Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Mia Rose.

You would have been 4 years old today, August 10th, but you left so suddenly and so unexpectedly.

I know it’s been 4 years and maybe I should have moved on, moved past or otherwise just moved, but some days I find it hard to do, well, anything.  I still have the snippets of images in my mind when I reflect, quick flashes of memory that can take me from normal to an emotional wreck in .25seconds.  It’s changed me.  Your life changed me.

I think of all the milestones you would have had, walking, talking, temper tantrums, special simple moments, that didn’t happen.  I wish I had reported the nurse who we think killed you, but the shock and trauma of it all had rendered us numb.  It’s like I let you down and now can’t forgive myself for it.

At least we’ll always have those small quiet moments where your Mom and I would just hold vigil in your little room.  The nurse would leave us alone in there with you, giving us some space to be a family.  It was dark in there, lit only by the blue bili lights and we would talk and dream about our future, your future.  We knew you heard us as you would calm down and seem to rest easy hearing those voices you knew so well if  only for a short time, the voices of you parents.  I treasure those moments.  When things were calm.  When things were hopeful.

All too often though I forget those special moments and remember the sheer terror of running into the NICU seeing them doing half-hearted CPR.  It was so bright in that room, thing were washed out by all the light streaming in but all I could see was your lifeless body and them looking at me.  I remember the pity on their faces, the pain they mirrored when they asked if I wanted them to continue.  I had to tell them to stop.  I let them stop.  I didn’t want to, but I knew it was far too late.  When you died, so did a little bit of me.  And I’ve had an empty hole ever since.

There’s still something missing in our lives.  Our life would have been nearly perfect with you in it, complete.  There are days where the rage is palpable, the sadness suffocating, the hopelessness immobilizing and I get into a funk so deep that all I want to do is hide in our house and bury myself into TV, praying to numb myself.  Perhaps this year is harder as I stopped the antidepressants, so I’m finally feeling the emotions again.  And while it feels good to feel again, it’s not easy.

But I’m trying to focus on the good.  You were with us for 8 days.  And what an impression you made.  Even though you were so young and so fragile, we could see your personality beginning to develop, our tiny little individual.  I’m lucky to have known you, one might say blessed (although I hate saying that I’m “blessed”…).  So I’m going to minimize the bad while remembering the good.

Happy Birthday baby girl!  We’ll never forget!

You can read Mia’s story here, here and here.

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Anniversary

Not a blog one, a job one or the date of my last shower.  Something a little more important.  Seven years ago today, my wife and I got married.

It’s been 7 years of ups and downs.  We’ve had good times, really good times and a couple of times where we weren’t sure if we were going to make it out in one piece, but we always have.  She’s my rock, my muse, the one who encourages me to be me, and who knocks me down when I get too full of myself.  She truly is best thing to ever happen to me.  Happy anniversary babe!

Walking in the Park

Snow. Maybe.

Oh yes, let the madness begin.  The news people have been going into overdrive mode this week for our “Arctic Event” that is supposed to arrive today.  They’re all in a tizzy because we could get snowdown to the valley floor (Willamette Valley y’all) with some accumulations in the higher elevations.  That mania combined with the pre-Christmas insanity is causing a run on candles, canned meat, batteries, toilet paper and bottled water.  In essence folks are stocking up and digging in as if we were getting feet of snow.  Like a Midwest style blizzard or nuclear winter.  But no, we may get a couple of inches.  Yes, a couple of inches.  And people are freaking out.

The cities, counties and the State are ramping up their road crews, utilities are putting everyone on stand-by and it is just general madness.  The temperature show 36 F outside and it’s raining.  I know that because they have made such a huge deal about snow that it will be a non-event.  I went to school in Flagstaff and dealt with snow regularly through the winter, driving to and from school, work and clinicals in my VW Bug.  It is not a big deal.  But people here make it out to be the end of the world.  I don’t worry about my ability to drive in such weather, but it is everyone I am worried about.  If it does snow and/or get icy, I’m going to hang out on the couch with a warm adult beverage and watch the carnage unfold live on TV.  That’s a mighty big if.

But as far as events go, my Father-in-Law arrives on Monday from Arizona.  Yes, both in-laws will be in my house (they’re actually divorced) for a week, pretty much unannounced.  He called and said, “I’m going to be there on Monday the 22nd, as a surprise for Christmas.”  Will he stay in a hotel?  No.  Will he rent a car?  No.  He will sleep on my couch, drive our car and eat our food all week.  I’m so excited about it that I put a countdown timer up to remind me how long it is until he leaves.  It’s not that I don’ get along with him, we’re cordial and do get along fine, he just adds another unwanted layer to stress to the house.  My revenge?  We’re going to be having highs in the hgh 20’s the week he’s here, and I work nearly every day. Avoidance is not neccessarily a bad thing.