I Love You. With My Voice.


When mom texted me yesterday and informed me you were admitted for minor surgery, my heart lurched in my chest. The doctors unexpectedly admitted you at your appointment. Just that morning I texted to ask your year of birth. I filled my passport application and I needed that information, Dad. Did I tell you I love you? I checked my phone. Yes, I did. But I should have called. I should have said I Love You with my voice.

Mom tells me something about the C4 and C5 vertebrae and that’s where the doctors are working. I should have said I Love You with my voice.

I called you last night and you recounted the breeze that opened your hospital gown just before anesthesia was administered. We laughed. I offered to pick up Zoe from choir practice, but you knew I was simply looking for an excuse to go home. To sit next to you at the kitchen counter. I bring you home a burrito with an extra side of salsa, just the way you like. You complain about messiness of the kitchen–blaming mom–but we both know your strewn coffee cup is just as guilty as hers. We laugh. I make tea. We talk. I rub your bald head like a crystal ball just before I leave and I secretly hope your smarts rub off on me.

Dad, I went home last night to say I Love You. With my voice.

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  1. emma

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Im so sorry, hope everything goes perfectly.

  2. Rachel

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    This is beautiful Jasmine. You are so eloquent. 🙂

  3. Susan Dukat

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    tear jerker! touching!

  4. kathy pilato

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I’m glad you are getting to say "I love you" in your voice to your Poppa. I can only wave upwards now.

  5. natalie

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    this is so precious…and now i’m crying…

  6. Ashley

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Beautiful post Jasmine. I hope your Dad makes a speedy recovery

  7. Gail

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Beautiful friend….writing in that second person voice is a style so difficult to pull off and you do it SO well here.

    Paging Nicole Krauss…. 😉 (have you started Great House?) (Jennifer Egan does this wonderfully well in her Visit from the Goon Squad too…add that one to the pile. hehe)

  8. Susan Davis

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Wow. Your post made me cry. Life is made beautiful by those we love and who love us. Let us not forget it.

  9. nadya

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Jasmine, hope your dad is doing ok . I had the same thing happen recently with my own father. He was MIA on his bday and i coudnt find him for a few days and then found out he was in the hospital, and coudlnt call me because they lost his cell phone! it was horriable and all i coudl think was, why didnt i call him more to say i love you @_@ !

  10. Sherra Gray

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Crap. Now I’m crying. Thanks for reminding us that it’s nice in a text, but personal communication means so much more.

  11. Mindy Aagaard

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:33 pm


  12. Alexia Strawn

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Simply beautiful!

  13. erica

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:34 pm


  14. Cathy

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Just one phone call can change everything.This is a powerful reminder to tell those you love that you love them often with your voice ! Jasmine your dad is in my prayers.

  15. Jennifer Jar

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Jasmine, you and your family have a beautiful relationship. Hope your dad gets better soon!

  16. feuza

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    beautiful Jasmine and I would love to see a post by your dad, video or written in what he thinks has been the key to your success, you are so blessed to have such a great family

  17. Heather

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    You have me in tears here also. Hope your dad recovers quickly and that everything is okay. A wonderful reminder and beautifully written.

  18. Ann Keen

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Oh Jasmine I am so sorry your dad had to have surgery. Any surgery no matter if it is minor or major can be scary. No one ever wants to get that call (or text) that a parent is ill or hurt. I hope his surgery went well. (((HUGS)))

  19. ERIKA

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    thank you – being there to say nothing or do nothing is always best.

  20. Katie Kenney

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Wow…That was a beautiful recollection of special moments shared. I miss my dad so much. It will be 2 years next Tuesday (12/21), that he’s been home with the Lord. I miss him SO much. (I said that already.) No matter how old you are, there will always just be some things that you want to go share with "Daddy". Don’t think that void ever goes away completely….but God helps fill the holes.

  21. Anne Marie

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I just love reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. You are gifted not only as a photography but a writer and a storyteller.

  22. Summer C.

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Cue the tears. Ahh there we go. I hope your dad is ok.

  23. Wendy Cazares

    December 17th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I’m calling my Dad. I thank you for sharing such a personal story and for reminding me to say it with my voice.

  24. Alex

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    You are just as talented with words as you are with photos. I’m sorry your dad had to have surgery 🙁 I hope he’s okay :).

  25. Faith Cherisse

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Prayers for your Dad and the Familia! xoxo

  26. dawn beirnes

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I know all about C4 and C5…have a plate and screws right between the two. If your dad has been in alot of pain, it will help! Hope he is better soon.

