Gray Has a Girlfriend


Around May, my 3-year-old son, Gray, started talking about his girlfriend. Matter-of-factly, he’d wedge her in to conversation. Like it was an achievement. He was being humble, but wanted us know to know he had one.

As curious parents, my wife and I peppered the boy with questions about this lady friend. Over the course of the last several months we’ve developed a pretty good idea of who this girl is, based on eerily consistent and specific answers to our questions. And now, I present to you Grayson’s girlfriend – Hayley.

Gray met 2-year-old Hayley at B.J.’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. If you take him there he will show you the booth she ate at. She has brown hair and brown eyes. And she lives in a hotel.

She was supposed to meet us at Roman Cucina in Fullerton for a Mother’s Day dinner, but never showed. Gray seem more relieved than hurt that she flaked on him.

While watching a Brewers’ tee-ball game in the spring, Gray pointed out a father from the other team. As we sat on the bleachers, having not discussed Hayley at all, he told me that this father, dressed in a bright orange construction shirt with jeans and tan boots, locked Hayley in a cage. Gray saved his woman when he pushed this man in to a mud pie. A couple of months later he mentioned parts of this same story. With the same details. Stoically. And I have no idea what a mud pie is.

On Saturday, when we left the Harbor House Cafe, a woman in her early 30s with purple hair pulled her Bentley in to the parking lot. Gray told me that he colored Hayley’s hair red and called her Roxy. I was afraid to probe him further on this anecdote.

Now, Hayley has competition.

A girl in his preschool class has taken a keen liking to our boy. She has black hair with a fuzzy caterpillar for eyebrows. My wife said yesterday when she dropped the twins off in their class, said girl rushed to welcome Gray. We’ve asked if he still has a girlfriend, and who it is. And he firmly says it’s still Hayley.

But to be fair to this girl, really, how could she compete with Hayley? She lives in a hotel, she likes one of Gray’s favorite foods (pizza), she colors her hair and even goes by different names to spice things up. And she’s never around. Sounds like marriage material to me.

Shattered Faith, Part III – The Final Chapter

To catch up on this series, check out:

Part I

Part II

Sunday night my wife, her mom and our friend Megan went to another show of Theresa Caputo’s, the Long Island Medium. We hauled out to the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills (oohhhh la la) with seats on the floor this time. Jax came to Theresa again, and this time she saw us stand up and flail our arms for attention. This is our story.


Life’s been busy. I haven’t written anything on this site since November 1. Mostly because I don’t have the energy. Two-and-a-half hours in a car, a new job that requires full brain power and juggling the crazy schedule of a NICU night nurse have worn me down. So I completely forgot that my wife bought tickets for us to see Theresa Caputo again. A friend also going to the show kept reminding me.


As last Monday rolled around, I began to feel anxious. With seats on the floor this time, my expectations and hopes of Jax coming through and Theresa reaching us were sky-high. As the days led up to Sunday, I started talking to Jax. I told him the date, time and place. Described Theresa’s big hair and loving personality. Reminded him this was the same person he connected with last time. But that she couldn’t see us or reach us. I told him that his mom and I wanted to hear from him so badly. I told him he’d have to be strong. He’d have to speak up and be loud so Theresa could hear him.

I also prayed. I asked God, again, if Theresa’s gifts are from Him, that she could see/hear/feel Jax. That whatever Jax is doing for God on the other side, that He’d let Jax use his energy to reach Theresa.

As the weekend approached Sunday was all I could think about. My wife worked. We took the kids to see Santa Saturday night. But it felt like it was all just time filler until Sunday night.

On Sunday morning I got the kids’ breakfast ready and tried to wake up my wife to go to church. I failed. As they chomped on donuts and bananas, I felt anxious. Not a pleasant anxious, but a fearful anxious. What if we just got really lucky last time? What if it wasn’t Jax last time? What if nothing happens? I tried to spin it in my head that it was a night out to see a show. I made sure we had some good pre-show dinner options. And that all of our options had booze. My mind game didn’t work. I just kept hoping, hoping and hoping.

I took the kids to my parents to spend the night and talked to my mom a bit. She was anxious for us. I could see how deeply she just wanted something good to happen for us. I went home with thoughts of football and my dorky fake baseball draft preparation to look forward to. It helped distract me.

