My friend, Brian Korte, posted this to my FB page on June 12 as I was standing in line to get into Emma's Graduation Ceremony. I was moved to tears as I read it and thankfully Brian gave us permission to share it here.
Friends, I want you to take a sec and just imagine that several years ago, you learned that your compounding illnesses meant the odds were stacked against your very survival. Among the grief and shock, you realized that one day, you might not get to see your little girl cross that stage to get her diploma.
Imagine raising her as a bright teen, your pride and joy, and wondering what to say to her for life lessons and inspiration, all the while trying to stay optimistic as a cloud loomed over you. With no miracle pill, you followed your doctor’s orders, challenged other doctors, and gave and received strength with others in your predicament. But not many were in your exact predicament. You just wanted to see your daughter graduate.
So, you hedged your bet on your own future by writing a note to her every single day just as a reminder of your love for her and packed the note into her lunch. When times got scary, you’d make several notes, just-in-case. And when times got really scary, you took a few weeks and wrote hundreds of notes and stacked them up for distribution just in case you didn’t make it before she graduated.
Others were drawn to your promise to write a note every day. It got to the point where your daily notes were inspirational not just to your daughter but to yourself and to the tens of thousands of followers you picked up along the way.
Imagine your story of love so fully understood by the world that a book detailing your struggle was created and adored by people all over the world. In multiple languages. And then Hollywood came along and bought the movie rights! Imagine that level of love. Imagine that legacy of love. All for graduation day and the great beyond, however long it goes.
You watched over the years while defying the medical odds, as your daughter, now a brilliant young woman, applied and landed a full-ride college scholarship due to her inherent awesomeness and your hard work parenting.
And now imagine this morning...
...after all of the years of grief...
... all of the struggling...
...all of the joy and pain....
imagine this morning that high school graduation day finally came. And you got to put on a nice shirt and go watch your daughter cross that stage.
Maybe today was a day you didn’t think you’d see. Maybe deep down you hoped it’d be possible. Maybe you dreamed it but didn’t actually think it would happen. And yet today it did happen. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. There are not words to describe the pride your friends have for you. We are quite simply ALL better-off because of your quest to let her know how deeply you love your daughter.
So today beyond all days, I want to congratulate my buddy Garth Callaghan, not just for his daughter’s achievement today in graduating high school, but for making today a dream and a long-term goal and achieving it in every way possible. Despite this write-up, I can’t begin to imagine the emotions of your day today, Garth, but I hope swelling pride and beaming joy were chief among them. ❤️
You did it. You made it.
So here’s to dozens more years of love and stories and lessons at Napkin Notes. Here’s to fathers stepping up for their kids. Here’s to friendship and to leadership. And here’s to the class of 2018 on this most special day, a leaping point for bright futures and limitless possibilities!
Copyright (c) 2018 Brian Korte. Shared with permission of the author.