Dying Dad Writes 800 Notes to Daughter So She Can Read 1 Every Day for Years

Garth Callaghan isn't sure how much longer he has left to live. The 44-year-old dad has battled both kidney cancer and now prostate cancer and has been told by doctors that there's a good chance he may not survive past five years. But Garth is making every second count by doing something utterly beautiful to remind his 14-year-old daughter Emma of the incredible love he has for her: each day he leaves her napkin notes with famous inspirational phrases or original heartfelt messages. His amazingly thoughtful act isn't a new one -- dad began leaving Emma notes in her lunchbox when she was just in kindergarten. But now that he knows the time he gets to spend with his family may be limited, he has a goal: to write 826 napkin notes so that Emma would receive one note per day until the day she graduates high school. 


Emma says she feels her connection with her dad is even stronger thanks to his notes and that they help her bond with him during the school year, when their schedules can become hectic. Garth is just 40 notes shy of reaching his goal, but has chosen to store them all in a cabinet in the family's house, just in case. In the meantime, he continues to pen one new napkin note to her each day. 

Amazing, right? Maybe you're thinking what I am: I would love to do something like this for my child, but what could I possibly have to say each day? That's quite a lot of pressure to be wonderful and wise! But Garth's notes, some of which he shares on his website, The Napkin Notes Dad, are often short and sweet and state the sort of sentiments you would express to your kids on any normal day. His notes range from "Do more of what makes you awesome" to "Joy is portable. Bring it with you" to "I'm thinking of you today. Love, Dad."

What a fantastic idea and a simple way to stay connected with our children as they grow up. Naturally, the messages Garth left for Emma when she was a tyke were very different from the ones he leaves now and sometimes consisted of little else but a cute picture he drew. But this is one case where the thoughtfulness behind the action far outweighs what is actually written on the napkin. This teen will grow up knowing she was an inspiration to her father -- can you give your child a better gift? With hope, Garth will beat his illness and those 826 notes will stay safe in his cabinet.

Do you write notes to your teen or child? What would you write if you did?


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