Megan met at our house, we got in the car and I forgot to print the tickets. Back on the road for a second time, we met my mother-in-law on the way there, picked her up and headed to Beverly Hills to eat.

We ended up at Rocco’s Italian Kitchen about a mile away from the theater on Wilshire. It scored four stars on Yelp and reviews praised their pizza. The service, though, was horrible.

About halfway through dinner two fire trucks pulled in front of the restaurant. The ladder truck was number 61 and the other was number 261. My wife either looked at me or said something, I don’t exactly remember. But there it was. More fire trucks.

On the day of Jax’s viewing, five days after he died, my wife got a voice mail on her cell. Now, before Friday, she’d received many texts and voice messages. Everything worked fine. The voice mail she got was from my phone. Sirens screamed. It was chaotic. I pocket dialed her or didn’t hang up when she didn’t answer. It’s eery that the voice message, recorded Sunday, didn’t land on her phone until Friday, the day of his viewing.

She told me she remembers thinking that it had to be Jax sending her a sign. Since that day my wife’s had a strange relationship with fire trucks. She sees them when she needs them most – to remember that Jax is close by. She saw one drive by our church the day of his funeral service. After a hard commute home, she saw one pull out of our tucked-away residential street. On holidays she finds them driving around town without sirens or an emergency to respond to. The engine that responded when Jax died was number 6. She’s also had a handful of run-ins with engines with number 3 (Jax’s number in tee-ball).

Some people have butterflies follow them, which are supposed to be the spirits of their dead loved ones. Kristina gets fire trucks.


So there we were. A fire truck parked outside Rocco’s window. Right in front of our Camry. With the number six in it. Coincidence or an omen?

While we were eating, Theresa finished the 3 p.m. show. We found out later that Jax talked to her well before our show at 7 p.m. She picked up a boy who drowned. And he told her that his parents would be at the show and that she needed to talk to us. I was likely licking my hot sauce-soaked fingers from the buffalo wings I clutched around that same time. Go me.

We packed our to-go boxes in the Camry and hustled on over to find parking, which isn’t very convenient in the area. With about 20 minutes until show time, Megan and I hit up the tiny bar and grill next to the theater for some shots while my wife and her mom found bathrooms in the theater. The two Miller Lites at Rocco’s didn’t calm me enough. But that large kamikaze shot sure helped.

After waiting for a mom and daughter to get out of the single-toilet men’s restroom, I peed and we found our seats. My wife had butterflies in her stomach. I was calm. The booze washed it away. Or, more likely, God brought me peace.  He knew what was going to happen.

Saban Theatre

Saban Theatre

Theresa came out on stage. The show was beginning. I’m not positive, since I don’t remember this kind of thing, but she might have worn the same outfit in June when we saw her in Cerritos. I know she was wearing those same disco-ball like high heels. Those are unforgettable. She gave the same spiel and then finally started to talk to Spirit.

“Who has a finger print and ashes with them?” Theresa asked the crowd to start. “This is from a boy.”

My wife, her mom and me instantly stood in unison and waved our arms. But Theresa got stuck with someone closer to her. No one else, at least that I saw, raised their hands. This other person only had a finger print – no ashes. And it was for a girl, not a boy.

My mother-in-law was wearing a necklace with Jax’s finger print, just like the first show. My wife couldn’t connect the ashes, and I quickly said “tattoos” and pointed at my forearm. Both of us had very small portion of his ashes in the ink we were tatted with. Then she really started waiving her arms.

Theresa moved towards us. HOLY SHIT JAX YOU’RE A STUD! YOU DID IT AGAIN! YOU’RE SUCH A FREAKING STUD! That’s all I thought. How in the hell did he pull this off twice? If you don’t recall, he was first at the Cerritos show, but we were too far away for Theresa to see or reach us. We stayed standing and they passed us mics. Two camera men set up on each side of Theresa as she faced us from the aisle.

“You lost your son am I correct?” she asked. “And you lost him suddenly and/or tragically?” We nodded.

Now, I’m not going to get into the play-by-play of what was said. Simply because I don’t want to misquote or anything. The four of us spent the drive home talking about the experience and I tried to take notes. But I will paraphrase what Theresa told us.

Understand that we’re standing this whole time at our seats holding the mics, Theresa’s in the aisle and the entire theater is watching us on the big screen. She told us twice that this is the first time she’s ever started a show in the back of the room.

