Monday, June 29, 2009

T minus One Day

T Minus One day until Michael's 10th birthday. We love birthdays in this house. Especially if it is Jenn's or Michael's. We would have had a scavenger hunt. I remember the first time we did the scavenger hunt. Jenn did one for my birthday and Michael loved it so much he wanted one. So Jenn spent the time, drew a great map and we hid presents in various locations. Michael didn't know what to do at first, he wasn't sure what the map was for and how to proceed. Finally with enough coaxing, he started on the map to read the clues with help and to follow the map. What a fun birthday that was. This year will be much different. It is T Minus One Day for us to celebrate Michael's 1st birthday without him, no scavenger hunt, no Michael, no fun.


It's been four days since my last post and I find it hard to come to my blog. I find it difficult to post. I want my life to be consumed by other things, so that I don't continue to feel sad. Sad as a word doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. I am not aware of a better word at this moment which could convey my deep sorrow and loneliness that Michael is gone.
It's hard to post when you are sad, everytime I hear the song "hey there Delilah" I get so sad. I keep remember hearing him sing witout knowing the lyrics. He would always say the last word of a chorus after it had been sung. Some songs he knew more lyrics.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stories are all I have left

Stories are all I have left of Michael. Sure we have some physical things (toys/clothes/etc), but stories are what I live for. I love to hear stories and I love to tell them. I have no new stories and find myself grasping to remember any little story. I know the day will come when I remember no more. Sooner than that will be the day that I keep telling the same story over and over. I am like that now with things that happened to me in 1994 or 1991 or 1996.

How will I react when I have no more new stories of Michael? How will it feel? Will it bother me or will many things fade. I don't know what I am going through. I can honestly say that I have been more productive at work this week than a long time. Michael's birthday is coming next week and we have so much to do. I don't want to do anything. I just sit on the couch watch tv, surfing the web at the same time. I go to the gym everyday for an hour and am back at home. I just don't have the energy. I can only muster myself the energy to walk at the gym. It's all I can do. While walking I think of the stories that Michael told me and stories that I told him, watch a little tv then rinse, wash, and repeat.

What happens when the memories and stories fade? I have a terrible memory, I forget most things. My life started somewhere around 1988 with my childhood being a blur. My memories and stories from that time on have comforted me and made me feel happy, sad and a host of other emotions. My memory is slipping and stories are all I have left....
for now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Do you ever have any cool dreams? What about scary ones?

I used to ask Michael about his dreams virtually every day. Whenever I went to wake him up in the morning my routine was...
"Wake up buddy" Nudging him gently
"I am so glad you are awake" Once his eyes were open
He would stumble out of bed and walk lead footed to the bathroom leaving the bathroom door open, then sit on the toilet and pee.
When he would come out, I would ask him "What do you want for breakfast"
He would say "Pancakes!"

I would grab 2 pancakes from the freezer and pop them in the microwave. I would add sugar free syrup to the pancakes without butter and give him the plate.
Lately I would ask him to pay for the pancakes and juice (V8 fusion).
While he was eating I would ask him if he had any good dreams that night. Most nights he did have good dreams. They were always about him getting being a good guy and defeating a bad guy. They may have had monsters, knights, or space ships in it. A lot of times is was the military and he was a leader defeating the bad guys. He would finish his story after the pancakes and maybe continue it in the car on the way to school.

I wonder if he has any dreams now? Does he miss those delicious pancakes?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dirty Glasses

Michael wore glasses, he actually had two pair and got these glasses recently (last few months). He would get his glasses so dirty. They would have fingerprints, smudges, and oily marks on them. Every morning before school, I would get his glasses and clean them off. Every night I would show him the proper way to take off and put on his glasses. With all that instruction, he still managed to get his glasses very smudged.

When I first heard about his glasses, jenn said that they were gold and plastic. Gold and Plastic, I thought to myself, did he not hear about all of my stories in the big brown glasses and my anti-coolness?

