The biggest tragedy I had was the loss of my daughter from neuromuscular disease in 2000, at age 46.
Soon, I'm going to meet somebody around my own age, and she's going to be smart and beautiful, and I'm going to date her daughter.
Claire Hodgson, born Clara Mae Merritt, was the daughter of a prominent Georgia attorney who had once represented Ty Cobb. She was still a teenager when she married Frank Hodgson, a gentleman caller nearly twice her age.
My daughter, Grace, was not killed by a gun. She died suddenly at age 5 from a virulent form of strep. As I stood stunned in a church at her memorial, one of the hardest things I heard someone say was, 'I'm going to go home and hug my child a little tighter.' 'Well, good for you,' I thought. 'I'm going to go home and scream.'
In truth, I am a single mother. But I don't feel alone at all in parenting my daughter. Krishna has a whole other side of her family who loves her, too. And so Krishna is parented by me, but also by her grandmother and aunts and cousins and uncles and friends.
I was given such a great gift. It's a miracle that never stops amazing me and reminding me to give thanks, every day. Having a wife and daughter gives me a lot more purpose. I was much more selfish before, but now I think about what kind of role model I'll be. I just want to be a better man.
I can't stress how much my daughter is an inspiration to stay sober. When I come home and she opens those big blue eyes at me, it's the most amazing feeling I could ever feel.
Every now and then, I have blissful moments of thanking God for all the amazing things that are happening. When I leave the White House after just meeting Obama or when I see my face on the cover of 'Rolling Stone' or when I meet someone who tells me that their daughter is inspired by me, those are moments that are incredibly joyful.
Art is the daughter of freedom.
My daughter loves to do art stuff. As a father, I like to play with her. We break out the big pads of paper and the glitter and all the stuff. She likes to do what she likes to do. I want to do something, too. So I've just started using her same materials - a lot of crayons, a lot of sparkle, charcoal, pencils, markers and glue.
Now that I have a daughter, I've been thinking about how I'll define beauty to her. I watched a video of Kendall when she was three, and she was putting on makeup. I don't know how I feel about that. But my daughter already watches me do it. When do you let them start wearing it? I don't know yet.
When my editor sent me the first two images of Joker's daughter, I was struck by how confident she looked despite her boney appearance and horribly scarred face. So I starting thinking, how did Duela gain such confidence in a world that prizes beauty?
On the day my daughter was born, I started writing a book for her. The plan was that, over the course of her life, I'd fill it with advice on how to be a strong woman. But along the way, I got caught up in the stories of Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride, and so many others. So how do you pick the best heroes for your kids?
I think there's something about the homemade birthday cake, because my wife, on my daughter's first birthday, started the tradition where she takes a full cake and cuts the number birthday out of it.
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