Steven Pecevich (father) reading to baby Sydni

A Father’s Journey – Part 5. Relax Daddy, Just Follow My Lead

* Relax, Daddy. Just follow my lead. It’ll be okay. Let me show you the way.

*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,

*The moment I arrived at the hospital this morning, without delay, I noticed a teardrop sliding down the contour of your rosy right cheek. Instinctively, I wiped the droplet from your face, brushed it against my lips followed by crossways over my heart.

Right then and there, I prayed to God that He allow me to absorb your struggle and pain. When I opened my eyes, to my immediate wonder, in the place of your anguish and grief, I instead was beholden to calmness and repose. I perceived pure beauty. It was as if you were saying:

Relax, Daddy. Just follow my lead. It’ll be okay. Let me show you the way.”

Baby Sydni's hand. A Father's Journey


Today, as God as my witness, I saw the rainbow within your eyes! “The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” (John Vance Cheney)

On the whole, the present day was an impressive one, i.e., inside your world of reality. All through your head exercises with the physical therapist this afternoon, you were very accepting. Optically, even though your eyes are still fixated to the left, you did begin to intermittently glimpse toward the center (and, a few times, you even shot a glance to your right).

Sidebar note: although these momentary peeks each lasted no more than a split second or so, at the same time they were still steps forward. And that is precisely what matters the most in my book – or, at least that is what is most significant right now in our present reality.

Lastly, your neurologist was guardedly satisfied considering how you exhibited marked improvement in the movement of your lower extremities. At one point, I could have sworn you waved your arm at me as if to say “Hey Daddy, look at me!”

From the doctors’ perspective, your neurologist summed it up perfectly for the entire team when she said: “Sydni is amazing us all”.

Your cranial draining tubes were raised this afternoon in order to impede blood from flowing out of your head so readily. The pressure within your brain is tolerating this positioning (which is a major positive). It means your body is draining excess blood on its own.

Tonight, one of the tubes was clamped and hopefully will be removed shortly. The second tube may be detached as soon as tomorrow. But before that step is taken, you will be given another CT scan to ensure there is not significant cerebrospinal fluid buildup in the interior of your brain.

Steven Pecevich and his daughter SydniTomorrow brings a new day, so anything can happen but (at least for the moment) your fontanel is presently sunken which is indicative that your body is absorbing the blood. Oncology has a tentative brainstorming session scheduled for tomorrow (with radiology and the surgeons). Then I will meet with Oncology and Neurology on Friday night.

Until then, the nutritionists are working closely with you in order to build up both your caloric intake and strength. You need to bulk up for the bigger battle that lays in wait. But then again, who am I to tell you how to fight? As I wind up my innermost thoughts in the present day, I just want to say thank you.

You have shepherded my soul and enlightened the core of my inner spirit in the direction of God’s message in respect to being a better person. Your unimaginable strength has inspired me. Your extraordinary will to live has driven me. And your ‘beyond belief’ spirit has forever enriched my faith.


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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