"To my Gabbi!
I vividly remember holding you in bed on my last night at the hotel in Lincoln-Nebraska, dropping you off at the dorm.
I snuggled you tight, and I said, “The Doans do not quit!” and “I will always be there for you and you can do this...and you will draw from this experience for the rest of your life.”
And here you are. You have done beyond my expectations. You graduated in 4 years and with an impressive GPA. I don’t think I can find the words to express how proud I am of you.
Not that I believe a college degree allows us to change the world, but I believe the entire process will help you understand more about you and the world. I’m hoping that from your college experiences, you have learned from these life lessons: the meaning of friendship, how to expand your own tolerance towards different types of people and towards different world/religious views, how to endure pain and know it will not kill you, that you are much stronger than you thought, how to love healthily in a relationship, how to discover your inner passion, and just learning more about yourself...it is with these lessons that you will reflect back and see these entire 4 years were irreplaceable.
The funny thing is I also learned a lot as a father during this time. I also have learned: how to truly trust your capabilities & strength when I hear your cry, how to comfort you with words and not with my arms or kisses, how to listen without any judgements or opinions, how strong I am being so far away from you, how to let go, and how strong my love is for you. It is unbreakable!
In two weeks, you are now free from the education system. You never have to ever walk in to a classroom again, but I hope you have developed a love for learning. It is this passion for learning that will take your life beyond your dreams.
I am happy that you are coming home. Hawaii Nei will affect you in a much deeper way than you imagined. This is your birth place...your PIKO...and this land will help guide you to your next destination.
Now, find your passion, and do it with all your heart. Always be kind and be nice. Continue to work on the inner YOU. Make sure whatever it is you’re doing, make this PLACE much better than it was when you first arrived.
I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART...AND I AM ONE LUCKY FATHER TO HAVE YOU AS MY DAUGHTER, GABRIELLA IKAIKALOAKEAKUA SOLEIL DOAN!