am torn–are you more talented in photography or in writing? i have two degrees in writing and can’t write like you…your words are as powerful as your images.

      1.30.09 - 11:16 am

  150. Velia -

    Happy Birthday to your dad, this post made me tear up so early in the morning.My dad is my best friend as well and it’s so nice to see the bond you both share. Thank you for sharing

      1.30.09 - 11:19 am

  151. Elaine -

    Dang girl…make a girl cry this early in the morning, that’s not right. 🙂 Gotta go reapply the makeup!!

      1.30.09 - 11:29 am

  152. Karrie-Ann Jastrzebska -

    Oh, you made me cry 🙂 What a beautiful post. Very touching. Happy bday to your wonderful father!

      1.30.09 - 12:02 pm

  153. Rachel Darley -

    I can only imagine how proud your dad must be of you… to have taken those memories, as painful as they were, to take them and spin them around and remember them for what they meant: the love of this man for God, the love of a dad for his daughter, and the love of a man for his family….God bless your papi today (and everyday)!!
    (Sheesh, chick, you certainly know how to make the tears flow)…

      1.30.09 - 12:19 pm

  154. Kristin Mizo -

    What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great one.

      1.30.09 - 12:44 pm

  155. Jason Drumm -

    Jaz, seriously. Write a book. I don’t care what it’s about. You are a gifted writer, elegant with words. God receives such awesome glory as you use the power of words so well.

      1.30.09 - 1:05 pm

  156. Regina -

    SO agree you write so well! I bet your DAD is so proud of you.

      1.30.09 - 1:18 pm

  157. Feuza -

    You are such an amazing writer! no joke. Happy Birthday to your Daddy!

      1.30.09 - 1:38 pm

  158. laura stetser -

    beautiful post to your dad Jasmine. i admit I cried a little. what a wonderful role model and dad he sounds like he’s been for you…i hope he had a beautiful birthday. 🙂

      1.30.09 - 1:40 pm

  159. SJ Styles -


      1.30.09 - 2:30 pm

  160. LeeAnn -

    Jasmine, you bring tears to my eyes! Happy Birthday to your special Dad!!!!! You are a gifted writer Jasmine!!!!

      1.30.09 - 2:46 pm

  161. ashley o. -

    jasmine, you are blessed. to your father, i wish you could be father to the world, you set a fine example. happy birthday!

      1.30.09 - 3:09 pm

  162. Carina -

    Such a tear jerker, seriously after reading this. Happy Birthday to your Dad, Jasmine! God Bless.

      1.30.09 - 3:16 pm

  163. Riz Crescini -

    You blew me away with that one. Father/daughter reflections always touch a chord with me as I have 2 young daughters. Thank you so much for this heartfelt post. It truly made my day!

      1.30.09 - 3:19 pm

  164. kylee -

    Crazy, isn’t it, what an impact dad’s make on us?? Your dad sounds like a beautiful person – Happy Birthday!

      1.30.09 - 3:28 pm

  165. Heather Costa -

    I write this with tears in my eyes. Your father seems like a truly amazing person(I see where you got it from)what a dad to have!

      1.30.09 - 3:47 pm

  166. rachel -

    did you know we’d all be crying when we read his post?

      1.30.09 - 3:52 pm

  167. Kelly -

    wow. i’m crying. this is really beautiful. happy birthday to your father.

      1.30.09 - 4:21 pm

  168. Sarah Tolson -

    Dang.. way to make a girl cry early in the am…

    I would greatly love to meet those wonderful people who raised you… 🙂

      1.30.09 - 4:22 pm

  169. Christy -

    Dang…I didn’t bring mascara with me today. Tears just flowing!

      1.30.09 - 4:33 pm

  170. Fola -

    This is truly beautiful…your mother married the her bone…you deserve every bit of happiness, favor and love you receive…every bit….

      1.30.09 - 4:43 pm

  171. Meg -

    Serious tear jerker geeez!! How wonderful though…us girls LOVE their Daddys (:

      1.30.09 - 4:44 pm

  172. Cherie-Lynn Buchanan -

    I have to admit more than bringing tears to my eyes you made me smile. How truly fortunate you are to experience this kind of love as a young child. One of my biggest heart breaks is that not every child receives such unconditional love. For those of you reading this that have children make sure the last words they hear before going to bed at night is – I Love You No Matter What!

      1.30.09 - 4:53 pm

  173. jaKKi -

    thank you for sharing him with us..

