A Father's Journey

A Father’s Journey – Part 4. Open Hearts

* Friends and strangers, far and wide have opened their hearts beyond my wildest imagination.

*Stephen Pecevich, a single dad of three in the Boston area, had his life take a complete detour when his youngest child was diagnosed with cancer before she she was even 60 days old.  Follow the story of how this devoted father found faith and strength on what Stephen calls “a life detour”, as we publish regular excerpts from Stephen’s own memoir, which will be available in its entirety in the near future.

January 25th

Dear Sydni,

*I awoke in such an upbeat mood this morning. You smiled upon me in my dreams last night. Your beam assured so that it strengthened my resolve as I greeted the present day.

So many signs welcomed in my day:

A Father's Journey - Sydni in HospitalFirst, as I scurried about in preparation for our hospital visit, Tari asked “Are we going to see my best friend Sydni today”? Then, my breath was taken away as I read the scores of compelling words and prayers within my inbox of messages.

Two entries struck me: Psalm 56:2-3 says “O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you”. And the other, as paraphrased from a friend’s email: “In these times we now live in where everything is measured by material things, God has no choice but to send messengers to carry and spread the word of the Lord! Your baby girl is one of a chosen few handpicked by our maker to open and awaken the spirit that lies dormant within most of us.”

Sydni, friends and strangers, far and wide have opened their hearts beyond my wildest imagination. I am enlivened on this day by humanity’s gentle, compassionate, spirit.

Know that I am right now smiling from sunrise to sunset.”

My arrival at the hospital could not have started out any better. Before I got within ten feet of you, I was told that you’ll be moving out of ICU today.

Having already stepped through the occasional “one-step-forward-four-steps-back” quagmire during the various stages of your recovery thus far, everyday I am inclined to block out what “may” happen in favor of what “is” happening.

So by that logic, this was wonderful news. I was overjoyed to learn of your definitive upbeat progress. And then at long last it happened…I held you in my arms for the first time since you were admitted on January 14th.

A Father's Journey - Sydni and Steven

I have no words to describe my present emotions – only the heartfelt tears of a father’s dedicated love (tears which fall even as I type).

As I touched your foot, I noticed that your reflex was somewhat negligible. This was confirmed when I overhead the nurse affirming that they, too, were concerned about the lack of responsiveness in your lower extremities.

One step at a time, my sweet. One step at a time. You are having a good day, so I shall let nothing bring me down. Go at your own pace. By the way, you looked adorable in your new outfit!

Earlier in the day, Oncology reported that they are currently emailing doctors from around the globe in an effort to gain a better understanding on the subject of your rare malignant tumor.

Fortunately, although dwindling with each passing day, time is still on our side at this early juncture. Oncology conveyed a key concern representing that you must be able to handle chemotherapy – thus your recovery is the team’s primary focus at the moment.

Along with your mother, we are to meet with the Oncology and Neurology team on Friday for a follow up brainstorming session. Rest comfortably. I will be fully prepared to examine and quiz their knowledge and understanding with a battery of across-the-board questions (well, I hope I will).

As I left your side today, I kissed your head while swabbing both your eyes and scalp with the Lourdes holy water. I do believe in miracles and the power of prayer. I do. Stay one step ahead, my angel. Fear not … for God’s gentle hand is always by your side.

On Angels’ Wings Sydni – On Angels’ Wings!

I love you!



Stephen Pecevich is a former
financial services professional,
loving father of three,
songwriter, and poet.


See the full story of A Father’s Journey here

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