She began by telling us that he took responsibility for the way he died. That confused me. She said she felt like this was a preventable accident. Like it shouldn’t have happened. And it’s mysterious how it happened. Which it was. An adult right next to him, adults all around the pool. Very preventable. The guilt weighs on me daily. It’s the cross I carry. How could he take responsibility???

Theresa said it happened in an instance. She saw a snap of a finger. He didn’t suffer. 

She said there was a father figure with him. We couldn’t think of anyone. After she moved on from that, my Uncle Tom popped in my head. He’s the only male figure in my life that has passed. He also passed tragically and unexpectedly. Could it be him? She then asked about a motherly figure. Kristina’s grandma died when Jax was 2. That was her. He’s with loved ones.

“He told me he’s making himself bigger,” Theresa said with a smile, as if Jax was so proud to tell her.

She described Jax as so full of energy. Radiant. He’d run up to her and jump in her arms. Those of you that knew Jax could see this. So happy, so much energy. So passionate.

Theresa got on a roll. Is his room untouched? Did we release balloons in his memory? Yep and Yep. Then she asked how we related to the number seven. We told her we didn’t.

“Something about a daughter and the number seven,” Theresa said. Holy crap that’s Presley, our first baby. She passed in July at 16 weeks gestation. She told us he brings this up to let us know that she’s with him.

Theresa asked if I carried Jax after his death. I did. I carried him from the hospital bed to the couch my wife sat on to hold him. And then back again to the bed. She asked if we spent time talking with him before the funeral. And we did. She said nothing was left unsaid. He got all of it.

“Was he buried in casual clothes?” Kind of. “Because he showed me dressed in a suit, then he spun around and was wearing casual clothes.” And she knew that we kept the outfit from his funeral. He was, however, cremated wearing an Iron Man costume.

Jax told Theresa his mom was pretty. Random, eh? In the middle of everything he said that.

Theresa asked if we had a dog. Which, if you know my wife, is laughable. No, we answered. She asked because she sees something being attracted to his room. Something that senses his spirit.

“Those are our other kids,” I answered. Gray is fascinated by his big brother and his room. Sometimes Ellie will join him in knocking on the door, looking underneath the door and asking to go in to his room. Fortunately they don’t open the door themselves. They respect it. But those are our “dogs.” They want inside.

She looked at me. My long-sleeved shirt covered both arms to my wrists ever since we parked the car. For a reason.

“Do you have his face or a picture of him tattooed on you?” I rolled up my right sleeve to show her. I told her I purposely made sure to keep my sleeves down. A little later she asked my wife if she had anything with her that Jax had written. She showed Theresa her small tattoo on her left wrist. It’s a copy of J-A-X in his own writing.



Theresa told me she sees Jax standing behind me, saluting. That’s her symbol that he’s proud. He’s proud that I was his dad. I lost it. Strangers were handing us tissues.

She asked if we took a family portrait before he died. We couldn’t think of anything. Then Megan reminded us of a giant photo in our front room of us at the Angel game. It was taken four days before he died. It was the last family photo taken of the five of us. Gray looks at that photo when he’s missing his mom, or me. And he likes to look at Jax.

She also asked if we’ve taken a family picture lately. Which we did, last Monday. She said he was with us.

Theresa asked if we’re grieving differently. We are. I was at the pool party, she wasn’t. I had control of the situation, she didn’t. Then Theresa asked if one of us felt guilty for not being there. My wife shared she did. She struggles with it a lot.

“But you weren’t supposed to be there,” Theresa told her. She described to us an episode of her show. A mom spent every day with her son. The one day she didn’t, the son drowned and died. When Theresa communicated with the departed son, he said she wasn’t there because she wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Theresa put her finger to her mouth, put her head down and thought for a few seconds. She asked if we’re worried that he’ll be forgotten. My wife and I have discussed this. We both have this fear, but my wife really struggles with this. We want to keep his memory alive. It’s why we do the CHOC Walk. It’s why we’re going to sponsor the Brewers tee-ball Little League team in Corona. And it’s why there’s a plaque hanging in his preschool with a scholarship in his name.

She went on to tell us that our situation was similar. It’s my soul’s burden to live with the fact that I was the one at the pool party that day with Jax. Because I wouldn’t want my wife to have to live with that. And that’s true. But damnit that’s a heavy thing to carry around.

