“daddy’s have daughters”!


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I learned the phrase “daddy’s have daughters” from my father a long time ago! The lesson was so abrupt and firm there will never be a day that I forget it!

I was in high school at the time-and had just returned from after school goofing around. My father was sitting next to the sliding glass door in his easy chair (what we called a recliner then) and I came through the door…”Hello Daddy” was my greeting! It was an error I would never do again.

My father went into a moment of anger when I said that! He ran me up to my bedroom and faced me towards my full length mirror and had me recite “Daddy’s have daughters” over and over until I realized that was so! I never realized then what he meant-I figured out later why he was acting so.

My sister Jo Eileen had passed away some years before-she was age 11…it connected with me later in life what he was saying to me-and why! I live in the south-in Florida,where even grown men talk about their ‘daddy’s’. I hear it so often it never misses to ring back to “Daddy’s have daughters”

I was going to title this post “dieing with daughters”…and kind of joke that it rang rhymes with ‘Dialing for Dollars’ to attempt to make some humor….but it wasn’t going to work with both sounding off in my head at the same time.

Well…sure Jay…this is mixed up!

Well…yes…is this not a crazy mixed up world?

Well…can anyone tell me how to explain this?

I have no idea how to start myself-I had always thought that my life was some sort of complicated mucky muck…I must have been on track with that notion! This is so confusing that I am trying a transcendental look at myself from the sidelines-seeing if I can put some of this together….no,still dazed and confused!

In spirit , I have a daughter! In life-I have a daughter! I have known about her since the day 28 years ago when her mother came to me and told me…”we are pregnant!”  Hmm,her idea to convince her husband that he was the father seemed a good idea at the time. That is…until she was killed in an automobile accident-and by that time the “father” had declined in life to become an aluminum can collector to support his alcoholic lifestyle,which by this point had made him homeless,dirty and what some may call a bum!

I tried to find out anything I could about Brandi,but my community of friends back in 1990 could offer me nothing except limited clues. I mostly wanted to know she was safe-and not in a foster care,or worse. I learned enough that she was with a grandmother. Nothing more!


A few years ago I began to mis-trust the Veterans Administration Hospital where my medical treatment (or…??) had been under their care. My post-traumatic stress disability had suffered from the blow of losing the only real caretaker I ever had-my MST therapist…sending me into limbo as far as my medical care was concerned-I refused to be seen at the VA ever again. An acquaintance had helped me set up a doctor at a United Way clinic. That doctor told me I was in the final stages of liver disease….this diagnosis was two years ago-but his suggestion then was to get my ‘life in order’ (why would it be phrased that way if I am going to die?). I did as he suggested-enlisting the confidence of a friend who is also a funeral director! We have a plan…funeral homes call it the ‘pre-plan’!

I have not died yet! But….dang do I feel like it just about every morning! My gut rages with pain-deep  long pain,and along to assure I feel like shit-nausea so bad that I feel every part of my innards is planning to come right through my mouth….in other words-I feel like I am going to puke almost every standing moment. I just want to die!


     I have only had these past two-or is it three,weeks of being around Brandi. Those visits short-just afternoons and sporadic because of her schedule. We drove over to Orange Hill Cemetery last week-end to visit the grave of her fiance,the young man died from injuries received in an auto accident. She and I sat on the bench and I listened with joy about her telling me how they became engaged-joy being that finally I was hearing a voice I longed for so many years to hear-it did not matter what the topic was,I just wanted that connection!

I have to take short breaks…the condition I described earlier comes and goes-but when it comes it just stops me,the pain and nausea-it lasts and last.

Yesterday I asked Brandi if we could get away for dinner somewhere. I wanted to spend more time alone with her…and also worry about her having a proper diet. We went out to the truck stop-being we live in such a rural place…the truck stop is about as high a caliber restaurant you will find.

Beginning our ride she explained that she suffered from migraine headaches-my mother once suffered the same…Brandi explained she had brought along some plastic bags-in case she needed to vomit,the headaches caused that. The restaurant was crowded-she also explained that crowds caused her stress…crowds cause me stress. She explained she suffers from anxiety….I understand anxiety! She said it would be great if we could just get dinner to go….perfect idea-we forgot that it was a holiday weekend-there was folks from everywhere coming in the restaurant,we were glad to be leaving!

We got about halfway home (nothing is close by here-truck stop and home is a 20 some mile ride) and Brandi needed to stop….I never saw anyone throw up like she did.


I don’t know what the answers are. On my gravestone…yes,I have a plot and a stone-all ready for use,and on it is engraved the verse from Isaiah about the weak who wait upon the Lord will mount up with wings as eagles-the verse about God,and that we as men have no understanding what it is God is thinking.  As Brandi was vomiting I was thinking about this…why? Why is it? What is this? Why are we just finding each other now-why was this amazing love that has finally come to the point we have spoken…why was this now? What is it God?

I asked Brandi if something was wrong (duh…yes Jay,this girl is throwing up all her guts-something has to be wrong) and she asked if I meant if she was pregnant (she said no,she is not pregnant)-I meant more than that…wondering why that she had known now for several years that my thoughts had always been she was my daughter and I was Daddy! Why now was it that she wanted to know…was she sick too? Are we sick the same? Indeed-our talks also found we both suffer nausea-and great pain in our guts,but….our DNA does not match-so? What is this?

I asked her if she was sick….she responded with that she did not think so,but-that she had no medical care,and had no real idea .

So….so,we live in this crazy mixed up world! Daddy’s have daughters! I have a daughter! I love her…her name is Brandi-she is a beautiful sweet creature! I sure am as crazy as this world to figure all of this out…there is no searching His understanding (Gods) and by howdy if He ain’t proved this point one more time (in my life) by saying “Here’s another mystery-lad”!  Isn’t it funny how the word mystery is so close to being…my story??


3 Responses to ““daddy’s have daughters”!”

  1. deborah Says:

    Hi Jay,
    Checking in with you. Would you please check your emails from me.

  2. Dale Says:

    Your statement, “but….our DNA does not match-so? What is this?” is confusing in light of your blog. Did you have a Paternity Test for Brandi? Are you saying you are not her bio daddy? Does she look like you? Did you adopt her?

    • jayherron Says:

      Yes-after years of wanting to know,and her finally coming to me ask about the many times she had heard I was her father-we had a paternity test done (a cheaper online ordered test) and it came back negative. I suggested we have the University of Florida test us…but Brandi said “you know what…you are the best daddy I could find-and let’s just be father and daughter with out the worry of the DNA”!   She knows I loved her since nearly day one! And we have formed a bond-so…yes,with out legal adoption-we have no problems being family! Order of the day-for everyday…this is my daughter-I am her father!

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