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December 20, 2014

Life is Beautiful

On Twitter a few nights back, I shared a very trying experience the wife and I endured this year. I want to share it here, expand on it, and direct it, a bit, at a very specific reader.







































Our reaction to the news took a while to build. Sitting in a room, viewing a screen, and hearing the heartbeat was surreal after all we had gone through. On the ride back home from the OBGYN, we kept saying to ourselves "this is unreal" (when we weren't asking each other how the hell we missed every obvious sign). Our emotions were initially paralyzed by caution- after what had happened in August we didn't want to get our hopes too high. But eventually the joy couldn't be stopped. It hit my wife during a second ultrasound, as he was rolling and kicking about. It hit me at an In-N-Out drive through just last Friday. He never gave up, even when we had, I told a puzzled lady as she handed me my Double-Double.

I know that for millions of couples, the story doesn't end the way it so far has for us- we feel lucky, blessed, and everything in between. We are thankful beyond description that our son, so far, is alive, kicking, and growing, and it has filled us with a feeling words fail to properly explain. Life gives us a lot of punches to the gut. It doesn't care what our plans are. Often times, it bites us. But sometimes, it surprises us for the better. In moments like the last few weeks, profoundly so.

When all seems lost, it is important to understand and appreciate this short moment all of us have on this earth. Do we wish to endure that moment sheltered in a box? Do we wish to give up? Or do we choose to just keep plodding on- taking each moment as it comes, not taking advantage of it, but treasuring it?

Reflecting on all of this, I can't help but think of Chris Picco. Last month, his wife was rushed to Loma Linda UMC for an emergency C-section, passing way from an aneurysm shortly thereafter. Just a day later, he lost his son. A video of him performing Blackbird for his dying boy went viral, and if you haven't seen it, I implore you to.

This is a man going through inconceivable pain, having just lost his closest partner and friend, and knowing full well the loss still to come. Yet in the moment, he strums and sings without missing a beat, without choking up, without the faith-shaking despair overwhelming him. He chose the tortuously short time granted not to mourn, but to encourage. To reassure. To know and love his son in the best way he could, in the short time they had.

We live our lives, and make more lives, and mourn those lost, and celebrate our milestones, the milestones of others, and fuck up, and fix ourselves, and fuck up further, and triumph, and fail, and repeat all of this until our heart taps out. That is the shared experience of billions. We are well aware of the workings and complexities of the universe we live in, and for some it depresses: we get maybe ten decades of life in a multidimensional spacetime that will last trillions of years.

But those among us who see it that way get things all wrong. Sure, there is an incalculable amount of stuff in our universe (or multiverse if you subscribe to that eleven-dimension reality). Yes, there are probably trillions of life forms in this one. But the few bits of stuff lucky enough to be alive, and further, self-aware, like the bits within ourselves, have an incredible moment. The life we live itself is fantastically beautiful, especially since it isn't guaranteed, it has no certainty, and rises and falls in the blink of a cosmic eye. Whether by chance or by divine hand, that we are even here, with the conscious ability to do and see and explore and try and hope while we are, is extremely precious. Why waste it in an introverted darkness? Why wallow? Life is promised to none of us. Live it.

When I started to write this post, it was at the behest of a few of my Twitter followers who were touched by our story. I had hoped sharing it would prove a nice break in the dreary climate we've found ourselves in from time to time, put things in a better perspective going into the holidays. But as I sat down trying to haphazardly collect my thoughts, I realized this would be an opportunity, weird it may be, to flesh out how I am feeling about one very particular reader, as hinted at the top of the post.

Jameson, I don't know when you will stumble upon this entry, but I'm glad you've found it. I hope it gives you some perspective of what was rolling through our minds, and what it meant to us when we found out that you had hung in there. A lot of this probably reads like rambling, which you'll be used to by now. Your story is only months old, and you haven't even taken your first breath of outside air. You didn't give up even as we had pretended, badly, to move on from our pain. You fill us with a profound joy and purpose. These last two weeks have been the most exhilarating and wonderful we have ever experienced.


Thank you for proving to us that life is beautiful.

P.S. - the answer you're looking for is 42.

-Dad
Dec 20 2014

(Oh, and a very Merry Christmas to the rest of the rotten lot of you.)

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posted by CAC at 02:26 PM

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