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

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    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!!

  2. Jen Olsen

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    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.

  3. Lydia

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Your father is a beautiful man.

  4. john waire

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    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!

  5. Tammy Chavies

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    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!!!

  6. Alicia

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

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

  7. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

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

  8. Krista

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

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

  9. Adrienne Byrd

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

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

  10. tisha

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    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..

  11. Mary

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    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!

  12. Tira J

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

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

  13. Nick Abadilla

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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

  14. Beki

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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

  15. Jamie Delaine

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    You are such a talented writer Jas.

  16. Annie

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

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

  17. tish

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

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

  18. Nycia Emerson

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    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!!

  19. Papi

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    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!

  20. Mary Marantz

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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

  21. courtney

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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

  22. faye

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    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 =(

  23. Angie

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

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

  24. Rene Skrodzki

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

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

    Wish him a happy birthday from me too.

  25. christine

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    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!

  26. Becka Knight (Studio222 Photography)

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

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

  27. Jordana

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

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

    Happy Birthday!

  28. Kevin

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

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

  29. Christi

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    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!

  30. Aubrey

    January 29th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    How wonderful! What a great tribute to your dad…

    Today is my dad’s birthday, too!

  31. Christopher Grisanti

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    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!

  32. Shannon

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I love this! Happy birthday to your daddy!

  33. ~abi~

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

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

  34. Lindsay

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    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.

  35. Graeme Sharkey

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    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!

  36. Fishgirl

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    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..

  37. Tanya Jose

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    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.

  38. craig

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

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

  39. crystal

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    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 🙂

  40. Sharon

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

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

  41. Ma'ele

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    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.

  42. Joyce

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

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

  43. Tracy

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

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

  44. Michael

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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

    Happy birthday to your father.

    Best Wishes,

  45. Melissa

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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

  46. Amanda Sedeno

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    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

  47. Kristina Young

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I cannot stop crying. Beautiful.

  48. Jennifer

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    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.

  49. Stacy L.

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    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.

  50. jeramy

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    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!

  51. Joan Solitario

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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

  52. Joan Solitario

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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

  53. The Last Forty Percent Photography

    January 29th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    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.

  54. Jenn Galloway

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    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.)

  55. Rick Fernandez

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    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.

  56. Candace Prokopets

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    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.

  57. Navy Sou

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

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

  58. Rachel Langan

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    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.

  59. StacyZ

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

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

  60. Ashley Rose

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

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

  61. lindsey d

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

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

    Happy Birthday Jasmine’s Dad!

    { Lindsey }

  62. kia

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Your Dad Rocks!

  63. Sheila

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    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.

  64. Lesley

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

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

  65. erin.

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    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

  66. Bobbie Brown

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    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….

  67. brooke bowland

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

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

  68. Jennifer Corridan Photo

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    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.

  69. Krista Photography

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

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

  70. Laura

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    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!

  71. Michelle Guzman

    January 29th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    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!

  72. Cristen Clark

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Get post Jasmine!! Thanks for sharing!

  73. missphom

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    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.

  74. Korey

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

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

  75. Dawn B

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

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

  76. missphom

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    oh, almost forgot… happy birthday daddy*

  77. stephanie

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    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.

  78. B

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

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

  79. Michele Rivera

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    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…

  80. cassandra m

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    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!!!!

  81. Courtney

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    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!

  82. photography by shay

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    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.

  83. Jamie Weiss

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

  84. rhonda

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

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

  85. jackie h

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    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!

  86. T

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    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!

  87. Andie Smith

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    You have a wonderful dad! Happy birthday to him!

  88. Jackie

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

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

  89. natt

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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

  90. Amy Herkert

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Now…that deserves a comment. Beautiful.

  91. Virg

    January 29th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    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.

  92. Seini

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    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!

  93. Cherie

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    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!

  94. Megan Beth

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

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

  95. fiona andersen

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    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!!!

  96. Abra Morris

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    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.

  97. ashley bugg

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

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

  98. Amelia Thornton

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    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!

  99. Christina

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    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!

  100. Cathy Crawley

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    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!" 😉

  101. Cathy Crawley

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your father!

  102. ashley

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

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

  103. Nikole

    January 29th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing! This was amazing.

  104. Diana Vermeulen

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    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….

  105. Megan

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:08 am

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

  106. Tarah

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:16 am

    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.

  107. Nellie Guerrero

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:31 am

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

  108. katycoffey

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:46 am

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

  109. Jacqueline Tse

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    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.

  110. Paula Emery

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:57 am

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

  111. Julie Avina

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:58 am

    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

  112. Katie Beale

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:22 am

    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!

  113. Jackie J

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:30 am

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

  114. barbara

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    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 🙂

  115. risawest

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    beautiful…and yes tears

  116. Eric Lagstein

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  117. Lindsey

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:49 am

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

  118. Ashley Mauro

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:54 am

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

  119. Dee

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    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

  120. Lindsay

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    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.

  121. michelle leigh

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:26 am

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

  122. Stephanie

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:29 am

    i have tears. you write so beautifully.

  123. Nicole Mc

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    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.

  124. Melissa Salomon

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:39 am

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

  125. Jenny Sun

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:48 am

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

  126. Lorelei

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:08 am

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

  127. Melissa Oholendt

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    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.