I know this has been jumbled and probably doesn’t read well. I’m just listing shit. I don’t know how else to let you know all that was said. As she moved on from us we sat down. My brain was fried. It was hard to pay attention for the next 115 minutes.

The show ended and the theater emptied out. We stayed near our seats and talked. My wife’s mom and Megan went upstairs to the bathroom and my wife and I stood around the theater lobby. We talked a little. Hugged. Then I started to feel stares and looks. A few people came up to us. One asked to see my wife’s tattoo. Others offered condolences and joy that Theresa found us.

Over 24 hours later I don’t feel closure that I thought I would. I mean, what happened is f’ing awesome. And I’m so grateful and it puts me in awe of Jax. Maybe I’m still wrapping my brain around it. Maybe what I thought would fill the giant hole in my heart only numbs the pain, like everything else I’ve tried.

Or maybe it’s a level of peace built to last. I don’t really ever talk to him. That’s going to change. I know he’s safe. I know he wasn’t scared. I know he’s with us. Maybe that’s the foundation that will build the new me. The me that won’t let grief keep me from becoming the person God intends me to be. The me that can enjoy Gray and Ellie for who they are; they aren’t Jax.

The me that doesn’t sit around waiting to die and see Jax again.

Life is Busy – CHOC Walk This Sunday


I’m at that point in life, which everyone hits, and hopefully not for an extended period, that life is just too busy. A lot of it has to do with the CHOC Walk coming up this Sunday.

I tried writing a post entitled Why We Support CHOC to explain the importance giving back in Jax’s honor is to us. It started like this:

Jaxson died at 9:26 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Orange County on June 24, 2012. He wasn’t born a preemie or cured for cancer at the hospital, much like many of the participants for Sunday’s CHOC Walk 2013. For about three hours, the hospital staff did everything they could to save our boy. But it was after he left us that the CHOC staff’s grace, compassion and solace left an overwhelming mark on my wife and I. We lost our boy, but it was if they lost him with us.


The rest of it is deeply intimate and I decided against posting it. I tried to figure out a way to make it less intimate, but to me, it loses the impact. Just know that for us, it’s a very meaningful cause that honors Jax’s very special spirit.

At the time of this post, team Iron Jax has raised $7,314. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone that has donated, raised money and is walking with us on Sunday. Giving lasts until 10/31, so you still have time to donate if you wish. 

Last night my wife and I were going to pick up the wristbands and t-shirts for our team at CHOC’s office building. Since people in southern California lose their minds on the first rain of the season, the 91 freeway westbound turned into a giant parking lot. It took her 45 minutes to drive two exits on the freeway, sit in traffic, turn around, get some drive thru and head home. With the twins in the car. Yayyyyyyyyyyy her. Awful, huh?

I was going to meet her at my parents. Instead, my mom and I went down to the office to deal with the money and pick everything up. By the time I got home the twins had just finished their milk and were going to bed. I helped my wife sort the CHOC t-shirts, attach safety pins to the capes for the Iron Jax shirts and create some more fundraising goodies.

Between my new commute, the new job, CHOC Walk and everything, I feel like I don’t have time to get to the blog. I have ideas, but either no energy or no convenient windows to post. So bare with me. And I think we are about 50 hours behind on television shows on our DVR.

For those walking on SUNDAY…

You can pick up the wristbands, shirts and capes Friday night at my parent’s house starting at 5 p.m. The twins will be there and we’ll have light refreshments, so feel free to stay and visit. If you need an address or my cell phone number, email me at or hit me up on Facebook and I’ll get back to you quickly.

On Sunday, we’re meeting at the lockers at the left in front of the Disneyland entrance. It’s the same place we met last year. The even starts at 6:15, we’re meeting at 6, but I urge everyone to try to be there earlier. Traffic is going to succcccccckkkkkkkkkkk.

Thanks again to EVERYONE. We love you all, and we feel your love in return. And it means so much to us.

It’s October, bittttccchhhheeessss


It’s October, my favorite month. I don’t care what yours is. October is the best.

It’s finally starting to cool off in southern California, except for the week that the Santa Ana winds hit and half the region becomes a giant barbecue. The air feels more crisp. Sure, you people up in the northwest, east coast and Midwest can laugh. But the slightest chill to the air means crisp out here. AND IT’S FANTASTIC. The leaves turn from green to brown; it’s beautiful.

