Breaking My Heart Again

I wasn’t going to write anything today. Things are crazy at work right now. I’m still feeling like crap because of the bug that I caught. All I was planning on doing today was get on here long enough to leave a couple of comments and then I’d be done with the blog for the day.

Then this morning happened…

My wife, daughter, and I are still trying to come to terms with my mom passing away in July. While it broke the hearts of my wife and I, we’re older and are better prepared to handle our grief than our daughter is. For the first month after it happened, my daughter wouldn’t go to sleep without a baby blanket my mom bought her years ago and a flameless, battery powered candle that she had given Mom for her birthday a few weeks before she passed. Seeing her cuddling with those two items every night broke my heart again.

Eventually, she stopped sleeping with the candle in her bed. She began being able to talk about her grandma without crying. Then, we noticed that there were times when she would just be sitting there with a vacant look on her face. My wife and I could tell something was wrong, but whenever we asked her about it she’d say that she didn’t know what was bothering her.

A few weekends ago, my girls woke up before me and my wife saw that look on her face again. She asked our daughter what was wrong and this time there was an answer. This time she said that she was sad because she missed her grandma. My wife asked if that’s what was wrong all those other times too and she said it was. “Why didn’t you tell us that before?” my wife asked her.

“Because I didn’t want to make Daddy sad.”

When my wife told me that, my heart broke again.

We sat her down and explained that it was ok to talk about grandma whenever she wanted to. We told her that it was ok to miss grandma, to be sad about grandma not being here, and that I would be ok if she talked about her. She seemed to understand.

Then, last night, she woke my wife up in the middle of the night because of a dream she had. My wife got her to calm down and got her to go back to sleep. When she woke up for school, we asked her what the dream was about. She threw a quick glance my way before saying that she didn’t remember. I was still half asleep, so I didn’t think anything of it until after I dropped her off at school and my wife and I went into her room to gather all the dirty clothes.

There, on her bed, was Mom’s candle, and I knew exactly what her dream had been about.

She had done it again. She thought that talking about my mom would make me sad, so she didn’t do it. My daughter is only 7 and she had put someone else’s feelings, their wellbeing, above her own.

That’s something I would do.

That’s something Mom would have done.

… and it broke my heart again.

Heart Mini

On Sunday, my wife, father in law, sister in law, and I participated in Cincinnati’s Heart Mini Marathon. We (along with 26,000 other people) did the 5k walk among the city streets to raise money for the American Heart Association. This is a cause close to all of us. My wife and her sister lost their mother (and my father in law, his wife) to a heart attack when she was only 45.

My mother has had heart surgery herself.

This is the fourth year that they have participated in the event, but it’s only my first. The previous three years, I wanted to join them, but someone had to stay home with Baby E and my sister in law’s kids. This year, my sister in law’s husband watched their kids while Baby E spent some time with my dad and stepmom.

It was a great event. The streets were packed. The weather was good. We all enjoyed ourselves.

…. until the next day.

Before the walk, I said that the 5k was only like three miles and I average about five miles of walking each day at work so It should be a piece of cake. There are a couple of flaws in that logic, however. First, while I walk more on a daily basis, it’s spread out over a longer period of time. My normal five miles is done over an eight hour shift while we finished the 5k in a little over an hour. Second, there are no hills in my warehouse. There are hills in Cincinnati.

My feet and calves did not like me on Monday morning…

Oh well. It was for a good cause and, provided we find someone to watch Baby E again, I’ll be doing it again next year.

Support My Friends

On this, the last day of NaBloPoMo, or NanoPoblano (or whatever it is that you crazy kids are calling it these days), it was tempting for me to plug my stories one last time while I still might be hanging on to some newer readers. Instead, I thought the decent thing to do was to plug the work of some of my friends. After all, they’re all amazingly talented individuals who have voluntarily chosen to associate themselves with me (for some reason).

Most of you probably know Matticus, my writing partner-in-crime. Sure, he’s done a couple of books with me, but he also contributed a story to the Fauxpocalypse collection. You should check it out.

There’s also Arden, who helped us out on The Seven Sceptres by writing an awesome story. Did you know that she’s also contributed stories to other things as well? Such as Fiction War. And Rebels and Revenants. She’s a brilliant writer, so you should definitely check these out as well.

Don’t forget about everyone’s favorite dino, Rarasaur. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t have her poetry books, Sack Nasty and Dinosaur-Hearted? I highly doubt it, but I’ll put the links up just in case.

Last, but certainly not least, is the only one of these awesome people that I’ve actually met in real life, Matt. He hangs out over here. You most assuredly need to read his book, Hand One is Dealt. Go on. You know you want to.

So, please everyone, go and show these wonderful people some love. They totally deserve it.

