Danica’s Daddy

For those of you who follow my friend, Monica’s, blog about Danica, this will be familiar, but y’all, I HAD to post this. It’s a guest post from Danica’s daddy, and it is the heart of true suffering. It is a picture of what their family is going through. It is raw, and it is real, and it is brave, so very brave of him.

When I ask for prayers, it is more than just asking for a little girl who needs surgery. It is a family broken, disheveled, bruised, beaten by life. It is family drowning in bills they cannot–literally cannot–pay. It is a family whose insurance company is denying claims on pointless formalities. It is a family who has no time to breathe before the next wave hits. It is a family in despair and struggle. It is a family who is barely surviving, but longing to thrive.

But they are a family who are fighting together, clinging together, working together, loving together and believing together.

God is not absent in this. That I know. But I also know it feels very much like He is.

Please, oh please, will you keep praying for these dear ones?

It’s 11:30 at night as I start typing, and I just got home from the 3-11 shift after a grueling trip to Cleveland to see Danica’s surgeon. Danica is sleeping in my spot tonight after complaining of sore legs and a sore shoulder. Mom will watch over her throughout the night as both are still awake.

This blog is about Danica, for sure, as she has many challenges ahead but this family is also struggling.

Monica and I recently attended an art festival in the city and one of our favorite sayings printed on a card read something like “No one wants to hear about all the bad things in your life so just keep smiling.” I recently revealed to a dear friend the reason I never call or email anyone is that no one really wants to hear about all the bad stuff. Read Facebook and you see “I like this,” “I’m a fan of this,” “We’re going on a vacation here,” “Here’s a funny picture of so and so.” Read my wife’s FB posts and you’ll see someone filled with pain and stressed beyond imagination, never sleeping more than two hours a night. The only thing keeping her sane is the constant vigil of protecting her daughter and the endless planning of the next surgery for Danica. She has been at her breaking point for quite some time now. I do believe she has good support via family and friends and God which could be keeping her moving forward. I honestly don’t understand how she keeps going day after day.

Delaney, who’s most difficult physical struggle was 13 stitches for a very deep cut to her forehead when she was 2, is feeling the struggle now at age 7. My guess is deep down she is concerned for her little sister although not fully understanding what is happening. She has expressed a desire for this family to be “normal” and to have fun more. I have become use to having her spend time with relatives when times get tough and she is probably getting use to being away often. Soon we will ship her off to West Virginia for a week or so during Danica’s surgery. I would say the best time of my day is during our drive to school when we talk about the good stuff in life. It’s just a 20 minute drive.

I’m mostly a zombie these days. I’ll admit profanity often fills my mind during the day and dreams of hitting the lottery fill my nights so my wife could quit her job and care for Danica full time and not have to deal with the financial burden all this brings. I have had the exact same dream every night for the past 4 years, at least. I avoid thinking of our situation by constantly staying busy cleaning, laundry, yard work, playing with Danica, working out. I’ve heard that it could be a “Snyder gift.” I don’t feel anything anymore except extreme anguish. An old friend of mine recently ended his life, and I feel strangely relieved for him. I do not have the capability to sit and think, at length, about what we are going to face with Danica. It feels like all the operations we discuss are going to happen to me as well. [At this moment Danica is crying in Mommy’s bed about how bad she hurts] I do not want to be here right now. My mom kept a journal during parts of her life but failed to say or write anything to us before she died when I was young. I find that interesting.

Delaney has learned to be a survivor already. Independent. Opinionated. Thoughtful. Danica is our little miracle child and is already a survivor. Monica will survive because her two daughters cannot be without here, believe me. She also has a curious strength found in her faith.

Zombie’s don’t really survive or die. They just exist, don’t they?

5 responses to “Danica’s Daddy”

  1. Note – I’m not the Jaye that Angie knows. 🙂

    Delaney and Danica’s Daddy – your post hurts. It was hard to read. And it reminds me that I have often felt that we are all so alone in this dark, dark place we call LIFE. Like Job’s friends, there is nothing that we can say that will take another’s pain away and so very often, what we try to do ends up making that pain so much worse. Each of us has to try to find within ourselves the answer that will enable us to do the next thing, even if we don’t feel that we are accomplishing anything besides existing. But truly those who are only existing are those who turn away, who cannot bear to hear the anguish. I feel as if I have peeked in to your life without permission, you whom I do not know. Yet my tears are for you and yours for whether I know you or not, we are kin. We are to bear the burdens of one another, to encourage one another, even if we can do nothing but listen. And then having heard, we can, we must cry out to our Lord on your behalf. I promise that I will.


  2. Wow. My heart is breaking and I am still praying for this family.

    Thank-you for sharing their story.


  3. Thank you for sharing this post, Angie. Praying for this family!


  4. Thank you Angie for these recent posts of Danica and her family. I wear a green bracelet for Coleson, a 7 yr. old, and a blue one for Cash an almost 2 yr. old, who each suffer and are in treatment for rare childhood cancers. Each time I remember them and pray for them I pray for Danica as well. Such beautiful, innocent, precious little children!!! Lord have mercy! And, give strength and hope to all of those who love them and need them in their lives….. Blessings on you Angie and your family as well. Hoping to get to see you while in VA in June/July =)


  5. I’m just so sorry. Prayers for all of you, your pain and anguish and that you would have peace. Somehow, peace.


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