It’s New Year’s Eve, and so many people are gathering together to count down and celebrate the New Year. I laugh when I think about it. I laugh because I’ve been counting too. Every New Year is one step closer to your physical freedom. As I reflect back, I remember when I came to visit you earlier in the year of 2016. During the drive, I had time to think. I wondered what would happen when I see you. I wondered if you were okay. Dad, you were worried about me traveling on the road alone, but I guess that’s what dads do, they worry about their baby girls. The day I entered the fenced-in walls of the penitentiary, I remember seeing you. You told the guard that “I haven’t seen this woman in thirteen years; I don’t know what she looks like.” Thirteen years, that’s how long I’ve been counting. Thirteen years of written letters and cards. Thirteen years of phone calls and quick updates on your grandchildren. Thirteen years of not one birthday missed. You’re so far away, but when I hear your voice, it feels as though you are right around the corner. Dad, I know you have pains, and you hurt sometimes, and I can only imagine the pains of not having family around, but you never speak of it. Dad, I will always remember how a man with no physical freedom could speak life into a woman and give her mental freedom. That’s what you’ve done to me at times. So now that the thirteen years have turned into fourteen years, the scripture that comes to mind is Matthew 25:37-40. “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and clothed thee? Of when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, since ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Dad, my mind can’t help but wonder about the thirteen years of writing letters. Could it be the thirteen years of writing letters was the blueprint to Letters to our Fathers? Could this be what God said according to Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Dad, I don’t know, but I know who knows and I’m going to continue to trust him. If you were the blueprint for that, I am grateful.