  27. Kelsey Anderson

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Wishing your Dad a speedy recovery!

  28. Christina S.

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Here come the tears. What a beautiful post.

  29. Cris D.

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Praying for your dad. Yes, say it with your voice and say it often. I would love to be able to say that one more time.

  30. Lace Dagerath

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Ohh Jasmine! I hope he gets better QUICKLY!! I was in Cali (San Diego) last yr for a shoot- my dad oddly enough was in (LA)…I got a call on my way out the door to photograph a church service…and my heart hit the floor too..He had a heart attack and was rushed in for emergency surgery! The mere fact that we were both in the same state… was a miracle! He was also in the county north of LA that had the best cardiac unit… I forget how big God is sometimes… but I am faithful your dad will heal and be better than new for Christmas!! See you in January!!

  31. Andrea Ellison Photography

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    eeepppp…HELLO !!!…I have tears here <3

  32. Norelis

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Jasmine, you know you’re incredible, right?!

  33. Tanya

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    here i am again, sitting at my desk, reading your blog, with little tears in my eyes. i started reading your blog for the photography and i always come away with so much more. sending lots of healing thoughts and prayers your dad’s way.

  34. Daniela

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Oh boy…I SOOO didn’t expect to start my day off crying 🙁 I wish I had the chance to say I love you with my voice to my dad before he passed away last month. Time is fleeting and you just never know so it’s best to say what’s on your mind when you have the chance.

  35. Cairith

    December 17th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks J*….thanks alot. bawling. LIKE A NEWBORN BABY.

  36. Tanya Jose

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    may these little & simple things remind us all that sometimes those are the best gifts to give. love to you & your ohana this holiday season J*. mele kalikimaka!!

  37. Dee

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    you have such a way with words. I’m tearing up here.

  38. Tiffany K

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    You have such a profound wway with words. Thank you for always sharing and make some of us reliaze that we should live more and think less.

  39. Kansas City Wedding Photographers

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I am so crying right now. COL!

  40. Tasha Prescott

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Jasmine, I’ve been going through this in my mind. Lost my father suddenly, Dec 2, (just two weeks ago) and all I could do is say "If I had one more day, I would…" Beautiful post.

  41. Nicole Haley

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    And now I’m in tears. Thank you for sharing this, Jasmine. It’s a much needed reminder… All the best to your dad and family.

  42. Romonia Isaac

    December 17th, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    You are like a breath of fresh air. Your words are truly beautiful and although you did not say "I love you" with your voice, your dad knew that you meant it when you typed it in your text. I hope that your dad is doing good and enjoying life without a gust of wind blowing up his gown. 😉 I will continue to keep him and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your open letter, your heart and thoughts. Happy Friday J*

  43. Mandy

    December 17th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Jasmine, Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I hope that your dad heals quickly, and yes don’t ever forget to say I love you with your voice. You never know when you aren’t going to get that chance anymore. I would give anything to tell my dad I love him with my voice, he has been gone a little over three years and it’s still so hard to accept that I can’t. Stay strong and thank you for sharing your world with us!

  44. Catherine

    December 17th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.

    Hang in there.

  45. Bee

    December 17th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Gosh, could of given a girl a warning. I wasn’t expecting that to be so emotional. Everybody needs their pops. Sending you all love. X

  46. Abigail Todd

    December 17th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    My dad and I are like this. It makes the whole family jealous. The bond we have, that thing inside of us that is unique amongst everyone else in the family is so special that it makes my life complete. I had an experience like this, and I literally was not ok until I spoke to my dad… just as in every sticky situation – Daddy makes everything ok. So ditto to your feelings and to saying I love you with your voice to those we love.

  47. Robyn

    December 17th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I just cried. I’m just so excited to fly home to Chicago from Boston for the holidays and see my family in person to tell them I love them. Thanks J.

  48. Marta V

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Ok I am sobing now. My sister has brain cancer, she was admitted to the hospital a few days ago and things are not going well. After a phone call with the Dr. my mom was out on an early flight this morning and I am probable shortly behind her. It’s killing me. Your post is pretty much exactly how I am feeling. I wish you and your family well and I am sending a little prayer for your Dad and your whole family.

  49. Jaclyn

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I lost my father 2 years ago and sometimes I wish I had one more chat but then I realize that our last chat was the best one I had with my dad and I smile. Thank you again for sharing this and I truly hope your dad will fight through whatever it is and your family has a wonderful Christmas.

  50. Lydia

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I’m so glad your dad is alright!