When I got home, I saw the glasses and they were not so bad. I admired him for picking out an edge-y pair of glasses, I know I never would have done such a thing. He pulled off the Bronze (in my color palette) plastic glasses quite well. The frames appeared to be a bit small for his growing head (when do our heads stop growing?). I loved the fact that he finally liked glasses and would wear them all the time.

He told me once...
"I used to hate wearing glasses, until I looked around class and saw the other kids who wore glasses. Then I thought it was ok to wear them." He used to fall asleep wearing his glasses, it was very cute. Each time I would have a mini-cow because I didn't want them to break. Looking back, I am glad he got to see the world clearer the last few months. I am also glad at his outlook on life, I know I never was that cool about things as a child (nor as an adult!).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Piplup Plush Animals and Nellie

Michael loved stuffed animals. He loved ones that would fit in his hand, bigger was not always better. He used to keep several of his prized stuffed animals on his bed last year. I remember when the Pokemon small plush animals came out at Target. Michael would walk by and handle each plush figure.

Unfortunately our dog loved to eat stuffed animals. She could eat a fake squirrel but couldn't be bothered with a real one. Nellie loved sitting in Michael's room looking out the window at the world. If she happened to find one of Michael's stuffed animals, she was in heaven. She would take the stuffed animal to her favorite location in the living room or would tear apart the stuffed animal right on Michael's bed. She would usually pull out half of the stuffing and rip the animal in a few pieces.

Michael having lost several of his prized possessions, was diligent in shutting his bedroom door each and every day. It always made me feel sad to see the look of horror when he realized that Nellie had gotten to another of his stuffed animals. If Nellie got to one of his animals, we would end up replacing it within a week or two.
Piplup was one of his favorite stuffed animals because it fit in his hand. I remember the day we bought it at Target, it drew a huge smile from his face! He would say in a squeaky voice "Piplup, Piplup, Piplup!" Apparently, Pokemon could only say their names and sit on your shoulder like a parrot, or walk on the kitchen counter. It was a cool pokemon and what child doesn't like a penguin? Piplup's major weapons were bubbles or water. We used to play with Piplup when he was younger, but now I only have the hollow echo's of Michael saying "Piplup, Piplup, Piplup."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Father's day is a day to celebrate all that your dad has done for you and if you are a father, have your children celebrate you on this day. I used to be a father, up until April 9th. I can't say I was the best father, I can say that I went through phases. Some phases I was more attentive to Michael than others. I have been told that I am too hard on myself and I think I always will be. I could take this post to detail all the areas I was deficient as a father, but I won't do that to Michael's Memory. I can say that he taught me to care and love someone. Someone that couldn't make it on his own (because he was a child, he did have a super awesome mom and great grandparents).

So how could Michael have honored me today? Michael will always honor me as his father because he was a good person. He had a heart of gold bigger than any grown-ups. He once offered me a cookie he got (and he loved cookies) at the Atlanta Bread Company because he was proud of me for getting a certification. I know a lot of kids would not give up their favorite desert because their dad got a paper certification. Michael's everyday actions honored me. He loved me and brought out the best in me. Michael and Jenn were a 1 2 team. They could brighten my day and fix any wrong.
Michael helped out so much around the house and never really got an allowance. Michael would say I was the best dad in the world. While I may not have always believed it, it sounded so good coming out of his little mouth.

Michael loving to hear my stories and asking me time and time again to tell stories honored me. I never thought a child could make such an impact on my life given my history as a child and what I went through. I never thought I would make a great dad, but in my heart I think I did OK, that Michael got everything he wanted and got the love and affection that a dad deserves to give his kids. Michael was my beacon of hope, that after everything he went through he was a resilient, kind-hearted, loving, compassionate, caring, honest, and funny kid. He truly was one in a million and I am better for having had him in my life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The last thing we did together

The last thing that Michael and I did together....

