In Loving Memory of My Dad, Papa Munchkin

Dear munchkin family, I am here to share something close to my heart. It has taken me a while to feel ready to even talk about this... but this is something that I feel deserves to be shared with the world.

My dad, Papa Munchkin, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and hummingbirds in late January this year. 

He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (brain cancer) in 2021. Despite this heartbreaking diagnosis, he showed remarkable courage and resilience through everything. When we first shared the news of his brain cancer, our community sent him over a hundred cards and surrounded him with so much love and support. It was incredible to see everyone pulling together to shower him with strength.

With that encouragement, my dad strove to live with this cancer for over 2 years. No matter how tiring or challenging the treatments were, at his core, he never lost who he was and remained his gentle, loving self.

As an individual, my dad loved the simple pleasures in life. One of his favourite pastimes was taking leisurely afternoon walks with us to McDonalds to sip on coffee and enjoy fries. He also had a fond love of photography - especially of birds. We would often find him wandering off trying to snap a photo of some bird he discovered, and he would get so excited just like a child whenever he saw bigger flocks flying together. His favourite birds were snow geese.

As a dad, he was my North Star. I grew up looking to him for everything. My mom always said that we had similar personalities, so I thought of myself as a mini version of him and felt so proud of our connection. He was the most patient father and guided me with his gentle demeanour and kindness. I had the courage to start my own business because I knew I had his support. He never had to say much to me, I just knew that he would be there to believe in my dreams, and that belief played a huge part in helping me take the leap to start my small sticker shop and to build it to what it has become today.

Now, I can’t talk about my dad without talking about who he was as an “Agong” (grandpa). Being a grandfather became a huge part of his identity in the last few years. My dad was even more incredible as an Agong and his love knew no bounds. His eyes would twinkle every time he saw my kids. Despite his claims of not spoiling them, the laughter echoing in our memories is a testament to the joy and love he added into their lives. He would turn ordinary cardboard boxes into thrilling rides and transformed feeding ducks at the pond into a cherished adventure. He said more “I love yous” to my children than any of us can remember. The joy he felt as an Agong was apparent to everyone around him, and his memory will be kept alive through all of us.

As an integral part of OnceMoreWithLove, my dad also devoted so much care and attention to my customers and my products. If you have been with us for a while, you would know that he packs the most beautiful orders. He would count all the sticker sheets in each order and lay them out so that they were all evenly spaced in the packaging. I used to tell him he could just stack the stickers and didn’t have to spend time laying them out like that because the stickers might shift during shipping anyway, but he never listened. He believed that his care and love and efforts would reach my customers, and he never stopped trying to make everything 110% perfect. My shop was a huge source of pride and joy for my dad, and I want to thank you for giving him so much meaning through working on your orders.

My dad was always humble and took pride in the smallest achievements. He taught me that real success is not measured in wealth but in the love we give and receive, and the lives we touch, and this mentality is what I strive to build my life and business off of.

Losing my dad feels like losing the sunlight. The world feels a little bit dimmer now that he is no longer here. Some days I have no idea what to do with this feeling of emptiness, and I feel so paralyzed at the thought of not being able to talk to him, or hug him, or see the twinkle in his eyes again. I don’t know if this feeling will ever feel less painful, but I also don’t want it to go away as it is also a reminder of all the love I will forever carry for him.

Stuart Scott, an ESPN commentator, once said that, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” Dying does not mean losing to cancer. I believe that my dad is a winner who, despite the unlucky circumstances, had the strength to live and love life under his own terms.

There will never be enough words to describe what he meant to us. To say we loved him would be an understatement, and to say we are going to miss him would be an even greater understatement. He is so loved and will be remembered as a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother, relative, friend, and my biggest munchkin fan of all time.

As I am remembering Papa Munchkin, I am not saying goodbye. Instead, I am saying thank you. Thank you dad, for your unwavering love, your endless patience, your invaluable lessons. Thank you for your laughter, your wisdom, and your guidance. Thank you for being my dad. It was the greatest privilege to be your daughter. We love you and we miss you, dad.

You are always in my heart,

Margaret


65 comments


  • Ilana

    This was beautiful. Sending love to you and your family!


  • Dora

    This is a beautiful tribute to your wonderful father. He was a ray of sunshine and I know he was an amazing father and grandfather.
    It’s been exactly 4 years since my dad passed. His memory lives on and your father’s memory will as well.
    Sending you big hugs


  • Vanessa Picos

    Thank you so much Marg for opening up and sharing such a wonderful insight into who your dad was. I think i still have a mama and papa munchkin sticker somewhere from your freebies. I’m sure he is very proud of you and your sisters and will continue to guide you and send love with a hummingbird here and there.


  • Lisa Nguyen

    This was beautiful. Sending you and your family lots of love and prayers.


  • Cain

    Love you, hugs.


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