Love. The bond that laces hearts together.
Is it confined to time and space, the here and now? Or does it reach beyond the confines of human comprehension, limitless in its ability to touch another?
Love, like life, can be hard to explain.
"We had a connection from the start," 23-year-old Bailey Jasper of Moses Lake, Wash., said as she reminisced about her dad. "I was always daddy's little girl. He called me his princess or twerp, depending on if he was being funny."
Their sweet father-daughter tie began the moment Bailey was born. Nearly strangled by the umbilical cord and her mother fighting for life in surgery, the new dad found himself fully caring for the fragile infant.
"My mom was so weak that she couldn't hold me," Bailey said, retelling the story of how it took months for her mom, Kim, to get back on her feet. "My daddy dressed me with my 'onesies' off one shoulder or backwards. I ended up in the funniest outfits!"
Calloused hard-working hands may not have been nimble with tiny snaps and buttons, but her father, Jan, skillfully adapted to caring for his newborn, her older sister and a wife whose health struggled.
Over time, life smoothed and those same hands were there to guide Bailey as she grew up.
"He didn't have that little boy, but I was both," said the Washington State University business student with a smile, recalling how her dad taught her how to fish, hunt, and operate construction equipment. "I could be wearing pink, but I was on that backhoe."
It was dad who trained her to drive a four-wheeler when she was little more than 3 years old. And it was dad who had his hand nearby when the teenager learned the "ins and outs" of road skills.