What is the last thing that you want to be known for with any friends or family. Take a moment and think about it. Would it be something spectacular or something very sweet and loving. Would it be angry or petty. I often wonder now would I do things differently. I think I have a better sense that life can be incredibly short. I have had a lot of my family die in my life but I never once got that message until Michael passed away.

The last thing we did was re-route our Comcast Cable from around the room to under the bed. It was rather mundane and not very exciting. Michael didn't quite understand what I wanted him to do because I didn't give him the big picture before we started. Once he understood, he did a great job. We worked together to get the cable run under the bed and under the dresser and finally up to the TV. He wanted to get to school early that morning. I am glad that I was dragging my feet because I got an additional memory from that April Day.

While the memory is not exciting, it is one of the last memories I have. It was a memory from his last day. He was the greatest helper and most times helped without question. All in all, I could never have asked for a better child. I always told him he was the best son a dad could have. Thank you Michael for being who you were and leaving me a better person for it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chick-Fil-A Birthday

Last Year I signed Michael up for the Chick-Fil-A birthday club. We joined at the one closest to us on Capital Circle. I love the store and the marketing campaigns they have there. Chick-fil-A in general really has their finger on the pulse of America. Last year we went to the party because we could. Michael was real nervous and we happened to get there very early. There were about 8-9 kids there, Michael being the oldest. Michael got a birthday shirt which they had him wear, they got to color, free lunch, a piece of cake I think and a free ice dream cone, and of course a balloon sculpture "thingy." Michael had them make him a sword, a sword he could use to get the bad guys in his pretend world that followed him everywhere.

It was a sweet party and Michael really didn't know what to do with himself at the time, I had him sit with the other kids while I sat off to the side out of the spotlight. At the end of the party, the kids got to spin the wheel and get a free prize. Michael won a free sandwich, but the prize he really wanted was the Chick-fil-A cow plush mini-toy. He walked back to me slightly disappointed, I told him to go up to ask the lady to see if he could exchange his gift. He was scared to go up there. He was a shy kid and didn't want to do it. I told him to go back up and ask for it, because if he didn't no one would know and it never hurt to ask.

He did go up there with some more talking on my part and asked for he cow. The lady exchanged him the coupon for the cow and he walked back to me with a huge smile on his face. Over the past year, he had developed even more confidence and I was sure that this year he would tell the employee what he wanted upon winning a prize.
Yesterday I got the Chick-fil-A birthday club party announcement. It broke my heart that Michael will not be able to go this year or any other year. I can't help but feel my heart sink when events come up that I think he may enjoy, but he is no longer here to experience them.

Thank you Chick-fil-A for giving me that memory with my son last year. I was always up for trying new things, especially if they meant free food for my son.Chick-fil-A, support Chick-fil-A and their Birthday Club! They have the best people of any fast food establishment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Movies We Can't Watch - And Ones Michael Would Love

Here is a list of movies that we can't really watch. If you know of any other movies, let me know.
1) 7 pounds - never got around to seeing the end once we realized what was happening
2) John Q - Worst movie because of the theme.
3) My Sisters Keeper - With Michael's heart condition, how could we watch this movie?
4) Heart of a Child - Tear Jerker

Movies that Michael would have loved
1) Transformers 2 - he would have loved this best
2) Up
3) Night at the Museum 2
4) Monster vs Aliens
5) Star Trek and Wolverine - not sure if Jenn would let him see these
6) Land of the Lost
7) Year One - not sure of the rating on this
8) Ice Age 3
9) G-Force
10) G.I. Joe - he would have loved this best
11) Astro-boy
12) Planet 51
13) Avatar

As you can see our hobby was children's movies, by listing the movies Michael would have liked. Michael and I saw Bolt at the dollar theater. Michael liked the dollar theater because I would let him play video games before the movie, and we would eat ice cream after the movie next door. He loved snickers popables, and was known to eat Mike and Ikes or some twizzlers.

