Friday, June 13, 2014

She Melts My Heart With a Single Smile

Welcome to our 3rd Annual Salute to Rett Dads! Each day this week leading up to Father's Day, we will share a blog written by a father of a girl suffering from Rett Syndrome. Later in the week we will share a video slideshow of over 100 dads with their beautiful girls.

Just because these girls have Rett Syndrome does not mean they are not still "Daddy's Little Girl" .... times one million! To all the Rett Dads - thank you for your special role in raising these very special girls.

Other blogs this week:
Rockin' Out in Rettville - by Eli Callaway
Inspired by Catherine - by Gordon Christie
Superpowers - by Jeremy Springhart
My Princess, My Everyday Light - by Juan Diego Perez
Being Avery's Dad - by Bryan Beeson


Written by Phil Covington

Hey Dads (and the rest of you who are reading this)!  We didn’t ask for the gift of having a daughter with Rett Syndrome, but the gift was given anyway.  Rewind that thought, I actually know one amazing dad who chose to adopt a girl with RS despite already having a biological daughter with RS.  Some of you are new to the journey, others are well-seasoned.  I’ve been on the journey for ten years.  What a ride it has been.

Our sweet girl went through what seemed to be every medical test known to mankind before her diagnosis in 2004.   I remember thinking that I didn’t even care what the diagnosis was, I just wanted to know.  I was relieved after the diagnosis to finally know, but my wife was mourning the life that wouldn’t be the same. 

Sweet girl has two older brothers that I can identify with, but the future for my wife and daughter changed forever that day.

I’m a better man because of my daughter and my very compassionate boys will grow to be better men because of their sister.  A good bit of me being better has to do with letting go of bitter.  What, you ask, may have made me bitter?  Well-meaning statements from innocent people that I consider to be ignorant made me bitter.

Please know this…
  1. I don’t want your pity.  I just want to be another guy with a great daughter.  The great things my daughter does just happen to tie to her progressing toward walking, learning to communicate with her eye-gaze computer, and interacting with her family and friends.
  2. I don’t want to hear that you think I’m an amazing dad because I love my daughter.  Think about what you’re implying…do you think I shouldn’t love her?
  3. I’m bothered by you saying that you couldn’t do what my wife and I do to provide for our girl.  Really? You think you’d refuse to love her and provide for her needs?
  4. My daughter is eleven years old; please don’t talk to her like she’s a baby.  Her inability to speak doesn’t mean she lacks the intellect to interact with you.
  5. And even if you don’t believe in miracles or rapid medical advances, please indulge me as I hope for a cure.  Given what my daughter has faced in this life, a little hope goes a long way.

My daughter inspires me to help others, fight through life’s frustrations, and hope for a better tomorrow. 

While she’s not begging me to come to her dance recital, I love to hold her and dance about the room. 

While she’s not asking me to shoot baskets with her, I love the excitement she gets while sitting beside me on the couch watching a game.  

Most of all, I love the way she melts my heart with a single smile.  One silly grin makes all the stresses of life less significant.

I hate Rett Syndrome, but I love my sweet girl!

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