“Well, we got an update from the doctor yesterday… possibly will be doing chemo and might have to have a second surgery to fix his knee because the thigh muscle is not working properly with the replacement. The tumor did test to be malignant, but they had to send it out to a specialist pathologist at the Mayo Clinic because they cannot seem to figure out what type of sarcoma it is, they are at a complete loss and calling him a medical mystery. I guess he has been the talk of everyone at UCLA for the last two weeks and they are wanting him to come meet the whole board in two weeks to try to figure out a treatment plan because they don’t know what to do because they can’t figure out what cancer he has. Please continue to pray and share, we really appreciate it!”
As the dad of an only child, reality often gets in the way of desire, desire for her to have a life of happily ever after…
I remember some 18 years ago telling my daughter that though we called her our little princess, she was in reality, not a real princess and was not afforded the benefits of such a title. She was of course, devastated with the news. It couldn’t be undone.
We as parents always want our children to be safe and we hope that their lives are easy, fruitful and prosperous…we don’t want them to suffer reality. If we’ve done our jobs though, we will have raised them, trained them, or at least lived our lives in a way that they can have a positive view of how life should be lived.
The note she sent me appears simple, an update on her husband’s doctor visit for his recent knee replacement because of a break from being hit by a car and a cancerous tumor on his bone. The note appears simple because it isn’t written from my little girl, it is written from a woman. Yes, a woman who is a wife, a mother of four children (ages ranging 9, 6, 2 and 8 months), the 2 1/2-year-old little sweetheart of a girl who has special needs in the form of hypotonia (she was a floppy baby who still has difficulties but now can walk, run, talk and sing–things the doctors weren’t sure would happen); a woman who was always “trying” but no longer asks, “Dad, what should I do?” Instead, she now let’s me know what she is doing. She’s looking up information on the internet; since the surgery wiped out their savings, she and Brian have set up a go fund it page in hopes of obtaining some financial assistance from wonderful people who can and are willing to help, while waiting for organizations to come through with whatever assistance can be provided. She is in contact with people who have knowledge, and organizations who can help in these situations. She is a woman taking care of her family.
Sometimes, young women have the help of their mother in times of trouble, but Ashleigh’s mother passed away a few years ago. So, I think that makes things a bit more difficult, overall. Yet, she prevails. I am thankful that she(they) have friends and family in Bakersfield who can and are willing to help.
And what does dear old dad get to do? Well, I get to be proud of my daughter for stepping up and becoming the woman that she has become. The woman who discovers what her family needs and what it takes to fulfill those needs; the woman who stands up, takes charge and carries out the plan of the day. I get to pray for her to have the strength and wisdom necessary to do all the things she must do and is doing. And, I get to be the listener on the phone from nearly 3,000 miles away and provide words of encouragement.
And, I’m blessed to have an outlet to express my love and admiration for my daughter, Ashleigh. An outlet to let as many people, as are willing to read my words, know that I am proud of the woman she is today.