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Here is the photograph and my story.
One knows, as a father, that there are days when you really do feel adequate. You take your daughter to the early morning tidal pool. She pokes a thin cypress branch into sea anemones. You put your arm around your wife and smile. Life seems perfect. All the way home you sing ’99 Bottles of Rum on the Wall’.
Hours later you’re on your fishing skiff. You’re circling just beyond what would have been the tidal pool that had brought such joy that morning. It’s high tide. You reach for your cell phone. Thank god there’s a signal.
“Hello?” you hear your frenzied wife answer.
“Hi, Sweetie. I’m here now. Near the tidal pool. Can you ask Emiline where she last remembers seeing her dolly?”
“Ohhhh! Ask her yourself!” your sweet wife replies.
You hear the phone switching hands. “Daddy?”
“Emiline! Hey! Can you tell Daddy where you last remember seeing your dolly?”
“On the beach, Daddy.” You hear Emiline sniffling.
“Don’t worry! Daddy’s gonna find her for you!” You gaze upon the endless beach.