      1.30.09 - 5:01 pm

  174. Rachel -

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

      1.30.09 - 5:04 pm

  175. Dave Cross -

    Jasmine, I am speechless…and anyone who knows me realizes how unusual that is 😉
    What a great trilogy of stories about your Dad. My tears came from reading your touching post, and from the pain of losing my Dad 7 weeks ago.
    Treasure your time with him – I know that you do!

      1.30.09 - 5:55 pm

  176. Julie L. -

    Am I being too emotional? My eyes got all teary! What an amazing memory you have and get to keep! Thank you Jasmine for sharing those with all of us 🙂 God Bless.

      1.30.09 - 6:02 pm

  177. Laura Ivanova -

    Jasmine, you are so blessed to have such an amazing Dad. Your stories make me love my Dad even more! Thank you for sharing.

      1.30.09 - 6:22 pm

  178. rose -

    what? no picture! thanks for a beautiful post-like everyone else-i have tears in my eyes.

      1.30.09 - 6:40 pm

  179. Mo -

    OMG I, crying. What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday Dad!

      1.30.09 - 7:34 pm

  180. meg manion silliker -

    your three memories are incredible. wishing your father a beautifully happy birthday.

      1.30.09 - 7:37 pm

  181. Rebecca -

    Wow, what an amazing father you have. You are truly blessed.

      1.30.09 - 7:42 pm

  182. ksen : ) -

    girl! amazing. when are you going to write a book. serious now!!! happy bday to your wonderFULL Dad!

      1.30.09 - 8:05 pm

  183. Wai Reyes Photography -

    Oh my gosh, this post made me cry. I feel the same about my parents… Happy birthday to your dad!

      1.30.09 - 9:44 pm

  184. Stephanie Stewart -

    Truly touching post – I was getting choked up! I wish your dad a wonderful birthday – I bet reading this made his day all the more special.

      1.30.09 - 10:45 pm

  185. Adrienne Gunde -

    I totally have friends from out of town who have gotten excited at the sight of palm trees! 🙂 Love all these shots, especially the last few!

      1.30.09 - 11:59 pm

  186. Adrienne Gunde -

    Totally posted the below comment on the wrong entry btw. Though while I’m here, I might as well say how beautiful this entry to your father is 🙂

      1.31.09 - 12:04 am

  187. jackie wonders -

    it was not letting me post last night…but i was fully crying- obv. what an amazing father you have …you’re a very gifted story teller jasmine*.

      1.31.09 - 2:53 am

  188. Misty Sparks -

    Wow, this post made me cry. Your dad sounds like a very wonderful man. Hope he had an awesome birthday!

      1.31.09 - 11:06 am

  189. Frances -

    This is one of the most beautiful accounts of a daughter’s love for her father that I’ve read. Thank you for sharing this with your readers.

    and — a happy belated birthday to your dad from me!

      1.31.09 - 1:08 pm

  190. Greer Rivera -

    Forget photography you need to write an autobiography!! and yes you made me cry as well…

      1.31.09 - 2:18 pm

  191. sarah Javaheri -

    crying. beautiful. thank~you.

      1.31.09 - 2:54 pm

  192. melissa pearce -

    wow. i feel like I love your dad. I am totally crying. You have a beautiful way with words.

      1.31.09 - 3:58 pm

  193. Stephanie -

    Gosh, if for some reason you get out of the photography world, you could very well be a NY Times Bestselling author. You write with such eloquence and conviction and I’m sitting here in tears. I never knew my dad, but I’d would give anything to have a one like yours. Happy Birthday J*’s daddy–you are the man!


      2.1.09 - 4:41 am

  194. feLiX -

    Oh..my…Jasmine you are such a sensational writer. Today, I learned being a good photographer is not just about visual, it’s about memories in life and heart.

      2.1.09 - 8:05 am

  195. kymberli q. -

    OK, I’m bawling over here. This post was just beautiful and I felt like I was in every moment. Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad. You sound like a wonderful human being.

      2.1.09 - 8:08 am

  196. monnie -

    Hi! Jasmine..Happy bday to yr DAD.it’s so wonderful what u wrote about him..reminds me of my dad too…would love to see his pics!

      2.1.09 - 1:50 pm

  197. amy wenzel -

    I’m sitting here crying. I wish you would write a book about your life. You have the most beautiful heart and mind to see things in the light that you do. Don’t ever doubt how special and unique you are. xoxo

      2.1.09 - 2:58 pm

  198. michelle cunningham -

    you know just how to wrench that tear from me. and i thought i ran out after watching seven pounds.

