Don’t Stop Believin’

I just had the worst day ever. My team went down in the worst way. We won 73 games this season. No team had ever won more than 72. We had come back in the conference finals from a 1-3 deficit against a team that everyone said had two of the best five players in the world. We were up in the final round 3 games to 1. No one had ever blown that big of a lead in the championship round. We had this! The champagne was on ice. But right after halftime it all fell apart. We lost. Everything went down the drain. I sat silently in despair. It didn’t get any lower than this.

 

…until we lost our baby. Again.

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How could this have happened? We had gotten past the tough part; the first trimester. We’ve endured more miscarriages than we care to relive. Each time we lost our baby in the first three months. Our son Donny was the only one to make it out of the first trimester. He was our benchmark. We knew if we could just get our fragile little baby past that point we were home free. And then we did. We had our appointment at fourteen weeks and we heard her heartbeat beating fast and strong. She was moving around and very much alive. We celebrated. We had pie. I should note here that for us, celebrating and eating pie are not the same thing. We love pie. The celebration was eating out. The pie was the normal part of the day. Banana Crème, in case anyone wanted to know. We were happy. I was happy. No, I was ecstatic. For the first time I was looking forward to this baby from the start with no worries or fears.

I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe we got ahead of ourselves. We were starting a whole new chapter in our lives. We moved to a bigger house in the suburbs with central air –`cause we fancy now. The place even had an extra bedroom for our growing family. We moved to a real suburb where there’s no traffic and people say good morning when you pass them on the street. One of those types of neighborhoods where you feel like you don’t belong because everyone else on the block is an adult. I mean, we’re adults too but our neighbors are all adultier adults. The kind of adults that probably play tennis and pronounce GIF, “jif” like the peanut butter. Everything was going well and nothing could stop us. We announced our pregnancy to the world! The congratulatory messages and well wishes poured in. And then it all ended.

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I was numb too. How are you suppose to feel when you’re faced with the exact same disappointment you’ve felt over and over again? The feeling of numbness eventually gave way to embarrassment. How could I be so stupid as to get my hopes so high? The feeling of embarrassment soon became anger. Why is the world doing this to us again? I was mad at life. I felt betrayed by it. How could it take this baby away from me? THIS baby? I wanted her so dearly. I wanted to break something. I wanted to throw my fist through the wall until it looked as shattered as my heart felt. But I was an adult now. A father. And with age comes maturity and the knowledge that my frail aging bones could never absorb the punishment the wall promised to give back. I stood there staring at a wall that suddenly felt like it was mocking me. Saying, “Go ahead. Take a shot, punk. You’re not even close to your deductible.” I conceded. My anger turned to sorrow and I did what any reasonable adult does. I ate. Everything. I started with a few slices of watermelon and then some chips. I chased them with a handful of grapes and a few carrots. Then I slathered some hummus on a couple of stalks of celery before getting out the crackers and dipping them in this exquisite artichoke and jalapeno dip we had bought from the local farmers market. Then it was back to watermelon and more chips. The combination of salty potato chip and sweet melon was so damn good it was magical. With every bite I took I could feel all my sorrow and pain and anger come together to give me the strength to tell my wife the craziest thing I could think of,

“Let’s try one more time.”

IMG_8787She was not on board. She told me that she thought this was life’s way of telling us to stop. That we had Donny and another child simply wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t argue with her. This was our [redacted] miscarriage. [Redacted] times now we have made plans to welcome a life into this world with no one to show for it. Too many times now a dream has come true only to end in tears and confusion. No answers, just questions about how and why this keeps happening. I’ve had to watch my wife swallow one foul pill after another in order to force her body into giving birth to nothing way too many times. How could I be so selfish as to ask her to continue to endure this? How could I sit beside her and watch her struggle again and again to come back to me as she laid recovering on a hospital bed? I couldn’t. I decided I wouldn’t ask her to do it again. She has already fought so hard and given me her most precious gift, the miracle that is our son.

My wife is a Warrior. She’s so tough and doesn’t even know it. I’m just speaking about her physically. Mentally, she can not be defeated. She may see me as her rock and the foundation of our family, but she is without the question the engine that drives us and carries us through this wild unpredictable ride we call life. She has tried so hard to give us another child and never feared the consequence of failure because she’s so damn tough. She fights for this family with every fiber of her being. That’s why it came as no surprise when a few hours later she said,

“F— this. Let’s try one more time”

That’s my girl! She may not have said, “F— this” because she’s a classy lady but that’s the way I took it. This woman can’t be beat. So try again is what we’re going to do. We’re both getting older so it’s not going to be easy. We’ll get in better shape, eat better, live healthier, and take all the professional advice we get. There are no guarantees in life and we know this could end in heartbreak again. However, it is said that fortune favors the bold; bold we shall be.