Best Friends

Today was an interesting day for me. To start the day, I had a best friend from my past get back in touch with me, John W. John was the only guy who stuck with me through all the hard times I had when I was a teenager (death of a mom, granddad, and my HS friends ditching me, loss of my brothers to live with my dad, in addition to your everyday teenager stuff). If not for my friend John, I am sure I would not be here today.
Also today, I went to my best friend James's house. James and I have been best friends for a long time, we were quad mates in the dorms at FSU back in 96. We roomed together in 97 and were roommates for a couple of years. James has been a big part of my life for the past decade, through weddings, births, new cars, broken down cars, broken computers, you name it. If I were broken down 3 hours from here at 3 in the morning and needed someone to come get me, my friend James would come get me. If you do not have a friend like this, then you are missing out. Most times I went to James's house, I would take Michael along for the ride. Michael and I would play games in the car on the ride to and from James's house.
It takes about 45 minutes to get to James's house, 101 South Boonies lane. Rarely would I go to James's house without Michael. Actually, the only time I wouldn't take Michael is if Michael was out of town. It was a very hard trip to make without Michael. On my way down I cried in the car when I thought about how Michael loved me to tell him "funny stories" about my youth. When I thought about how Michael loved to hear my stories and that he would laugh and light up when I told them, my eyes misted up. Tears raced down my cheeks when I knew that he will no longer be able to hear my stories.
James and I took the boat out and I remembered one time when we took Michael with us, that Michael loved the boat ride, but always made sure he was fully inside the boat and safe. James would always wrestle with Michael and pick him up or flip him around. Michael loved the attention James gave him.
Michael had best friends too. Michael had a best friend Addison while in pre-school. He had a best friend Tony while in Kindergarten. Michael really looked up to Tony, and he liked the Jaguars because of Tony (even though Michael never watched football). These last two years he became best friends with Greg, Kemo, Mallory, and Cayle. Michael loved these friends and they all were very close. This year Greg, Mallory and Cayle were super close. I was so proud that Michael had friends like I have had, that he had the best of friends and it was such a wonderful year. Michael passed out next to Mallory and Greg while Cayle was in the class too. You can never pick when your kids pass away, but I know that he was not alone. He had his mother in his heart every minute of every day, he had me with him at all times, and he passed out next to the best friends he had, whom he saw everyday; then passed away later.
He did not die alone, he was with people whom he loved very much during his last waking moments. As much as I wish Jenn and I could be there, I know that he knew Jenn and I loved him and were always with him. Some of his last thoughts were about playing with his friends, it is sad and unfair and it makes me cry, but at least he had best friends and they had such a wonderful effect upon him. They had shared experiences ranging from growing up, making movies, movie/cartoon/tv characters, fighting monsters, and doing everything in between.
He had loving parents, and had his very own best friends, the best friends anyone could ask for. He was a happy, no, a very happy boy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I am not sure why Michael is gone, I know that I will never know. I know that no one can know. No one can tell me why. I know that people will say he is in a better place and that he loves me. Many times there is no comfort or solace in that statement. No one knows what to say when it comes to Michael. People either avoid the subject or talk about how Jenn is doing. I happily talk about how Jenn is doing and tell them I am doing ok. Just ok, I move through life day by day without the joy that once walked beside me. Some days are more sad then others. I try to fill my time with work and other tasks only to return to a house that no longer has the playful thread of Michael walking, running, jumping, sneaking, or dancing.

As much as I want to know why, I really wish I could have said goodbye. I am hard on myself all the time and have been all my life. Michael used to say "It's O.K. Stu, it's not so bad." Unfortunately, he can't tell me that now. I have to move through these moments and try not to be too hard on myself, and remember the fact that I was left with years of memories, lots of pictures, several videos, and a great wife to remember the Michael Moments.

For all the moments and great things Michael taught me, I am still left with the one question I will never get answered "Why."

