I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Smells Like Updog in here

I should just start every post after a certain amount of time between posts by saying that I, once again, am at that point where I don’t even know where to start.  May 2012 was the hardest month that I’ve ever had in my life.  I started the month by saying goodbye to my amazing Gracie (and will come back to post about that when I’m ready).  We had a celebration of her life on Friday May 4th – a beautiful afternoon in the park (the same pavilion where we were married).  Hundreds of people stopped by to say goodbye to our girl – it was everything that we imagined.  The day was kind of a blur - there were so many people to talk to – but I noticed the obvious absence of a good friend.  Jayme was in our wedding in 2007 – I have decided to not post pictures of that day in this post because he was bald that day due to cancer treatment and I know he was uncomfortable during that time – So just over 5 years ago, he started his battle with brain cancer.  After the initial radiation/operation/battle they had everything held at bay.  The sensitive location made it impossible to remove the tumor, but they were optimistic that they had it under control – he followed up on a every so often schedule to check to see that things were OK and then awhile ago, they found more tumors.  I can’t say that I know all of the details and am kind of ashamed to say that – I guess I’d been so caught up in everything that we had going on with Gracie in the last couple years, that I didn’t dig too deep when I spoke with him.  I admit, due to my priorities, I took a step back from all of my outside relationships.  We exchanged emails and went to lunch several times in the last couple years – he was not the type to burden you with his problems.  I admire that about him – I am in a lot of ways, the exact opposite – people know when I’m going through things.  I guess I’m a drama queen.  I would always ask how he was doing, he would go into a little detail and then quickly say “but that’s nothing compared to what you are going through with Gracie” and turn the conversation back to her.  I would respond with “that’s not true”, but I didn’t press it at that point, because I knew he would rather not go there.  What a wonderful man – he knew he was dying, but didn’t want me to worry about anything more than what I already had on my plate.  Some people are best known by the things they say and people like me apparently try to get as many words out as possible – you know, throw it against the wall and hope something sticks – ie this blog.  But Jayme was the opposite – he didn’t have to say a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, he knew how to get the job done.  He single handedly grew a division of a company with no presence in the area into a very successful business.  He was a harsh negotiator and all business when he needed to be, but that had a time and a place – the rest of the time was using himself as the butt of a joke.  Where some attempt humor by talking, Jayme was the master of silence – he was one of the funniest people I knew and thrived on making people think he was serious when he wasn’t – someone at his funeral talked about his love of putting on socks with sandals and a “What you talkin’ about Willis?” t-shirt and then walking up and down the Vegas strip making people think he thought he looked good.  I had tried to call and text him a few times in the weeks before Gracie’s death and had not gotten a response, when I didn’t see him at Gracie’s celebration, I asked a few others that were close to him and they hadn’t heard from him recently either, we came to the conclusion that something had to be up – The next day, I started attempting to prod everyone that might know for more info and as suspected, one week after Gracie’s funeral, Jayme was put into Hospice.  I went to visit him on Saturday, May 12th – he was weak and very tired.  A few of us hung out in his room for a couple hours, Jayme waking up once in awhile and adding in a one word response before falling back to sleep – We proudly continued our conversation of goofy stories all knowing that he could hear us and would appreciate the laughter as we reminisced about old times – When I left that day, he was pretty much sleeping, I crouched down next his bed and told him that it had been a good run, that I loved him, and asked him that when he got there, to take care of my girl.  I didn’t go back to see him before he died two weeks later – I regret that I didn’t go back, but I said what I needed to say and didn’t want to fuss over him – he wouldn’t have wanted that – OK, I admit, it was just too much for me at this time.  This past Saturday, I got the honor of being one of the pall bearers at his funeral.  They sang Amazing Grace at both the funeral and at the Cemetery.  I believe it was his way of letting me know that he indeed is with my girl and will make sure she is OK until I see her again someday.  It was a beautiful funeral filled with beautiful tributes from his closest friends, but was a very difficult day - I hope he knows what he meant to me – I will miss him very much.

1 comment:

  1. Rich, your love for your friends is evident to all. You have a heart of gold. I'm so sorry for your loss(es).
    May 2012 was a horrible one. I have to say... though I know Carrie is probably uncomfortable right now, I'm glad that Mickey will get his own month and that you will experience the joy of his birth soon.