To fulfill their father’s dying wish, two little girls visit his grave on his birthday to show him their adorable outfits. Near the gravestone, they find two beautifully wrapped boxes with their names and have no idea what’s waiting for them.

Isla, 6, and Madison, 8, missed their daddy, Brian. After he went to his heavenly home, they hadn’t stolen cookies and ice cream from the kitchen at night, joined forces to bother their mother, or gone shopping. Because without Daddy Brian, those things were no fun.

“You’re spoiling those girls, Brian!” Brian’s wife, Linda, used to scold him. “Why do y’all gang up against me? I know you steal from the pantry for your little angels!”

“Well, I’ll spoil them for the rest of my life!” Brian would say with a wide grin. “They will always come first for me as long as I live! I’m sorry, honey, but you now have competition. But you know, I adore all my girls—including you,” and hug her.

That’s how Brian was. He would always balance out a situation. He was the perfect family man. But after he passed away, something changed. Isla and Madison became very quiet, and Linda, well, she was struggling to come to terms with his death too.

After all, her last memories of Brian had been nothing but terrible. He died before her very eyes, and she couldn’t help him. Stage four cancer, the doctors had told Linda. They started the treatment the right way and tried their best for Brian, but they lost the battle, and the terrible illness won.

Death cannot break the bonds built with love.
Brian’s health kept deteriorating, and one morning he didn’t wake up. Isla and Madison had slept beside him on the hospital bed the night before. He had asked Linda to leave the girls with him that night. Probably he sensed that was his last night with his little daughters.

“Time of death: 4 a.m. Tuesday…” the doctors declared that morning after Linda called, worried because Brian was not answering his cell phone. The doctors gave her an apologetic glance before they covered his once-smiling face with a white hospital sheet. Brian was gone. He wasn’t coming back, and Linda was devastated.

After Brian’s death, Linda couldn’t pull herself together, no matter how hard she tried. Her girls had been stronger than her. They had at least attended the funeral. Linda couldn’t stand to see him buried under the Earth.

“On my birthday, I want my little girls to look their prettiest, and I’m curious to see what they’ll wear. Do you promise to come to Daddy and show me your beautiful outfits, girls? You see, it’s possible that daddy won’t be with you that day, but you have to promise me you’ll look your best,” was the last thing Brian had said. It was his dying wish that his girls visit him on his birthday.

So the day before, the girls asked Linda to take them out shopping.

“Mommy,” little Isla said. “Daddy loved my red dress. He got me one for my birthday. I want a red dress.”

“You can pick for me, mom,” Madison offered. “I want it to be Dad’s favorite color.”

“I – I don’t think I have the time, girls,” Linda tried avoiding the topic. She was still grieving Brian’s loss. She was not ready for anything resembling closure.

“But we need to visit daddy!” Isla said. “He asked me to wear something beautiful on his birthday. He asked Madison too.”

Linda’s eyes welled up. She was so consumed by grief that she had forgotten Brian’s birthday.

“What did he ask you?” Linda asked, her eyes welling up with tears.

“Daddy wanted to see us in pretty dresses on his birthday. We need to visit him, mommy,” Isla said. “Hurry up! We need to go shopping!”

“When did he ask this?” asked Linda. “I – I didn’t know….” She had no idea about Brian’s dying wish.

“The night before he died, mom,” Madison revealed. “He held our hands and said he wanted to see us in nice outfits on his birthday. Mom, I think we should do this for him. I know you’re upset, but please?” She covered Linda’s ears with her hands. “I know you’re missing dad, but we need to do this for Isla. She misses daddy a lot.”

Madison was always a bright child. She understood things children her age would find hard to comprehend. And she finally convinced Linda to go shopping.

“Alright then,” Linda said. “Let’s get you, girls, the prettiest outfits, so daddy knows what he’s missing by not being with us! He will regret leaving us like this!” Linda said, bursting into tears and her girls hugged her to comfort her.

“Dad doesn’t want to see you sad, mom. I know….” Madison whispered, patting her mom’s back.

The next day, on Brian’s birthday, the little girls wore their new outfits and held hands together as they walked to Brian’s grave. Linda was walking behind them.

Once they were in front of Brian’s gravestone, the little girls noticed two beautifully wrapped boxes with their names on them, and a small sticker on top said it was from Brian.

“Mommy!” Isla turned to Linda and said, “Look, daddy sent us gifts! He is silly! He doesn’t know we should give him gifts on his birthday,” and chuckled.

Madison gave Linda a glance that said she knew Brian couldn’t have sent them that. Dead people don’t send you gifts.

“Well, maybe he was missing his daughters. Go ahead and open the box, girls,” Linda said with an encouraging smile.

As the two girls unwrapped the boxes, Linda had to hide her tears. Isla was grinning with delight while Madison was crying for the first time since Brian’s death.

There was a lovely pair of Mary Janes and a letter from Brian in each box.

“Shoes!” chirped Isla. “They are so pretty, mommy! My favorite color…pink!”

The letter said:

“My prettiest girls,

Some angels here in heaven are surprised to see how girls can be so pretty! They say you are the most beautiful girls God ever created. Daddy can see how beautiful you look in your outfits. But I wanted to make my girls look even prettier, so I bought these shoes for you. I hope you like them.

You see, daddy is not around you, but he is always there in your heart. I know that my girls no longer eat cookies and ice creams. Don’t tell mommy, but I know she’s restocked the pantry with huge cookie boxes. I saw her doing that. Next time you visit me, I want to hear stories about how you stole them successfully behind mommy’s back. Just because daddy isn’t there does not mean we won’t trouble mommy! I want you girls to be happy and smile every day. You don’t always have to be good. I’m sure even mommy doesn’t like that.

And thank you for visiting me and wishing me a happy birthday, girls. Daddy loves you and misses you.

Sending lots of love to my lovely girls,

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