Big Shirt

When Michael was about 6 or 7 or 8, his view of the world made me smile. He used to say when he grew up that he needed me to save my business clothes so he could have something to wear. I would tell him, I hope you are not my size when you grow up and that he would want his own clothes. Michael loved clothes shopping, and was always excited to get new clothes. Jenn did a great job picking out outfits for him. If he really loved a shirt he would wear it until the bottom of his belly would stick out of the shirt. It always made me laugh that he was in such a tiny shirt. The same thing happened with costumes. His Spiderman costume was super tight, it was frayed everywhere and it came down to about 5 inches above his ankle. We always got our money's worth from costume(s).

Diet Rite - Orange Style

I love Diet Rite, but only the orange flavor (tangerine I think). Michael also loved Diet Rite. Michael and I could go through a 2 liter very fast (mostly me). I always loved watching him go into the refrigerator get the two liter out reach up and get a glass from the cabinet (I had recently noticed that he no longer needed the stool to get to the glasses, he was growing up). He would open the two liter and pour a glass (Like his mother, he never used ice). He would then look over at me take a drink and smile. Or if he was in the mood, he would come over to the couch and sit down next to me and ask "Whatcha watching Stu". I would usually give him a hard time that he was drinking my drink and he loved the game and would usually mention it to me "Stu, I am drinking your Diet Rite". I just bought some Diet Rite at the store in 2 Liters (my second time since he passed away). It made me sad to think that I have no one to share my Diet Rite with from now on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Shot

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted…one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
-- Eminem - One Shot Lyric Snippit

If you had one moment with your loved ones,
a child, a friend.... could you say that you
seized that moment.

Too often in life we go day by day, going
through the motions, losing sight of the things
that are really important to us.

I can't say that I seized every moment with
Michael, I can't say that I took advantage of
every opportunity.

I can say that I know now how important every
moment is. That every moment can touch your
soul if you let it. That if you open up and really
let that moment touch you. Give it a
shot, go ahead and practice. Share a truly
emotional deep moment with your child, parent,
sibling, friend, or coworker. You may surprise
that person, but you should find that you have
made a connection that you could hold forever.

Every day we let hundreds of moments slip by,
but try today to grasp and hold one of those
moments. Try to make that deeper connection
with someone in your life.

Carpe Diem - Just Do It! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Skee Daddy, Michael, and the Lightning Round

I was just starting to teach Michael about the stock market. I would come home and pop on Cramer's Mad Money. The show is a great vehicle to teach people the basics about the stock market, no matter if you are 9 or 99 years old. Michael loved the Lightning Round. While he didn't know much about stocks or the market, he was fascinated by Cramer. Cramer is entertaining, so Michael would say "The crazy guy is on TV" or "He is so crazy" or "The Skee Daddy Guy is on TV" or "ARE YOU READY SKEE DADDY? The crazy guy is on", or "Stu can you believe he is nuts?". Michael would say "your show is on", but in my mind I was thinking it was "Our show" buddy.

I loved watching Mad Money with Michael, he rarely watched the whole show because of school or play, but we did get to see the lightning round everytime. I haven't really watched Mad Money since Michael passed away because it would bring back sad memories. I have not been in the market in months when I was trading daily (it was my new hobby).

Whenever Michael and I raced to the car in the morning I would say "ARE YOU READY SKEE DADDY?" And Michael would be off racing to the car. It was fun letting Michael win, and it was fun saying "Are you ready skee daddy?". No I have tears running down my cheek when I say it in my head.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tears and Fears

Whenever I see pictures of Michael I get tears in my eyes. Typically they race down my face like fast approaching storm. How can I keep Michael in my memories without having the tears. I hate being sad, so there a lot of times and things that I do not want to remember.
I have a guilty vein in me and I am always hard on myself. If I think about it, I can think of a million different things I would have done better. Literally a million. So my days are spent
trying to remember, but trying not to try.
Trying to think I did my best, when I know I could have done better.
Trying to think I will always remember every little thing, but knowing I forget things day by day.
Pacing the house when I have nothing to do, just wasting time walking in circles.
Hating weekends because they were the times I spent the most time with Michael.
Not knowing what to do with myself.
Wanting to let Michael know that he meant the world to me even if I don't always think about him because it makes me to sad to think that is really gone.