Football is well into its seasons (college, NFL). Our favorite television shows have returned to hopefully not start sucking. Homeland returned this weekend with LOTS AND LOTS of talking. We finally get to find out how Ted met his children’s mother, Parenthood is back and I have no recollection of how last season ended. The mom doesn’t have cancer anymore, right? RIGHT??? The Walking Dead and American Horror Story start back up. Great, two MORE hours of trying to cram in TV that my wife doesn’t want to watch with me. My DVR will want a raise.

But there are two main reasons why October owns my heart.


The older I’ve gotten, the more Halloween romanticizes me. As a kid, I don’t remember caring a whole lot about Halloween. I mean, sure I dressed up and trick-or-treated, and it was fun, but it came and went and that was it. Now, I find everything about the holiday enchanting. Black and orange are like the best color combination possible, right? Throw in some purple and holy crap why use any other color combos at all. Candles, ominous trees, fog, tombstones. Spooky is sexy.

(I love that commercial. This was from 2012. It’s a play-on of the Knott’s commercial for the regular park.)

At 14-years-old, a freshman at El Modena High School, I first went to Knott’s Scary Farm. That began an annual tradition of 12 consecutive trips to the fright farm. Until finally no one wanted to go with me. This year I’m going to Universal Halloween Horror Nights for the second time. Last year’s The Walking Dead tram ride blew my f’ing mind. AND IT’S BACK!


The week after Universal we’re taking the kids to Mickey’s Halloween Party. Two years ago we took Jax, then 3, and the infant twins. Jax was in heaven. And so was I. Fog oozes off the Rivers of America. Halloween music blasts from party spots. The villains are out, cruising around. And the haunted mansion is transformed into The Nightmare Before Christmas ride. I could sit outside the mansion, illuminated by candles and jack-o-lanterns, for hours. I feel warm and fuzzy gazing at the beauty.



I’ve seriously considered a cemetery scene for a tattoo. That’s how much I like the atmosphere. I’d get it along my rib cage. Which is really just blubber, and why I haven’t done it. It’d be like inking a water bed. Anyway, the image in my head, which I can’t describe, is black and white. A creepy willow tree. Crosses and unmarked tombstones, to be filled in later. But three marked tombstones – Presley, Jax and Addison. Fucking morbid, huh?

Baseball Postseason

Ever since I was 9, when I started Little League, fell in love with Wally Joyner and the Angels and memorized The Natural, I’ve been obsessed with baseball. To put it lightly. I’m a baseball fan first, an Angels fan second.


October 1 marks the beginning of postseason baseball. If the World Series goes a full seven games, it’ll end on the 31st. So pretty much, the entire month is postseason baseball. Every game matters. The intensity is ramped up. The pressure boils. My wife actually pays attention, it’s that captivating.

The New York Yankees aren’t in it this year. So that’s a bonus. I’ll be rooting for a first-round exit for the Boston Red Sox. And I’ll enjoy watching my friends and family live and die by each Dodgers game.

But all of it makes me miss Jax even more. I want to watch the Dodgers and Braves with the the lights out in our house, candles lit, fake jack-o-lantern glowing in the kitchen, my right arm wrapped around his shoulders and his head resting against my side. I want to watch his excitement after a collision at home plate or diving catch. I want him to be disappointed when I put him to bed in the 7th inning of a 4-3 game, only to tell him in detail how it ended the next day.

I want him to beg me to watch Scream. I want to watch him flip through the Halloween costume catalog as he flops between five different costume ideas. I want to carve a pumpkin with him. I want him to help execute my weekly plans to scare Gray. I really, really want to take him to Mickey’s Halloween Party again.


October would’ve been Jax’s favorite month, too. I just know it.

Habits of Happiness


Sunday surprise. Last week I mentioned that Rick Warren of Saddleback started his new series the Habits of Happiness. There were some points that I wrote I don’t do any of, and a few of you asked what those were, so I figured I’d share.

Laws of Happiness

To start, Warren said there are five laws of happiness to remember as he breaks down the series:

  • Don’t look for happiness, create it.
  • Happiness is not a goal.
  • Habits create happiness.
  • Happiness based on habits is long-lasting, where happiness based on happenings is short term.
  • Happy habits are just as addicting as bad habits.

Growing Healthy Relationships

Last week he focused on growing healthy relationships and identified four ways to do that. The idea here is that because relationships are so important to our lives, creating habits that result in positive relationships goes a long way towards being happy.