  51. Samuel A. Smith II

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Jasmine, he knows that you love him . Saying I love you with your voice is not the only way to say I love you. Everyone that you come in contact with knows that you love them because of the way that you say it in so many ways. I follow you and your work constantly and I feel the love that comes from you. Don’t ever get down on yourself again. You are definitely a unique, lovely and loving person. Your parents should be proud of the way they raised their kids to be so open and loving. Take care Baby Girl.. You are an inspiration to me. A definite spark in my life. :)-

  52. Bobbie Brown

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I love this. And am glad to hear our Daddy is okay.

  53. kristen holly

    December 17th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Oh Jasmine, I didn’t need these tears today! Love to you and your dad!

  54. Life with Kaishon

    December 17th, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I am glad he is ok.
    Dad’s are the best, aren’t they? Will pray for his recovery.

  55. Celia

    December 17th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I LOVE your writing… and love for your family! Merry Christmas.

  56. amanda thiessen

    December 17th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    beautiful. i hope everything goes well with your dad – i’m sure it will 🙂

  57. Jessica Chavez

    December 17th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Oh Jasmine you made my eyes watery with this post! You reminded me the times I didn’t say I love you to my dad, even though I said it often. I’m glad your Dad is okay! And never forget to say I love you to him or anyone you care about! xoxo

  58. Cameron Leung

    December 17th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Beautifully written Jasmine. Wishing you and your family all the best.

  59. Victoria O'Connor

    December 17th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I love how fearless you are with your words Jasmine!! I always thought I was the only one crazy enough to say that kind of stuff and then I found you. You make me proud girl!!

  60. Amanda

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    you have a girl cryin’ at work! I’m a daddy’s girl too and I had to read this in sections. Neck surgery isn’t fun! I hope recovery is smooth for him!


  61. Susan Jennings

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Beautiful! My dad is my rock, thanks for the reminder that saying "I Love You" is way better than any text or email.

  62. sarah javaheri

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    crying with my voice!!!! Love your words. Can picture everything. Such a gift. Love your love .

  63. Judy

    December 17th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    I love how you love your dad.

  64. Chantel

    December 18th, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I love how you love. Thanks for inspiring me to love deeper today. Muah!

  65. Michelle Hebert

    December 18th, 2010 at 3:59 am

    That is BEAUTIFUL! Praying for your daddy!

  66. Karen Taggart

    December 18th, 2010 at 5:15 am

    You right so openly & beautifully. Thank you! I’m crying my eyes out reading this and thinking of my dad who I lost 2 years ago. We were very close and I miss him so much, especially now that we’re expecting a child. Thanks for reminding us to always tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. And give your dad a big hug from me! 😉

  67. Rae Threnoworth

    December 18th, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Crying… thanks for this reminder. I was in the same situation with my Dad last year.. I came home from a workshop to find my Mum on the front lawn waiting for me telling me Dad had been taken to hospital with a heart attack… all you can do is think of all the times you should’ve been there, should’ve said I love you, should have listened while he was talking instead of focusing on the computer screen.. Thank you Jasmine xxx And Dad if you read this.. I LOVE U! 😉

  68. monica martin

    December 18th, 2010 at 5:34 am

    thanks for reminding us all that’s imprtant to say it "with your voice"

  69. Rudi

    December 18th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Just wanted to wish you all the best.

  70. Sandra Finner

    December 18th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Our lives gets busy but we expect that those we love will always be there with us. Sorry to hear you had such a scare.

  71. denise karis

    December 18th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    a million x’s and o’s to you, jas

  72. Temecula Wedding Photographer

    December 18th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Beautiful writing and a touching reminder of what’s really important in life. Thanks for sharing and best wishes to your family.

  73. Lynda

    December 19th, 2010 at 1:57 am

    I had that thought so many times before my Dad passed away. What if something happened and I didn’t say ‘I love you.’ I started telling him every time we talked, and when he did pass I knew, he knew. I’m glad you got the chance to tell him again. 🙂
    You are so open and honest on your blog, and I love you for it. It doesn’t hurt that your photos are ah-mazing either. Merry Christmas!

  74. Ker

    December 19th, 2010 at 3:45 am

    My nan was in and out of the hospital for 10 years. The doctors always said it would be her last night, but she always pulled through. Last January she was admitted again. I told myself she would come home in a day or two so I didn’t go to visit. After all, she was always home again. I was wrong.

  75. Katelyn James

    December 19th, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I love your dad… never met him, but he seems pretty cool… and he has an amazing smile:) Hope everything went ok.