Speed Racer

Michael and I used to go to James's house for parties. One of the best things about James's house was that he had a go-cart. I remember one of the first times we took the go cart out, I know I really wanted to ride it and so did Michael.
We took the go-cart to a dirt pit where we gave the cart to Taylor to ride. unfortunately, the tires were slick and the pit had a lot of loose sand. James had to get Taylor unstuck 3 or 4 times. We then found an empty abandoned road with a trail running along side it for a mile or so. We got the go-cart off the truck and put it on the trail. Taylor and James road down the trail (I wouldn't let Michael go with Taylor until I saw her driving style). When they came back, Michael was so excited about going on the cart and driving. I let him get in the drivers seat and we were off (after being buckled in of course). Michael was not the best driver, he swerved thinking it was a video game and we came close to a tree. I stopped us and switched to where I was driving. Michael was still happy to be in the go-cart. His face lit up and he was all smiles as we raced back to James and Taylor.
We drove the cart 5-10 more trips when visiting James. It was always a blast and Michael would ride with Taylor mostly. He loved driving and I found some pics from the last time we drove.
He was my speed racer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Green Army Men

Wouldn't it be nice if I could get a group of 20 people to dress up as green army men and walk in the Tallahassee Winter Parade. Michael loved going to the parade, he loved drinking a Sprite and watching the floats pass by. His favorites were the police motorcycles and the military floats. They always put a smile on his face. My favorite was always the WM trash truck.

North Florida Fair Memories

Michael wanted to be in the military, he loved all things military. Future weapons, and the military channel could sustain him for weeks if we let him. Here is a photo of him in front of a military truck. These trucks were at the north florida fair in Tallahassee.
In this pose he probably was wanting to get back to the rides. I had us take a walk around and see the animals and the Swine Races. Now that Swine flu freaks people out, I don't know if the swine racers are still traveling. Jenn really liked the show. Michael tried to pick me to root on one of the pigs. We went to the fair every year. One year Michael got to root for a pig, but his pig didn't win.
I am glad Jenn went with us this time.
Michael liked riding the Jalopy Junction, the fun houses, the bumper cars, and the blow up/jumpy things. He especially loved winning prizes or trying to win prizes, Jenn was suckered into paying more than she expected by the carnival prize patrol too.
All in all it was a great trip and we enjoyed ourselves, I will miss taking Michael to the Fair :(, and I make sure I keep the money for prizes. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Michael vs Darth Maul

Here is a video of Michael at Star Wars Weekends 2008. It rained that weekend we were there, so Michael missed a lot of autograph opportunities. We heard about characters in this building where they sold star wars merchandise, so we decided to wait.
What you don't know is that we waited several hours to get these shots. He also got 3 other shots. Michael was playing with another kid in line. We really wanted two storm troopers to come up and sign his autograph book too, but they were just entertaining the people in line. Michael loved Star Wars, but when it came to the characters up close he wasn't too sure. He especially didn't want to see the bad guys up close. They kind of freaked him out. Too bad we didn't go this year, he would have been less afraid and would have showed moxie.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

High Five

Jenn had the opportunity to walk in the Komen 3 day walk in Atlanta a year ago.  Michael and I went to cheer her on.  The weather was poor for the first day or two.  
Here are two brief stories:
1) On day one a few miles from the start, Michael and I were hanging out at a cheering station waiting for Jenn to make it.  We were one of the first few families there.  Michael and I would keep getting out of the  car in our poncho's and wait in the rain for her.  We got bored waiting and I had Michael wear his FSU football helmet from a costume.  We cheered on the walkers by yelling "Way to go!".  A lady walking stopped to talk to us, she told us she was doing a scavenger hunt while on the walk.  She had graduated from FSU and needed to get a picture of FSU gear, so she asked if she could take a picture of her and Michael.  Michael was unsure, but posed at my request. Go 'Noles.

