People often ask me “How do you keep going?” It’s a silly question.
My daughter is in the CICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston, and if you want to know more about it you can follow on her fundrazr page where I’ve put far more details that I don’t want to type again. She also has a Facebook page with more pictures and updates and stuff.
If you know me personally, or you’ve read some of my past stuff, you’re aware that fourteen years ago I spent seven days in the NICU with my first child. He didn’t survive. It was very difficult.
An ICU stay with my infant child is pretty much my personal worst level of hell; it’s the nightmare I can’t wake up from. I can safely say I would rather entertain rabid howler monkeys with a sock-puppet made from my own scrotum than spend so much as one more minute in a C/N/PICU with my child. And yet, this is the ticket that I’ve punched, this is the journey that I get to make again. Continue reading
So, this is where I would typically put up a maudlin recap of how I feel after taking Sarah to the airport and comforting her as she cried because she didn’t want to leave. I spent three days in a pretty deep funk, and I’m doing my best to climb out of it, but I’ll admit it’s been a tough week.
I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics coverage. I’ve loved the Olympics for nearly as long as I can remember, and I actually know exactly why.
A brief explanation of Olympics Fever and current events in my life…
There is no word in the English language that describes that moment when we know something we will not like is about to happen but we also have to make a brave face and happily march into the hail of emotional bullets on the other side of the trench we’ve dug ourselves into. It’s the perfect mix of dread and consignment and acting. No matter how much I might hate for her to leave, no daughter deserves a distressful send off as she prepares to make the five-hour trip across the country by herself.
Cute Pictures and Bad Poetry…
…because I won’t feel like saying anything later.
For once, I’m trying to be realistic about what comes next. In under 24 hours (more like 17) Sarah will walk back down a jetway and board a flight back to her mother. I always try to convince myself that “I’ll be fine” and it won’t really affect me, the practical part of me knows that tomorrow I won’t feel like blogging. At all.
So, I’ve decided to ask my blog-friends for help. When you read this tomorrow (as I assume most of you will), would you please remind me to write more. Write something. Write anything. I always feel better when I do…and I’m gonna need all the kicks in the pants I can get to push me across the chasm between writing nothing and writing something.
I’ve got the genesis of a music-based post largely inspired by finding that picture of my 1974 Van, as well as the next few “What I’m Looking For” lines in various states of done (and by done I mean partial drafts and/or fragments) so I should be able to wrap myself around something.
Or I can just go off on my opinion about substituting “Young Earth Creationism” for science in school curriculum. I’ve got a good sized blog post about that built up after a week with Sarah and “I don’t need to learn that because GodDidIt” being a good enough excuse for a nine-year-old lacking a fundamental understanding of things like heliocentrism, what stars are, the minimal basics of biology, or the fact that atomic particles aren’t imaginary and just made up by scientists who refuse to believe in GodDidIt.
Anyway, I could (and just might) go off on that for quite the spiel but now isn’t the time.
Now is the time to ask for help. Tomorrow will suck, and I need people to remind me to do the things that help me get past the suck that I never remember to do when things suck.
So…please…start reminding me tomorrow. I will deeply appreciate it.
[edit: This is another post brought over from Dead Charming, this one is relevant to some of the posts coming up in my “What I’m Looking For” sequence, so think of this as background material. This is not funny. This is not light-hearted in even minimal ways. This post is about the saddest and most challenging personal experiences of my life.
Many people have gone through far worse, and I’m certainly not trying to claim some kind of prize for a hard knock life, because I’ve had it INCREDIBLY easy…but to my surprise, this made a couple of people cry; and I’d never seen one of them cry before…so take that as a warning of sorts…or something. If you choose to skip this, please know I won’t take it personally. It’s long, it’s the worst moments of my life, and the new material at the end isn’t there to even remotely “make it better,” even with eleven years of distance from the events.]
During job interviews and on internet quiz memes there’s a question that comes up more often than I think most people really want to hear the answer. I’ve avoided it many times before, but tonight I guess I’m finally ready to talk about it at large…to try and explain how, exactly, a reasonably normal white-child-of-privilege ends up in his early thirties, struggling emotionally just to climb out of bed every morning.
I’ve probably been asked “What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever done?” about two dozen times that I can think of since July 24th 1999. I think I might have answered it honestly twice.
So, what follows is the most full and complete answer to that question I can compose with almost a decade of distance since the events began to transpire.
The worst days of my life…
Alright, I’ve started writing this post three times, so this one MUST be the charm.
I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I guess I wasn’t expecting the depression to hit quite so hard. Sarah, my eight-year-old daughter, has gotten on a plane and flown back to her mother. She was here for her spring break, and I was lucky that it coincided with my birthday on the 14th.
We took her to the airport Friday and she completely and utterly didn’t want to go back. I understand, we have chickens and goats and horses and 20 acres of woods to explore and a giant house to ramble about in; but, never the less, we took her up to PDX and I sat in the gate as she walked to the plane and then waved once more through her tears before climbing the stairway and disappearing for another long span of months.
Now, I find myself in that dangerous place, the place where I have trouble balancing the world “as it is” with the world “as I wish it could be.” Right now, it would be very easy for the dragon to grab me by the throat again and squeeze me for all I’m worth once more.
Which brings me full circle back to writing and blogging and whatever. There was a time when I wrote things that I was proud of having written. I have not felt that way about something I’ve blogged in a long time. At one point I felt that anonymity was the key; that by being behind a veil of self-defense, I had the freedom to say things in a way that wasn’t filtered and ultimately made for better writing. Now, I think that’s just crap. I think that for the last year or so I’ve just been too damn cautious in my writing, and that it has suffered for it (when and if I even bothered to post it). It wasn’t the anonymity that made it better, it was the confidence to just write and let the chips fall where they may. I used to be the kind of person who “did” first and “worried” later (if ever). Now, I calculate everything. I analyze, and measure, and contingency – until I don’t act at all.
More self-reflection PLUS music and lyrics…