  76. Patrick Farrington

    December 19th, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Jasmine, why is it that your posts so often make me cry? Not in a bad way of course, they are just so full of love. Feliz Navidad to you, your dad and all of your family.

  77. Cathy Crawley

    December 19th, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Two weeks ago I drove 5 hours to drop my kids off at my parents house so I could attend a wedding. The next day I picked the kids up, even though Dad was grumpy because we were interrupting his movie and making too much noise I took the time to say ‘I love you’ when I kissed him goodbye. Five days later he died unexpectidly and this week I had to deliver his eulogy. I can count on my hands how many times he told me he loved me, but I’m glad I always told him how much he meant to me. Life is just too short.

  78. Denise Prichett

    December 19th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I lost my first Grandmother at 12 and it pained me for years that I never told her that I loved her. I tell my parents and brothers that I love them at the end of every call or visit. Jasmine, thank you for your WORDS as well as your beautiful images.

  79. Irish Wedding Photographer

    December 19th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Hope all is ok with your Dad! Happy Christmas

  80. Kimberly Stone

    December 20th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Thank you for sharing Jasmine!

  81. cassandra-m

    December 20th, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Prayers for your Dad…hope all is well. Xoxoxoxooxoxo…

  82. Evonne & Darren

    December 20th, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Awww… I know I should have grabbed my Kleenex box before reading your blog everyday! Hope all goes well with your dad!

  83. Jorge

    December 20th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    This is beautiful Jasmine! Great!

  84. kevin

    December 20th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    the ever happyness in this moment is every where at this moment

  85. Dee Lane

    December 20th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Very moving and powerful prose. It almost reads like poetry. Thank you for sharing this.

  86. Katie Schoepflin

    December 21st, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Hugs. 🙂 My mom was in the hospital unexpectedly this last week and finally was able to come home last night. Its just so scary when things like that happen. Thank you for your words and reminding us what is truly important during this holiday season.

  87. Agi

    December 21st, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Beautiful post, Jas. We should all say I Love You more often, before it"s too late. And hug too. x

  88. Liz

    December 21st, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks Jasmine! I love reading your posts!

  89. Naomi Chokr

    December 21st, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I pray that you, your father and the rest of your family are doing well. What an beautiful post about your father.

  90. Corkie Maus

    December 22nd, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I was looking for a recipe and somehow saw the Jamine Star Photography, clicked on it, looked at some pictures and ended up on this blog.

    I believe this was divine guidance.

    What a beautiful piece! I have no idea who you are, or where you live, but "I Love You, With My Voice" reached out to me.

    You see, I work with people with severe handicaps. The organization I work for, develops software and equipment to people who cannot speak, who have no voice, some who cannot move at all, or some with very minimal movement.

    Your blog touched my heart! We take our voice for granted, much like we do walking, swatting a fly away or using the restroom. These simple every day things we do without thinking.

    My husband died recently. He had an especially aggressive form of MS. He lived with it for 37yrs. The 10yrs or so, his voice was a faint whisper. Often, he had no voice at all. But he never stopped telling me that he loved me. Sometimes, I would tell him that he didn’t need to tell me all the time. I knew he loved me. But it didn’t stop him. He said he wanted them to be the last words that crossed his lips. I was not at home when he died, but I have no doubt, that "I Love You" were is last words. I heard them in my heart. He would have loved to have had a voice to say it, and I would have loved to hear it…strong and clear!

    I’m glad you used your voice to say "I Love You." Keep using it and keep telling those who are special and loved, that they are loved. Use your voice, and once in a while, think about those who cannot.

    You cannot hear me, but I am using my voice, to say THANK YOU for making my day.

    I hope dad is well.

    God bless you and your family. Merry CHRISTmas.

    Corkie Maus, Fort Smith AR

  91. m

    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Wow! Simply wonderful and powerful. Thank you for this post Jasmine.

  92. Deb Fletcher

    December 24th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    My Dad is also in hospital following an operation and will be there over Christmas. How right you are that we need to voice ‘I love you’ & not just assume that they know. You are an inspiration in more than just photography and for that I thank you x

  93. Brittany Weaver

    January 7th, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Earlier on this evening I hopped on the web to see if I could find some answers to a photo question and came across your blog for the first time. I am simply in love with it and everything you share. I find myself clicking "next page" each time I get to the bottom. You have a gift with words and with camera. This post made me cry, in a good way. Simply heartfelt. I hope your dad is well. I am so happy I stumbled on your blog. Happy New Year!