It’s Finally Over

I’m no longer a cheer dad.

Her season is over and, unless she changes her mind, Baby E has said that she doesn’t want to do it again next year. That is quite all right with me.

Not only was it expensive (we had to pay league fees, money for her uniform rental, buy her accessories like hair bows, pay admittance to get into the games that she cheered in, and admittance for her competition), but it was also incredibly time consuming. For the first couple of weeks, it wasn’t bad. Just a couple of practices during the week. Once the season started, however, it turned into three practices a week, plus a game on the weekend. On top of that, the two weekends before competition, they added an extra practice on the weekend.

It was too much. And,that’s from me, the guy who only attended games and competition. Mrs. Revis took care of all the practices (not because I didn’t want to or anything, but because practices started before I got home from work). It ran my wife ragged. She’s even more glad that Baby E has said that she doesn’t want to do it next year.

Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then. Maybe she’ll change her mind and want to cheer again. I certainly hope not. But, if she does, her daddy will be there cheering her on.

P.S. For those of you wondering, her team won the competition for her age group. Baby E will soon get a jacket that proclaims that they were the “Grand Champions” for our region.

The Body in My Backyard

When I came home from work yesterday, I had to bury a body in my backyard. Unfortunately, it was not the body of one of my enemies. No, it was my daughter’s fish, Kiki.

This was actually the second Kiki. We were able to find a good enough replacement for the first one before Baby E even noticed that something was seriously wrong. She noticed that Kiki suddenly looked a little smaller but my wife and I told her that Kiki had lost weight because she was sick. I don’t know if she bought that completely, but she went along with it.

This time, however, she saw Kiki 2.0 laying on its side, not moving, before we could try to hide it from her. I stuck the net in the tank and the fish moved away from it, but not much. Baby E was crying when I left for work. I tried to calm her down by telling her that Kiki was still moving, therefore was still alive. She knew, though. She knew Kiki wouldn’t last much longer.

Sure enough, Mrs. Revis texted me about halfway through my work day to tell me that Kiki was no longer with us and my daughter was inconsolable. I called and talked to her for a few minutes. It was heartbreaking.

“I miss Kiki!”

“I don’t want her to go!”

“We need to get another fish and name it Kiki too!”

It took a lot of work, but between us, Mrs. Revis and I calmed her down. Now the problem was what to do with Kiki. With the first Kiki, we flushed it down the toilet and Baby E was never the wiser. This time, she kind of flipped out when it was suggested. I said that maybe we should put Kiki in the river behind our house. She didn’t like that idea either. No, we had to bury Kiki in the backyard.

“That way Kiki will always be with us.”

So… that’s what I did.

She was more calm today. She was still sad about her fish dying, but she was able to talk about it without crying, which was good. I don’t know how much more of it I could take.

I can handle anything you throw at me, but not that. Watching my child weep uncontrollably is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. What made it worse is that there was nothing I could do or say that would make it ok that her pet had just died.

I don’t even want to think about what will happen the first time someone she knows passes away. If I couldn’t handle this, I sure as hell won’t be able to handle that.

Make Someone’s Day Interesting

This may surprise you, but I actually have a home phone. Yes, they still have those.

We first got it a while ago when my mom was babysitting Baby E. She was very forgetful about her cell phone and we wanted a way to be able to get in touch with her if she forgot it. Now that my mom is no longer babysitting, we thought about getting rid of it, but decided to keep it for two reasons. One, while not necessary, it will be helpful when my wife’s company starts letting her work from home. And, two, due to the bundle we got from our cable company, it’ll actually cost us more to have it turned off than to keep it.

Other than my wife and I, only 3 or 4 people have that number. All of them are related to us in some way. But, none of them ever call it. They always call our cell phones (when they actually take the time to call instead of text). So, our house phone only rings about once every other day or so.

“If nobody you know is calling it, then who is?” you ask.

The answer is simple: telemarketers.

Or, maybe they’re scammers. Hell, I don’t know. All I know is that they’re going to try to get money from me one way or another. And, I know that they’re irritating. Instead of getting mad and yelling at them, however, I thought I’d take a different approach and make the phone call memorable for them.

Last night, my phone rang and I answered it. A lot of these calls are recordings, so I didn’t say anything right away. That’s when the brief conversation happened.

Caller: Hello?

Me: Yeah, hi. I was hoping you could help me with my butt itch.

3 seconds of dead silence

Caller: Excuse me?

Me: Come on, you gotta do something. My butt itches really bad and I can’t get it to stop!

Caller: 3 seconds of muffled laughter

Me: HELP ME!!!!

CLICK…

I think next time I’m going to talk about having a burning sensation on my taint.