On the third day, Michael and I walked up to the last cheering station and while waiting we bumped into Uncle Bob, Joani, Sean, and Ashley.  While at the cheering station, I told him that he could earn some "Man points" by giving the walkers High Fives.  He was not one to do it without some coaxing.  So I told him once he had 10 or 20 high fives he could get a prize (Star Wars figure of course).  He started giving "High Fives" and really enjoyed it.  I told him that he was helping the walkers focusing on finishing.  He really took off and I think he must have given 500 or more "High Fives" before we left the cheering station.  It was great seeing Jenn walking, and watching Michael give her a great big hug.  It was also funny to see Micheal hold up a "Dooley Women have Big TATA's" Sign.  While he may not have understood everything about the walk, he appreciated Jenn participating and that everyone was doing something great.    I am not sure if he knew he didn't have TATA's.  A lot of people on the walk talked to Michael and it made an impression on them as well as for him.  Jenn may do the walk again this year, monitor her blog for her progress.

This couch isn't big enough for the two of us

We have a small brown couch from Pier 1, it stinks.  It is super-lightweight, not very wide, and is barely 5.5 feet long.  I loved laying on the couch though.  It was the only place our dog Nellie wasn't allowed.  It also was in front of our Den T.V.  
When Michael was smaller he used to get on the opposite end of the couch and would lay on it also.  This was not too much of a problem when he was small.  I would move his feet behind my legs.  As he got taller his feet inched higher and higher up on me.  He was at the point where his feet were near my butt.  That was weird and we were always trying to adjust his feet so they didn't poke me.  I loved it when he was on the couch and we watched tv together.  It was usually a cartoon like Chaotic.  We would each lay at opposite ends of the couch with a pillow under our heads.  We would be under a sheet and watch the latest episode of Chaotic.  Of course there was always the "move your legs Michael" and the "Stu your toes are in my face" banter between us.  The banter would get annoying at times, but I would give anything to hear that banter again.  We purchased a new couch (blue) a week before Michael died.  When picking this couch, I made sure that it would hold the bigger Michael and me.  That feature was the most important for me actually.  Michael never got to see the couch (he was on spring break when we picked it out), and we didn't get it until several weeks after the funeral.  Laying on the couch has never been the same.
When Jenn did her all night scraps, Michael and I would get on the couch, cover up with a sheet.  I would fall asleep first and he would soon follow as we watched a movie.  Nothing was sweeter than seeing his angelic face sleeping on the couch.  He would cup his face with his right hand and have his left hand near his chest.  When he was sleeping, he was at peace.  
He is at peace now, but I miss the mild yet managed anarchy that once roamed our house.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pirin and Peyung

Michael was not the best at pronouncing names.  He used to call aspirin "Pirin" and when he was younger he called guns "Peyung" for the sound they made.
Jenn didn't want guns in the house, yet he would grab a stick and turn it into a "Peyung"  telling other kids that they should play "Peyung".  Of course, they had no idea what he was talking about until he made a gun out of his hand.  He loved weapons of all sorts, and the good guys always won.  A few years back, he realized that a "Peyung" was called a gun and he had outgrown his "Peyung" phase.  I miss those years, but I cherish the fact that as long as he was alive he was innocent.  He didn't know terrible things and had not had his heart broken.  His biggest care in the world was should he spend summer bowling money on Nacho's or trinkets from the toy machine at the bowling alley.
This summer was to be his greatest, he would have spent the whole summer in camp and would have been king of the camp.  He loved hosting Nintendo DS games with the kids at camp, and he had gotten real good at playing games.  He loved to watch people play and would be content playing or just watching.  That kind of attitude you just can't teach.  He was one of a kind.
I love that kid.