A Daughter's Note
On April 27, 2010, I felt every emotion all at once. I was angry at the Universe for deciding it was my father’s time to leave this Earth. I was confused as to why it had to be our picture-perfect family that was being torn apart. I was devastated at the realization my dad would no longer be on the sideline of my basketball games yelling for me to “Finish strong!” At 13 years old, I was experiencing emotions and feelings many 30 year olds had the luxury to not yet feel.
Eight years later, I still feel many of those things, although they come in waves now instead of all at once. I am still worried, that I am not becoming the person my dad hoped and dreamed I would be. I am still scared, for the day my kids ask about the grandfather they’ll never get to meet (although I’m hoping there’s quite a bit of time before that conversation). I am still wishing that April 27, 2010 was just a horrible nightmare I haven’t yet woken up from.
But since the day my dad was diagnosed with melanoma in 2007, between the brief waves of remission, the loss of my best friend, and the 8 years of missing him daily since then, there is one emotion I have yet to
Upon my dad’s initial diagnosis, our family was showered with support, hope, and more love than I’m able to comprehend, even to this day. Our porch was constantly adorned with lasagnas and casseroles, carrying a silent message of solitude in each bite. Our home was constantly filled with laugher, even when there was absolutely no reason to be smiling. Our lives were filled with the promise of a better tomorrow, but no definition of what that might actually mean.
Since Big Orange was founded shortly after my dad passed away, we have stood in bright orange solidarity, year after year, hoping to bring a happier ending to those on the same journey my family started in 2007 and are still on today. But don’t be fooled by our founding date, this group of people has been bringing love to our family since the first dermatologist appointment.
It amazes me how much Big Orange has grown in such a short period of time. Our family has forever been touched by each person who has made Big Orange possible or supported our mission along the way. Moreover, Big Orange has provided us with a platform to make sure that any family experiencing the tsunami of emotions that come with a melanoma diagnosis or death can eliminate at least one of those feelings—the feeling of being alone in such a scary time.
To my Big Orange family and everyone who has supported us along the way, you are the reason I feel confident enough to take on the world. Whether it be a 10 minute drive down the road, or a 13 hour flight away, your love for my father & my family shines brighter than you'll ever know.