A few seconds passed.
"Hello? Do you want a drink and can I get you a menu?"
I was in space. I knew someone was talking to me and I knew why I was there, but I just couldn't comprehend what she was asking me.
I can do this. Deep breath............
A few more long seconds passed while I fumbled through the drink menu pretending to look. I knew what I wanted, but I just needed a few short micro seconds to compose myself.
I forced myself to look at her and speak.
"Pint of Guinness", I said with a smile.
Then I sat and did everything I could to focus on the Red Sox game on the many TV's above the bar. Focusing in on the batters stance; swing; facial expressions. Then I focus on the pitcher. His eyes; stance; shoulder placement - the crowd looked very red. Lots of people - I wonder what their lives are like. Then I focused on all the people in the bar and wondered how many people were playing trivia. Then back to the TV.
Whew. I made it. I think. I can do this. Deep breath.
My heart rate was up and pounding. The kind of pounding that made my chest bounce. I recognize the pounding. It's a familiar friend - or foe. I'm not sure yet. I forced myself to close my eyes and take a deep breath and release it slowly.
My drink showed up. I was a bit out of my fog now and I said with a smile, "Thank you, can I see a menu please?"
She grabbed one and gave it to me.
My heart pounded harder and my anxiety was high. My sadness and grief came over me and I just put my head down. Deep breath
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Ok now lets back it out a bit and take a larger look at this from a different perspective.
The story I wrote about above is real. It happened on June 1st 2016 at the Sylvan Street Grill in Danvers, MA. It was Saoirse's birthday and she would have been 6 years old. She died of #neuroblastoma. I go there every year on her birthday and do the same thing. I sit and order a pint of Guinnes, take a picture of Saoirse's ashes with the pint and then I sit and think about her smile and talk to her in my mind. Then I drown myself in the baseball game and decompress.
Once I finish my beer - usually take about an hour to drink the pint of Guinness, I go home and work. Ill tell you why Guiness and Sylven Street later. Its important.
I am a dad and a husband. My name is Mike. My wife is battling relapsed Hodgkins Lymhoma and our daughter Saiorse died on December 13th, 2011 at the age of one and a half. We also have a 3 year old son who is amazing and healthy. My wife and I own a start up that is focused in the health care sector; vascular access and medical product innovation.
This rekindling of my blog is a necessity for me. I need a sounding board, story telling and decompression medium to talk about my everyday life essentially being a single parent while my wife is in treatment and getting better, taking care of a wife with cancer, taking care of a 3 year old, grieving the loss of a child from cancer and running a start up. I need to talk about everything. My every day is a fine line between chaos, calmness and everyday life.
This is a bit of my everyday life. It usually starts at 5am and ends at midnight or 1am
I get up at 5am (usually). I put on water for coffee, let the dog out and then start focusing on the day. Worry. Stress. Anxiety. Think about Kezia. Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Saoirse - My daughter.
There is laundry to be done and started, trash to be taken out, dinner to be prepped (take out frozen stuff if needed), ingredient inventory for dinner, breakfast and lunch planning, child care planning Kezia care planning and emails for work. Oh.. did I mention that I need coffee and need to take the dog out?
Then I focus on work. Think about Kezia. Worry. Stress. Anxiety. Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Saoirse - My daughter.
Customers to take care of, inventory to manage and my daily schedule to revisit. Get the boy up; make sure wife is ok and still sleeping; eat; cram in as much stuff as I can in the short window while Lochlan eats. Drive Kezia to treatment, drop off Lochlan at inlaws (couple days a week) then - list to do for work; yard; car; dishes; laundry; food for Kezia; spend time with Kezia. Sometimes cut grass; yard work; clean; write and read. Whew.. Then feed lochlan lunch if needed; get him back outside to play to wear him out for nap. Teaching and parenting time. Bugs; spiders; cool; yellow dump truck; teach to throw frisbie. Work. Thinking about work. Kezia. Saoirse. Fallon. Lochlan. Business partner. Hospitals. Etc. Play with Lochlan. Run around the yard. Errands post office; bank (hopefully); Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; Thinking; nap time for lochlan; It keeps going like this until all is in bed and sleeping. Then I work more. Work Work Work. Laundry. Plan next days work, menu, errands. Worry. Worry Worry. Kezia. Make sure she has everything she needs. Stupid friends. Awesome friends. Family. Oh, and I squeeze in food for myself once and a while.
I think that by now you may be starting to understand that life is busy. Like most.
I will start writing on a regular basis. Everyday sometimes. About my thoughts, frustrations, why I may have cried at dinner, why I yelled at the moron speeding down my street. I'm going to write what its like to start a business and bring products to the health care market innovated by Kezia in a desperate time of necessity and its frustrations and successes in the uphill battle to succeed in the health care sector; all at the same time as managing all of the rest of the stuff in my life. I hope to connect with you. Relate with you and learn from you.
You can look at my past post's. But please know that I am not the same person that wrote those. I was chest deep in cancer treatments for my wife and infant daughter and caretaking in the frustrating world of cancer treatment Then at the end, an immediate grieving father after watching my daughter die a horrible death.
My writing is much different. I am 5 years out. I am writing as a dad. A husband. A caretaker. A business owner. An artist.
I belong to a very exclusive club.
"I belong to a very exclusive club.
We are a smaller club, yet are growing by the day.
30 - 100 new members daily.
I lost count.
We are worldwide.
I will be part of this club for the rest of my life....and so will my family.
Membership is difficult.
The fees are high. Very high.
Daily club fees are due every day.
I belong to a very exclusive club.
I do not want you in this club.
You can not join.
You are not welcome here.
You cannot inherit membership.
I, and the rest of our community do not want you in our club.
We do not want you.
But we need you."
Until Saturday evening. Have a great day.