"Today is my daughter Rebecca's thirtieth birthday. Being the only girl child I have fathered, our relationship is and has always remained close.
Dear Rebecca, I wish you a very happy birthday. Were I the wealthiest man in the world and I could but give you one thing when I die and am no longer here to listen to you, love and protect you, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes as I have always seen you. Only then would you realise how special you are to me.
Ever since your days of infancy between the ages of 1-2 years, when your asthmatic condition necessitated me and your mother rushing you to hospital in the middle of the night at least four or five times a year; ever since then, you have made me a lifelong hostage to your needs. And yet, your unconditional love is a price worthy of the highest payment.
I recall with fond memory when you and your brother William were young. Whenever he strayed, I became stoney faced as I berated and chastised him for his misdemeanours; whereas you committing the same wrong as your brother would receive a much different response. Whatever William's protests were and however just, he was expected to take his punishment like a man, but you..............all you had to do was smile lovingly in my direction and softly say, 'But Daddy.....' and my resolve would melt like hot butter in a frying pan!
When you were at school, you were always in the top form and there was a time when I thought that you would be the writer in the family. I wasn't at all surprised when you grew up into a beautiful woman, but I must admit that part of me was crushed to have lost my little girl. Whereas my sons remained my sons until they took a wife, whether you be married or single, you shall always remain my only daughter.
My mother used to tell me when I was young that a dad is a son's first hero and his daughter's first love. As your dad, I can honestly say that there is quite no relationship that is like that between a loving father and his only daughter. My love for your mother was fuelled by desire and for your brothers, ambition, but my love for you was always swayed by my need to protect you from all harm and to show you the respect that every woman deserves to receive from every man in her life.
As fate has decreed, it does not look like I will ever get the opportunity to one day walk you down the aisle as every dad would ideally want to do with his loving daughter, but if that day ever comes when you marry a man you love; know that I walk beside you until the end of your days and that I will always watch over wherever you are and whatever you do............so put back that second biscuit in the tin before I slap your hand.......ever so gently. Happy Birthday Becky. Lots of love Dad xxxxxxx" William Forde: February 6th, 2014.