  1. Be grateful for the people in your life.
  2. Pray with joy for the people in your life.
  3. Expect the best from people in your life.
  4. Love the people in your life like Jesus does.

And finally, Warren provided several hints towards happiness:

  • Remember the best and forget the rest (develop selective memory, don’t well on negatives)
  • The quickest way to change a bad relationship to good is to start praying for the other person(s). Pray that they will grow in love, make wise choices, live with integrity and will become like Jesus.
  • Celebrate how far people have come rather than judging how far they still have to go.

I do like, two of these. I dunno. Just a random guesstimate. The point I’m pretty passive when it comes to controlling my happiness. I rely on others to make me happy. I let on circumstances to make me happy, or unhappy. I wait for good fortune to make me happy. To create your own happiness, to actively try to create positive relationships and not bitch about the people in your life you feel are doing you wrong is something I’ve never done. But I need to. I sit on my hands too often and wait for the universe to be good to me. Obviously, that’s not happening. It’s time to create.

Crushed Hope – Fallout From a Miscarriage

July 31, 2013 – 1:15 pm

It was like any other day. I was in the office, just returned from lunch. In just over two weeks my job was ending. I was job hunting online. Then I got a text.


ICE stands for in case of emergency.

Oh shit. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? If you know our story, you know this isn’t possible. My wife’s been pregnant three times – twice from artificial insemination and once from in vitro fertilization. I don’t have a job soon. Oh shit. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?

We were done having kids. We sold off everything but a breast pump and pack-and-play.

I locked my work computer and hurried downstairs to call my wife. I don’t remember taking a breath. We asked each other how this could happen. We worried aloud. Our health insurance was ending. Another kid means dealing with Jax’s room far earlier than we wanted. This baby would grow up not knowing Jax.

She started to weep.

“It’s going to be okay,” I said, trying to comfort her. But mostly myself. “This is totally from God. Everything will work out.”


When I got back to my desk I sat for a few minutes, staring into nothing. We definitely knew the conception date. It happened in Chicago on our tenth wedding anniversary trip. I searched online for baby names influenced by the Windy City. Wrigley (the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field) was the only name I could come up with on my own.

My Instagram shot.

Photo credit: Me. F yeah.

But the Internet failed me. I played with Nymbler, a baby name assistant, for the next couple of hours. I worried about my wife. This wasn’t the plan. But I was anxious to get home and talk about this more.

To my relief, she was okay. And over the next several weeks, we were both very, very okay with this. Even excited. Really, really excited. My grief felt lighter. I laughed and smiled a little more. So did my wife. Things finally seemed to be turning around for us.


We’ve heard and read that the second year after losing a child is often harder than the first. That sounds impossible. But most of the support received in the months after the death has now moved on. They have lives to live. We are still stuck. The loneliness is harder. All of the firsts – first Halloween, Christmas, birthday, memorial – have passed. All that’s left is our broken hearts.

After Jax’s memorial service we felt the beginning of that rough second year.

But this pregnancy changed that. We felt hope for the first time. This baby was going to keep that second year from being worse. The baby embodied life after all we had known for a year was death.
It’s a gift from God. We thought it. The few people we told thought it. Everything’s going to be okay, because this is from God.

Neither of us could bury our fear completely. Fear of something bad happening. We lost our first child, Presley, at 16 weeks gestation without explanation. Then Jax tragically left us. There’s no way this will end badly. Right?

My wife’s first blood tests were positive. Her second blood test revealed increased hormone levels, indicating that everything was progressing appropriately. We decided we wouldn’t find out the sex of the baby. We threw more names around than the producers of the 50 Shades of Gray movie choosing its actors.


My buddy SJ, who was living in Chicago, offered up the name Addison. Wrigley Field’s address is 1060 W. Addison St. I liked it. But I kept pushing for Wrigley in the name somewhere.

August 17 – Seven weeks gestation

At some point, my wife told me she was spotting. I remained calm, especially after she told me it was light pink. To be extra careful, she called off work that night and rested on the couch. Anxious, I Googled her symptoms and found that everything was normal. I rested easy that night.

When we woke up, things seemed off. After a bit, I asked her how she felt. She started to cry as she said it got worse. I grew angry. This can’t be happening. Right?

