Did You know That I have my very own superhero? That’s right you read it right. I have my very own superhero. I call him dad. I know what most of you may be thinking, “most daughters think this about their dads why is yours so special”? I’ll tell you why. My dad has been with my mom since she was 15. My dad is the epitome of a “hardworking man.” He has been in the business of sales for over 30 years, and he has never missed a single moment of my sister and me growing up. I have had roughly 20 or so surgeries related to my type of Cerebral Palsy, and he along with my mom has been right beside me the entire time.
Every Parent-teacher meeting, every play, and assembly. He was my sister’s first catcher, her first coach, our confidant, supporter, and provider. It has been said that “a son’s first hero is his father, and a daughter’s first love is the love of her father.” That has never been truer than in the case of my father. As a family, we are no strangers to fighting. With my CP, my sister’s neurological disorder called cluster headaches and my mom who has degenative disc disease.
But this past February my dad, the man I will always see as this force to be reckoned with was diagnosed with cancer. Pardon me while I channel Sophia from the golden girls, but picture it. Me watching helplessly as every single member of my family fights beyond unfathomable challenges in their life and there is literally nothing I can do or say to make any of it go away for any of them. It’s funny you know, parents always seem to know what to say or do to make their child or children feel better, it was like they were made from pure magic… And then. We grow up, we realize how harsh and cold the world really is and we want nothing more than to have that sense of magic back.
But, this time not it’s for you but for them. For your family. Why couldn’t it be as easy and wonderful as magic? Why have pain or suffering at all? What’s the point? I have never leaned on God, and the power of prayer more than I have these last several months-That to me is the closest thing to magic that I can get (at least for right now.) I mean there is always lotto.
All joking aside though, these last few years have taught me quite a bit.
People talk about the importance like it’s a hidden clue among this puzzle known as life, and the truth is a family isn’t a clue to the game of life, but instead it is the answer and a rare destination for those that are blessed to have in their lives. One of my favorite quotes about family is, “family is love forever.” I have had many reasons to cry in my life, and those tears ranged from sorrow; to pain, fear, to joy and pride.
But I have to confess to you I have never cried or prayed harder in my life than when my family and I got the news about my dad’s diagnosis. Cancer is a surreal, and humbling journey that no man, woman, or precious baby should ever have to endure. And I hope that all illnesses will be instinct in the years to come…But until the day arrives, I will hang onto my family with every ounce of strength and fight I have on the inside. And while my dad may not wear a cape, but he does have the ultimate superpower of all the love from his girls, and our faith in God that that will help to overcome this monster.
As a family, we’re are no strangers to the fight, or staring down any monster that makes an attempt to tear our family apart.
I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has shown up for my family and I while we’ve been adjusting and facing this new battle. We are blessed to have you all in our lives, and we are forever grateful for the love and support you have shown us. They say it’s not about who shows up to see you through the storm, but who stays. And we are in awe of who has proven that to be true.
I also what to thank my boyfriend, Christopher. When I first heard the news about my dad I was understandably angry with God. Hand Chris had to talk me out of walking on the atheist side of the road. He told me that making the choice to stop believing in God altogether would change me and that I may never get the old me back if I fell far down that rabbit hole. I love him for saving me from that. Reminding me to look down into what I was willing to sacrifice. That kind of darkness is the kind you don’t return from, and if you do you’re never the true you again. That is in my opinion, the true definition of true love right there.
A lot of people say “one day at a time” when they are dealing with trials in their lives, and you know, that could not be more true for someone who is fighting cancer. And today, August 18th, 2017 we got the news that we’re are fighting a very good fight against cancer. I wouldn’t expect anything else from a family that is no strangers to fighting for what matters most. Defying the odds day in, and day out. I am so incredibly proud to be part of such a strong family.
And lastly to my dad, daddy you are my hero, and I have never been prouder to call you my father than I have in these last several months while battling the monster. You had a choice, you could have easily cursed God, and gave in to this awful disease but instead, you spent your energy reassuring us, and fighting like hell. The day before your 60th birthday you were all smiles, showing cancer it picked the wrong man to mess with while getting your second round of chemo. If that is isn’t the stance of a super hero, I don’t what it is. I
Love you, daddy, let’s throw this cancer into the nearest mosh-pit!
I wrote the following poem right after my dad’s diagnosis. It’s called, “Grin.”
I recognize the storms as my home, and the monsters that live in them-they are my haunting adversaries.
I suppose my stomach has found a home in their sea sickness, as they twist me inside out, giving my heart new breaks to live with…
I refuse to ever become home sick over your grin. I don’t think this pain you cast upon those that live in my life as funny.
We may bend, crack, splinter, while we go toe to toe with your grin, but we will never bow to you.
I recognize your storms like the back of my hand.
And I know you’ll do all you can to ingrain your sickness into the heart of our family…
We’ll burn you out with your own flames, we’re no strangers to your attempt to burn us completely down.
Rattle us from inside your rib cages, we can handle being roughed by your all too familiar to your shakedown.
Grin away. We will live through your dose of poison again, and again…
We have built our love amongst your sinister grin. A house of chairs is your house of cards. We’re all too aware…
We may have become too familiar with the chaos of your storm, but we will never live under the thumb of your grin.
Inside the well of your storm’s eye, we learn to live the weight of your ball and chain.
We will (like always) turn those chains into wings, and continue to fly to together.
Your grin may bring momentary fear, but what comes from that fear is an undeniable, unstoppable strength.
We fear your grin no more.