      2.1.09 - 3:27 pm

  199. Marsha -

    Wow! This is such a sweet, sweet post… your father sounds like a wonderful man! You have such a beautiful gift & heart… thanks for sharing it with us! Happy Birthday to your dad! 🙂

      2.1.09 - 5:54 pm

  200. Amy Neeson -

    It’s amazing the lessons we can learn from pain, in time they become easier to bear, and what eventually moulds us into who we are, and what will be of importance for us in our lives. Beautiful post girl!

      2.1.09 - 7:59 pm

  201. Julie -

    Your skills with a camera are obvious, but your way with words is even more amazing. I don’t even know you and your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      2.2.09 - 2:12 am

  202. Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs -

    You are so lucky to have such a loving daddy, J*. Sounds like you love him a lot too, so I guess he is just as lucky.

      2.2.09 - 1:38 pm

  203. Nicholle -

    WOW! What a blessing that you have an amazing relationship with your father! He has taught you so much.

    Love your writing style!!

    Thank you for letting the world see into your life!!

      2.2.09 - 5:06 pm

  204. Dee -

    your words are so powerful. I think I might give my dad a call after I wipe away my tears…. :*)

      2.2.09 - 5:20 pm

  205. terri Z -

    so beautiful…. my only wish for my daughter is for her to have such a relationship with her father , my husband …. the kind that i never had ….. you made me cry and smile ……thank-you for sharing

      2.2.09 - 8:07 pm

  206. Eloisa -

    I’m a new fan of your blog an your work, when I read this one I almost cry. You not olny take amazing pictures but you inspire people. I have a very long way to go but when I grow up I want to be just like you. =) Felicidades!

      2.2.09 - 10:54 pm

  207. sara -

    It was a blog post about your dad that first brought me to your blog and had me hooked over a year ago. Of course as a photographer I’ve come often since for inspiration. But the way you express memories about your dad tears me up every time!

      2.2.09 - 11:37 pm

  208. tracy -

    aww..you made me cry :>) Happy tears.

      2.3.09 - 1:50 am

  209. Ginger -

    Wow. This post made me cry. What beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Ps. I share a birthday with your dad!

      2.3.09 - 1:36 pm

  210. MAG -

    thanks for the tears! I really hope that one day you will write a book.. your writing is really meaningful and with everything you write you have this wonderful deep story.

      2.3.09 - 4:36 pm

  211. Scarlett Lillian -

    Awwww… so sweet about Memory Three with your mom. Happy belated birthday to your dad!

      2.3.09 - 6:21 pm

  212. barbara ( soon to be dieppa) -

    What a beautifully touching tribute to your dad. Hope it was a great birthday for him and your family.

      2.3.09 - 9:16 pm

  213. Shannon Ksenak -

    The most beautifully written piece of literature I’ve ever had the privelege of reading. Thank you for sharing! Your dad must be so proud!!

      2.5.09 - 1:23 am

  214. Grace Tan -

    Thanks for sharing this, Jasmine. My dad is getting older too and is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It’s so important to cherish the ones we love and to let them know it.

      2.5.09 - 9:47 am

  215. Manuella Pararas-Hulbert -

    You always evoke such strong emotion from me with your posts. Your dad post made me cry like a baby, it felt good and thanks for reminding me of all the beautiful times I had with my dad before he past away, I had 17 awesome years with him and I’m thankful to God for each and every day.

      2.5.09 - 5:26 pm

  216. Hannah Friedman -

    I love reading your blog and viewing the great photos you post on it.

      2.5.09 - 11:17 pm

  217. esti -

    this is soo beautiful, jasmine. i love your pictures and your stories. bring me good tears every now and then. happy birthday to your father, jasmine. he’s such a great man, and a lucky one for having you as a daughter..

      2.7.09 - 5:49 am

  218. Michele Gravatte -

    I’ve have been blessed to just find your site thanks to a dear friend who knows and loves your work. Amazing enough, your dad and my dad share the same birthday. I love it! I’m just getting my start in photography and your work and style is truly an inspiration!!!!

    Keep being awesome!!!!

      2.8.09 - 3:44 pm

  219. Pauline -

    you have such a way with words.. beautifully written

      2.12.09 - 2:24 am

  220. Josie Cole -

    If I can turn back time, I’d wanted a chance to have a friend like you….God is so awesome, you and your family are God’s best.

      12.7.09 - 11:47 am

  221. Shanna -

    this made me cry… Dad’s are awesome!

      6.15.10 - 3:38 pm

  222. Lini99 -

    Sheez…. I’m balling. I’m so touched your family. Wonderful people.

      12.27.10 - 6:48 pm

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