  128. Amy Clifton

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:22 am

    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…

  129. Amy

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:23 am

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

  130. Lorrie

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:37 am

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

  131. Jacklyn Kaye

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:49 am

    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.

  132. Jamie

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:05 am

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

  133. amanda

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:08 am

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

  134. Yvonne

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:31 am

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

  135. Susan

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:41 am

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

  136. Amy Nave

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:43 am

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

  137. Hanssie

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:52 am

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

  138. Karen

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:26 am

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

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

  139. Mindy

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:39 am

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

  140. Rhendy Amador

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:57 am

    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.

  141. Stefanie

    January 30th, 2009 at 6:34 am

    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!

  142. Holli True

    January 30th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    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!!

  143. Apple

    January 30th, 2009 at 7:21 am

    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!

  144. jenn

    January 30th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    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!

  145. Daniele Florio

    January 30th, 2009 at 8:21 am

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

    Kiss from ROME ITALY

  146. Nancy Ramos

    January 30th, 2009 at 8:29 am

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

  147. Regina

    January 30th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    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!

  148. a little bit of whimsy photography

    January 30th, 2009 at 10:47 am

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

  149. mary beth graff

    January 30th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    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.

  150. Velia

    January 30th, 2009 at 11:19 am

    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

  151. Elaine

    January 30th, 2009 at 11:29 am

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

  152. Karrie-Ann Jastrzebska

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

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

  153. Rachel Darley

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    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)…

  154. Kristin Mizo

    January 30th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

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

  155. Jason Drumm

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    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.

  156. Regina

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

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

  157. Feuza

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

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

  158. laura stetser

    January 30th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    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. 🙂

  159. SJ Styles

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:30 pm


  160. LeeAnn

    January 30th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

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

  161. ashley o.

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

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

  162. Carina

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

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

  163. Riz Crescini

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    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!

  164. kylee

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

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

  165. Heather Costa

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    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!

  166. rachel

    January 30th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

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

  167. Kelly

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

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

  168. Sarah Tolson

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

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

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

  169. Christy

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

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

  170. Fola

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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

  171. Meg

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

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

  172. Cherie-Lynn Buchanan

    January 30th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    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!

  173. jaKKi

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    thank you for sharing him with us..

  174. Rachel

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  175. Dave Cross

    January 30th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    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!

  176. Julie L.

    January 30th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    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.

  177. Laura Ivanova

    January 30th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

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

  178. rose

    January 30th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

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

  179. Mo

    January 30th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

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

  180. meg manion silliker

    January 30th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

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

  181. Rebecca

    January 30th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

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

  182. ksen : )

    January 30th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

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

  183. Wai Reyes Photography

    January 30th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

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

  184. Stephanie Stewart

    January 30th, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    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.

  185. Adrienne Gunde

    January 30th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    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!

  186. Adrienne Gunde

    January 31st, 2009 at 12:04 am

    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 🙂

  187. jackie wonders

    January 31st, 2009 at 2:53 am

    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*.

  188. Misty Sparks

    January 31st, 2009 at 11:06 am

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

  189. Frances

    January 31st, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    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!

  190. Greer Rivera

    January 31st, 2009 at 2:18 pm

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

  191. sarah Javaheri

    January 31st, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    crying. beautiful. thank~you.

  192. melissa pearce

    January 31st, 2009 at 3:58 pm

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

  193. Stephanie

    February 1st, 2009 at 4:41 am

    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!


  194. feLiX

    February 1st, 2009 at 8:05 am

    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.

  195. kymberli q.

    February 1st, 2009 at 8:08 am

    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.

  196. monnie

    February 1st, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    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!

  197. amy wenzel

    February 1st, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    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

  198. michelle cunningham

    February 1st, 2009 at 3:27 pm

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

  199. Marsha

    February 1st, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    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! 🙂

  200. Amy Neeson

    February 1st, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    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!

  201. Julie

    February 2nd, 2009 at 2:12 am

    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. 🙂

  202. Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs

    February 2nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    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.

  203. Nicholle

    February 2nd, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    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!!

  204. Dee

    February 2nd, 2009 at 5:20 pm

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

  205. terri Z

    February 2nd, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    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

  206. Eloisa

    February 2nd, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    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!

  207. sara

    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    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!

  208. tracy

    February 3rd, 2009 at 1:50 am

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

  209. Ginger

    February 3rd, 2009 at 1:36 pm

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

    Ps. I share a birthday with your dad!

  210. MAG

    February 3rd, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    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.

  211. Scarlett Lillian

    February 3rd, 2009 at 6:21 pm

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

  212. barbara ( soon to be dieppa)

    February 3rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

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

  213. Shannon Ksenak

    February 5th, 2009 at 1:23 am

    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!!

  214. Grace Tan

    February 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    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.

  215. Manuella Pararas-Hulbert

    February 5th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    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.

  216. Hannah Friedman

    February 5th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

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

  217. esti

    February 7th, 2009 at 5:49 am

    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..

  218. Michele Gravatte

    February 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    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!!!!

  219. Pauline

    February 12th, 2009 at 2:24 am

    you have such a way with words.. beautifully written

  220. Josie Cole

    December 7th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    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.

  221. Shanna

    June 15th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    this made me cry… Dad’s are awesome!

  222. Lini99

    December 27th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

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