The Day I Got a New Dad

Dear Emily,

Well, this sucks.

IMG_0012 What can he even still do now? Do his arms still work? Can he walk? Is our family ever going to be normal again?

Reality check: No family is normal. And guess what, Em? Everything is going to be OK. Scratch that – better than OK.

Fast-forward almost 10 years. There have been dozens of surgeries and procedures and diagnoses of severe nerve damage, chronic pain, torn muscles and even dead bone. Despite all of this, having a dad with a disability might have been the best thing to happen to your family.

With disability comes finding abilities. Your dad can still do a lot. It may not be the same things as before, like shooting hoops or going bowling with the family, but it’s things like savoring a delicious meal or sitting on a bench in Disney World to people watch.

You will begin to find joy in the little things he can do or even in the little things you can do to help him. You will cherish the moments when you help him put on his coat or take him to an appointment because it’s no longer about his disability; it’s about loving him for who he is and all that he is.

You may have gotten a new dad all of those years ago, but you won’t want to change him for the world because you’ll slowly start to find out that he’s perfect just the way he is.


For all of January, The Mighty is asking its readers this question: If you could go back to the day you (or a loved one) got a diagnosis, what would you tell yourself? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

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