Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Have To, I Am Her Dad!

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I've heard Myrtle gets a lot of mentions on this blog, on my Facebook, in my conversations and in the comic book series I write with her as the heroin fighting crime by softening hardened criminals with her electric smile. I didn't know I was Myrtle-fying my all my conversations so much. Granted it took me a few months to mention her name without tearing up, so maybe I do mention her a fair bit.

In my defense Myrtle is awesome.

My view on the world changed when she was born. Not so much in logistics of life, but in my very mind and soul. I remember my Aunt Robin asking me soon after Myrtle's birth how my life had changed, my reply was "I didn't know how self absorbed I was before."

Today is Myrtle's birthday and at radiation one of the tech's, Julia, had a gift for Myrtle, a small stuffie pig in a ballerina outfit. Myrtle loved it and carried it around as she bounced down the halls smiling at all.
I was moved by Julia's small gift, as it was hugely thoughtful.

After radiation I met with my oncologist. Our meetings are brief and it seems like he's quite happy to be out the door ASAP. Though he does fully answer any question asked. Today I asked when will I have a clean bill of health. My optimism mixed with my naiveté wasn't mentally prepared for him to nonchalantly state "maybe" and "if". What got me was him saying it might pop up years, maybe a year or two, later as multiple myeloma (that's not a good thing). Statistically radiation has about a 9% of success. All I could think was my time with Myrtle is limited.

How lucky Myrtle is to have no idea why we go to the hospital everyday. How lucky I am to have a reason other then myself to be healed.

I cried on the way to the car. I cried driving to our stroll on the boardwalk. I cried on the boardwalk. I cried as we picked up Myrtle birthday cake and cupcakes. Coming home and sitting down I cried on my trusty recliner as Myrtle and her cousin Montana were colouring in the kitchen.

Faith had wrapped up gifts we were to give her at her party and I knew she would love them. But I learned something from Toy Story 3 and that is kids grow up. Incase Myrtle ever wondered if her father loved her I started writing. I then printed it out and taped in her birthday card.

Tribute To Myrtle On Her First Birthday

Myrtle when you were born it woke me up
Was I really asleep for 32 years?

Eagerly I have lost countless hours of sleep staying up late
Hoping you’d awake from yours
Losing sleep to gain memories was an easy choice
Especially now that you sleep through the night

Many mornings still asleep I hear you are awake with Mom
You make the cutest sounds with your “words”, “Dadda" being the sweetest
I get out of bed and say “Goooooood Morning! Helloooo Myrtle!”
No matter how tired

Your smile is too bright sleep through
The thought of missing out on your “firsts” easily rolls me out of bed

Mom will sometimes plop you on my sleeping body
Waking me from silly dreams
Usually you grab my face and I see your smile
Now I get to live out the dream of being your “Dadda”

Your personality is joyful and magnetic
This has made naps and bed time hard to do
Whether it’s yours or mine
Awake with you I get to experience this world I have missed

Perhaps I had been asleep for 32 years

May you always wake me up Myrtle

My life is for Myrtle, everything I have is hers from my time to what is on my plate. I never quite understood my parents' love for me. I rolled my eyes way too long about things I didn't like hearing. I didn't get "it". Regarding helping out in this time of need, my parents emailed me offering all they had, whatever they have to help, even if it meant selling their home to help. I thought it drastic at the time, but now understand how I would do ANYTHING for Myrtle, my parents too would do ANYTHING to help me. And they would.

Myrtle it's my hope one day you read this, you come from good stock.

Something my old roommate/cousin Andrew would say was "Celebrate success, no matter how small." Sometimes it was just "Celebrate success!" with a fist pump. Like most things, Andrew was right.

As I mentioned, today is her birthday. It felt it right to go all out, to really celebrate. We went to our favorite beach, had balloons, food and gifts. Though it was cold and rainy earlier in the day the clouds parted and sun shined on the part of God's earth we stood. Us three plus thirty-seven of our friends and family came to celebrate Myrtle. She may never have more well attended birthday party. Everyone had a great time, especially the Birthday Girl.
What the fuss is all about!
Leaving the beach I cried again. I wasn't sad, just so very grateful to have had such a fantastic time celebrating life - the life of my daughter. Yes, the party was for her and it was also for her parents - with all our faults somehow we produced Myrtle!

While the I'm going through the actual radiation all I think is "Where can I can take Myrtle after this?" When I pray for my health it's that I may live long that I may raise Myrtle. When I choose to eat healthier I eat to help my body heal so I can be Myrtle's father. Etc., etc., etc..

I know I am also a friend, nephew, cousin, uncle, brother, son, and husband. Frankly, all of you don't need me the way Myrtle does, she's barely a one year old and I'm her father. One day she'll plan her own birthday parties if she wants to and she might roll her eyes while saying "Oh Dad! You just say that because you you have to, you're my dad." She'd be right, I have to, I am her dad!


  1. It is truly amazing what these little ones do for us. You do talk about Myrtle alot but you do because you are her Dad, she is a beautiful girl and you love her. When we have children, our worlds change and it is wonderful!

  2. Ruban, you are so sweet. Myrtle is very blessed to have you as her dad. Who could blame you though for talking so much about her, she really is awesome!