For half of her fourth year of life she found herself unable to lay on her dad's arms as she fell asleep at night, ride on his shoulders or play on the floor with him as he lay in bed paralyzed due to the chemo.
And two weeks before she turned five years old this little girl had to say goodbye to her dad as he passed away.
He would get up in the middle of the night with her when she was a baby. He would feed her, change her and fall asleep with her on the rocking chair.
And as she grew and became more active this little girl was always by her dad's side.
There was a time when cancer didn't dominate our home. There was a time when Mel wasn't getting chemotherapy and wasn't hospitalized and wasn't dealing with the effects of the toxic drugs that were poured into his body.
And during those times this little girl was his world.
Even when he was undergoing chemotherapy and the pictures we took consisted of him without any hair, or hooked up to chemotherapy or laying in a hospital bed, it is so evident the love he had for his little girl.
It hurts to see the pain she is in.
And I know she will be okay. I know she will grow into an amazing lady. I know she is going to do great things.
But at five years old she has experienced a pain that most do not.
She is full of smiles and her eyes shine so much life
But as she falls asleep at night she whispers "I miss you daddy."
She sleeps on a pillow of his and covers herself with a blanket the funeral home gave to us that has a picture of him on it.
She says things like....
"I wish daddy was here."
"For my birthday I am going to wish for wishes to come true and wish for daddy to come back."
"If daddy was here..."
"I want a dad..."
"Maybe daddy is just hiding..."
She cries tears that come straight from the heart.
They are loud. They are deep. And they reflect the absolute hurt she has that her daddy is no longer living.
He won't be there to take out her first tooth.
He won't be there when she becomes a teenager.
He won't be there when she gets college acceptance letters.
He won't be there when she gets married.
And he won't be there every single day in between.
And she is going to hurt. She is going to continue to mourn the loss of her dad as she grows older.
But this little girl has a heavenly Father who loves her. The Bible says He is the father to the fatherless.
He created her.
He knows her name.
He has a plan for her life.
She won't be destroyed by this pain in her life.
She has a purpose.