Loving Father Garth Callaghan

Can Something Ordinary Become Extraordinary?

How A Father Turned An Ordinary Object Into An Extraorindary Act Of Love

I recently read a very touching article about a Dad that wrote 826 napkin notes to his daughter after learning he had only an 8% chance to live longer than 5 years. He has always written notes on a napkin for her school lunches, and wanted to make sure that after he was gone, the tradition continued, and she still felt his presence with her every day. Some of the notes including things like a quote from Star Wars’ Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Also included were his own words of wisdom, like “Everything in moderation.  Except Awesome, you can never have too much Awesome”.  He wrote things that would get her through good days and bad, and remind her of him and his relationship with her, his personality, and his love. He made a promise to himself, and secretly to her, that she’d know her father loved and cared for her for many, many years to come.  Through something as simple as sitting down and writing on a napkin, he will touch her life forever, as well as the lives of those of us that hear his story.

Being Remembered Can Last A Lifetime

His story struck me in particular because my own mom used to write a little note on a napkin or post-it note saying encouraging things to help me through my day.  Even throughout high school she would send words of wisdom along with my sandwich every day.  Her notes often got me through tremendously tough days, especially in my high school years, when only a note from someone who loves you unconditionally can brighten the darkest of days. Whether it was dealing with mean girls, a bad grade, or just the trials and tribulations of being a kid in a dog-eat-dog world, her little notes made a big impact on making it through. Even when I was in college, she would send “care packages” with a letter or note in it that made me feel like I was right back in the comfort of home, talking to her over the dinner table instead of eating cold pizza in a cramped room while studying for exams.  Often, it’s those small things in life that touch us the most. A kind word, a hug, or a familiar smile from the crowd. Those things are what get us through the tough, and uncertain times in life.  I don’t remember what I got for my 12th birthday, but I do remember my parents’ encouraging words, and the smell of cookies baking when I came home from school, or the valentine’s day cards carefully placed on each of our plates when we gathered around the dinner table.  And of course, the notes I got in my lunch every day.  The phrase, “It’s the thought that counts.” is very, very true. Without knowing that our loved ones think about and care for us, it would be a very cold, cruel world indeed.

Especially For Kids

Kids look to their parents for not only the basic necessities of life, but also guidance in an unknown, and often scary world.  They need and crave the love and wisdom of their parents, even when they don’t know it or don’t show it.  Whether or not they have that parental guidance, and evidence of love can often make or break a kid. To have proof of a parents love on something so simple, yet so tangible as a little napkin, can mean a world of difference to a child or teen. I think even as adults, we still look to our parents for love, guidance, and reassurance that the world is big, but doesn’t have to be scary.  Stories abound of elderly parents giving advice to their grown children on their death bed.  We need to hear the stories of the past, and learn from them; we need to hear that the future is going to be okay, and that those people that we love so much will be with us forever.  Nobody wants to lose someone they love, but we are human, and as such, we live our lives as best we can, and leave what legacy and wisdom we can for the next generation.

A Note Is Not Just a Note

The Dad in that article wrote napkins for his daughter, leaving her a piece of himself to be treasured forever. Likely she will pass on the story of his love and thoughtfulness to her kids, and they to their kids. She may keep each and every napkin as a memento of her father’s love for her, and pass them down. If I were her, I’d even keep track of how each and every note helped her through her life, and what kind of impact it made on her to hear her father’s voice from beyond, guiding her and reminding her of his love for her. Keeping treasures such as those napkins from a loved one is so important.  Memories fade, stories get forgotten, and images of a time past slowly blur with time.

We need to find ways to keep those memories, stories, and feelings of the past alive.  We need to have the ability to show our grandkids how our lives were spent on this earth, and how we touched others, and others touched us.  They say there are six degrees of separation between each person….wouldn’t it be wonderful to bridge that gap, and look back on the yesteryears in detail, seeing what we see, what we feel, what we experience, and what means the most to us. Remembering how the notes from my mom impacted me like they did, I continued the tradition of leaving notes in my son’s lunch box, as is my brother for his kids…just like our mom used to do.  To this day, my mom even leaves notes on the pillows of my niece and nephew when she’s there and they are not home yet.  It’s a small, simple thing to do for your children or grandchildren.  To send a tiny taste of your love to your children each day.  The father in the article I read understands that something so simple can mean so much, and we should all be so lucky as to have such a note in our lunch box.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field