Mike Welker

Three months after my discharge from the Marine Corps, at 22 years old, I met my wife Megan, on December 10th, 2002. The very next day, I was drawn like a moth to a flame into dealing with a long term, terminal illness. Megan had Cystic Fibrosis, and after 8 years or declining health, she received a double lung transplant, and a new lease o life. Our daughter Shelby was born in 2007.   In early 2014, those recycled lungs, which had brought our little family three years of uncomplicated health and happiness, finally began to give out.  She died from chronic organ transplant rejection on November 19th, 2014 while I held her hand and let her go.   I'm a single father and widower at 34 years old, and no one has published a manual for it.  I don't fit the mold, because there is no mold.  I "deal with it" through morbid humor, inappropriateness, anger, and the general vulgarity of the 22 year old me, as if I never grew up, but temper it with focus on raising a tenacious, smart, and strong woman in Shelby.  I try to live as if Megan is still here with us, giving me that sarcastic stare because yet again, I don't know what the hell I'm doing.


Father's Day Gift

Letter.PNGFather’s Day 2017. For once, we had a weekend day where there was nothing to do.  We had visited with both mine and Megan’s dads on Saturday, specifically planning to have an open day wedged into the seemingly constant stream of other events that have been taking time on our weekends together.

Sarah was awake and moving well before i was (a fairly rare occurrence), and Shelby slept until 10:30 in the morning (smashing her previous record of 9:45).  We sat out on the deck, listened to music, and did nothing….glorious, breathtaking nothing.

Then Shelby presented me with a letter she wrote.

 

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Of the many titles I've held (Marine, Husband, Engineer, Brother, Son, Uncle), the one I am most proud of is "Father"
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