We went to church that morning. I don’t recall the message, but I remember it being a perfect message for us to hear. My wife cried through most of it. I was busy hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Filling up that angry tank.

We brought home some lunch, but my wife couldn’t eat. I barely did. She called a friend and decided to go to the hospital. Her mom met her there and I stayed with the twins.

August 18 – 6:01 pm

While at my uncle’s birthday celebration, my wife sent me updates of ultrasounds and blood tests.

And then the news, as I stood in my uncle’s living room, reading my phone.

“:(( no baby”

Fuck. FUCK. Fuck this shit. I had to stay calm. My stomach sank. I wore my mask through the rest of the party. Had to act normal as we ate dinner and opened presents. Then we left. I just wanted to hold my wife.

Half way home my sister, who rode with us, asked how my wife was doing with the pregnancy. I told her about the miscarriage. Tears streaming down my face as I’m trying to drive us all home safely. I was finally able to unleash my sadness. I knew it was going to break her heart. And what was left of mine broke into even smaller pieces telling her.


The hope evaporated.

The next day I started my new job. The job that, along with the baby, was a gift from God. A gift of financial stability and health insurance after my first 90 days. Coverage that’d pay for the delivery that would never happen.

By now, my angry tank was overflowing. It all felt like a giant tease. A cruel trick. I kept asking myself why God would have us get pregnant naturally after years of not being able to only to go through yet another loss. F Him.


My anger’s calmed down. I’m still mad, but I’m not trying to beat God up anymore. I still think the whole thing is f’d up. But my life’s been f’d up for a while now, so it’s just becoming normal.

Remember cheesy ’80s wrestling when the heel (bad guy) would get hit repeatedly, only to keep absorbing the blows before evilly grinning at his opponent and then asking for more? That’s how I feel. What in the hell else is life going to hit me with?

My wife came up with the idea to name the baby. And we used SJ’s idea of Addison. It fit for a boy or a girl. It signified Chicago. It was perfect.

I choose to believe that a fetus has a soul, and the soul of Addison is in heaven, hanging out with big sister Presley and big brother Jax.

Hopefully we can take our minivan to heaven with us. We’ll need the space.

What’s Going On

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Here’s what’s going on:

  • I got a job. One day before our end date in my office, I shot off an email to a former client of mine. Later that day I had an interview scheduled for four days later. At the conclusion of the interview I was offered the job. I started work the next week. While the major stress of unemployment was avoided, it’s cut in to other parts of my life, which includes this blog. Due to the commute, I’m spending an extra hour and 45 minutes away from home, which results in babysitting issues when my wife works, less time with the family and no desire to sit in front of a computer for an hour. Also, I did quite a bit of writing while at my previous job. That’s not happening anymore.
  • Two weeks ago the hope that life was turning around, things were going our (the family’s) way and dark times were behind us were crushed in an instant. I may write about it in the future, I may not. What’s important for you to know is it devoured my dreams, aspirations and energy. Fuck everything, is what I thought. Nothing matters. Especially not this blog.

cardboard whatsgoingon

So I went silent. It hardly seemed important to share my weekend, a stupid animated gif or whatever was kicking around in my head and heart.

On my Facebook page I shared a bit of what was going on when someone asked where my posts have been. Which led to encouragement from a couple of people, messages and texts of support and some songs/videos from a reader. I can’t be fixed. But I appreciate everyone trying.

(skip to the two-minute mark for the beginning of the song, if you wish)

I also received Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up.” The video is cheesy-ass but the lyrics are strong and appropriate, especially Bush’s haunting chorus:

Don’t give up ‘cos you have friends
Don’t give up, you’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up, I know you can make it good
Don’t give up, you still have us

Don’t give up, we don’t need much of anything
Don’t give up ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong
Rest your head, you worry too much
It’s going to be alright when times get rough
You can fall back on us, don’t give up, please don’t give up

Don’t give up ’cause you have friends
Don’t give up, you’re not the only one
Don’t give up, no reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up, you still have us
Don’t give up now, we’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up, you know its never been easy
Don’t give up ’cause I believe there’s a place
There’s a place where we belong.

You can watch the video here. WARNING – There’s a whole lotta hugging going on. 

I have every intention of returning to a normal posting schedule. I feel beaten, but I’m not going to give up. This is a place where we all belong. To be real. To share. To cry, to laugh, encourage and console.

Thank you for reading. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.