We lost our child. It sucks, but we’re ok. We’re better then ok, we are determined. Determined to not let this destroy us and determined to not let our failures define us. What will define us will be our strength and resilience in the face of everything life has in store for us. We don’t require your sympathy, what we do desire are your smiles. Be happy and hopeful for us. Happy for our present and hopeful for our future.

 

 

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“Everything depends on what is in our hearts. Heartfelt prayers will definitely be answered. If we decide that something is impossible, then, consistent with our minds thinking so, even possible things will become impossible. On the other hand, if we have confidence that we can definitely do something, we are one step closer to achieving it”

– Learning From The Gosho

 

 

 

 

Daddy Day By Day – No. 22

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Eulogy For A Bad Dog. Bad Dog.

I always wanted a cat. They’re independent, sneaky, and even a little mean. In some unexplainable way, I like that. I didn’t just want any old everyday cat, I wanted a female cat. The more complicated the better. Finally I got one. A legendary 6 pound chihuahua named Bunny. Today we laid her to rest.

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She belonged to my wife at first. I used to sneak her food when my wife and I were dating. I thought this was a surefire way to make Bunny like me but my thinking was all wrong. That’s how you get a typical dog to like you. However, this was no ordinary dog. She was a bad dog. A very bad dog. From the day I met her till the day she died, she tried to bite me and everyone associated with me. Off the top of my head I can remember her biting my good friends Doc, Buss, Eel, Captain America, and A.D. She went after the ankles of our neighbors, the mailman, an elderly man at a park, and the pizza guy. She hated the fucking pizza guy. She was also a pee-er. I think she pee’d on everything I owned. She pee’d on the carpet. She pee’d on the couch. She pee’d on my shoes and on the rare occasion in them. She pee’d on my playstation controller. She pee’d in the bottom pouch of Donny’s stroller. One morning I thought she had magically found away to pee in my locker at the gym. Later I would realize she just pee’d in my gym bag to save herself the trip. She didn’t just target me. We also have a 70 pound pit bull labrador mix named Domino. She made him her bitch from day one. She bit him on the nose, she pee’d on his bed, she even ate his food. Sometimes, when the mood hit her just right, she’d skip right over and hump him. He never made her stop. She was a bad dog and he knew it. Best to just let the alpha dog take what’s hers. If there was a baddest dog in America contest she would win Best In Show every year.

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When you’ve lived with a bad dog for so long you start to think life would be better without them, until they’re  gone. I realize the reason she was so bad is because she was so good…at being bad. Like that one time she bit my friend Buss. She didn’t bite him because of anger issues or aggressive behavior. She bit him because he was play fighting with Domino and she always protected her bitches. When my buddy Eel was dog-sitting she didn’t find a way to unzip and go through his backpack just to be annoying. She did it because she knew pot brownie’s were delicious and she liked to party. Needless to say, he was never allowed to dog-sit for us again. And I know she didn’t pee under the covers of my bed that one time because she wanted to be an asshole. She…actually I think she just wanted to be an asshole. But that’s the point. Being bad was her business and business was good. And I’m going to miss her.

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I’m going to miss how she would follow Donny around the house whenever he had a snack. Eventually jumping up to snatch it out of his hand.

“No Bunny. Leave him alone, bad girl”

I’m going to miss her burying herself in clean laundry fresh out the dryer.

“No Bunny. Get out of there, bad girl.”

I’m going to miss telling her to get off of the couch.

“No Bunny. You have your own bed, bad girl.”

But mostly, I’m going to miss sharing cheez-it’s with her once everyone went to sleep.

“Hey good girl, shhh. Don’t tell.”

I’m going to miss her heart. It was that of a German Shepherd, always on guard, barking at the front door.

“That’s a good girl! Let em` know you in here.”

I’m going to miss her laying on my lap, like she did one last time tonight.

“I’m sorry good girl. I wish we could have done more. Shared one more snack. Taken one more walk.”

I always wanted a cat. Instead I got a really small dog. I miss her already. When she awakens her next life will begin. I bet she’ll be a tiger. Or maybe a leopard. I’m sure it will be something grand. Or maybe she’ll be something she’s good at, like a chihuahua. A bad one. The only thing I know for sure is that her spirit will live with me forever. Because good or bad, a legend never dies.

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