Garth Callaghan will probably not live to see his daughter, Emma, graduate high school. So he's planning ahead, to make sure that she will have a little note from him in her lunch every day till then.
The 44-year-old father has been diagnosed with cancer three times since November 2011 (first prostate cancer, then kidney cancer twice). By all means, he appears healthy—but there is a 90 percent chance he will pass within the next five years.
Or, as he says his oncologist put it, "You are going to die of this."
Garth has been writing notes for Emma's lunch every day since she was in second grade, little messages to tell her how much he loves her, an inspirational quote or short little pick-me-up.
One such napkin note reads:
Dear Emma, Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look in to your eyes and realize I've already created one. Love, Dad
And now he will write notes on 826 napkins—or four and a half years worth to "[make] sure that Emma will receive a note in each lunch between now and high school graduation in the event that I won't be able to."
Garth is hoping to inspire other parents too, with his "story of creating a daily connection with your child." He explained to Buzzfeed, "I just want parents to be able to take that extra step in the morning and realize how much impact this action has."
Garth has written 740 notes so far. 86 to go.