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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Father-daughter dance: Not like any other

FDC Miami   (Public Domain)
For most fathers, it’s an unmitigated joy to put on some fancy clothes and whirl around the dance floor with their daughters. 

This may occur at a wedding, a graduation party, a holiday affair, and/or many other celebrations.  It hardly ever occurs at a prison, and when it does, the fatherly experience is bittersweet.

The Miami Herald recently reported on a father-daughter dance that took place at the Federal Detention Center Miami.  The idea behind this innovative event was to remind imprisoned fathers that there is “still time to take an active role in their daughters’ lives.”

Inmate Ernest Williams had very mixed feelings about attending.  On the one hand, he longed to reunite with his three girls.  However, Williams also feared the pain that would occur from being so close to them in the moment, yet still so far from going home.

Williams finally decided to attend, due to a dream he had “while sleeping in his cell, an unclouded vision of him dancing with his three daughters.”  Afterwards, he sadly stated:  I am here instead of being outside with my family because of the choices I made.

Now some might say that inmates shouldn’t be dancing, period – let alone with their daughters.  And yet, this experience can go a long way toward keeping families together, even through the very toughest of times.


Copyright November 23, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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