Monday, July 18, 2011

Work, Play and Milk

Every Monday, I can usually be found at home in my office answering emails, on conference calls or working on project.  I office from home and my wife knows that while I am in the house, I am busy and can’t be disturbed unless there is an emergency.  If I haven’t been seen in awhile she will make me something to eat which I appreciate.
Today, Jesse had one thing on his mind and that was to play with his Papa.  Every opportunity he had, he asked, “Papa, wanna play with me?”  I was so busy today and after I finished with my office day I needed to travel and for a meeting tomorrow in Boston.  It was a crazy day.  Then it happened, in attempted to buy some space and finish, I made a promise to Jesse.  It was just before 3pm and I had a conference call at three that was very important.  I told him that I needed to take a call and when I finished, I would play with him.  His reply was simply “OK Papa.”
My call lasted about an hour.  I remember at one point during the call thinking how quiet it was outside the closed door.  Then the call ended and I said “Good Bye” and at that exact moment, the office door flew open.  There was Jesse.  I said, “Hey buddy, what’s going on?”  He replied, “Papa, I was “considering” you.”  I knew what he meant and thanked him.
“Are we going to play now?”  Well, I made a promise and was not about to break it and proclaimed that it was Playtime.  I told him that I would meet him in his room but first needed to check on Mommy to make sure she was OK.  This is when I found out that Jesse sat outside my office door, listening and waiting to hear the words “Good Bye” signaling the end of my call and the start of our playtime.  He waited and was very “considering” (considerate). 
Playtime was a blast and I bet everyone heard us downstairs.  We were laughing and just having fun.  After awhile, I told him that I had to leave for work.  Jesse asked me, “Do we need money?”  I told him that I work so that we could have money.  I told him that I work so that we could live in our house and so that he could have all the toys he has to play with.  Jesse just sat there looking at me with a real serious look on his face and asked, “Papa, do you work so that I will have milk to drink?”
With a smile and holding back tears, I answered, “Yes Buddy, I work so that you have milk to drink.”
After hearing this, Jesse got up and walked over to me, and gave me a hug and kiss.
Obviously, there are many reasons why I have to work but for Jesse, I guess it means he will have his milk. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shane and Wyatt’s Award Winning Story

The Times News has been with us documenting Shane and Wyatt’s journey from shortly after their birth on March 6, 2010.  A few weeks ago Karen Cimms and Amy Miller, both writers with the Times News won First Place in the Pennsylvania Associated Press Awards; one for Enterprise Reporting and one for Features.  Karen was also awarded Second place for Series Writing by the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association, Best of the Best Awards in the Daily News Writing Category.  Not to be left out, Bob Ford, Photographer, with the Times News was awarded Second Place from PAPME, Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Awards in Photo Story.  We are so proud of the work they have done and are thrilled with their awards on this story.  The story, “Down Syndrome – A Family’s Journey” can be viewed at: 
Our relationship with the Times News began shortly after Shane and Wyatt were born when I meet with Karen to explore the idea of sharing our journey.  I think she was interested and took the idea back to her Editor and Publisher. At the time, I only had a few nonnegotiable items and they were, be honest and accurate in reporting the story, educate others about the issues or medical conditions and advocate support for those who were also dealing with stressful medical issues.  I believe we have hit the mark with the chapters already written and will continue to do so in the chapters still to come.
Recently, Shane and Wyatt had the opportunity to visit the Times News in person and as a family we thanked some of the people responsible for helping us document this journey.  I want to again thank Fred Masenheimer, Publisher, and Bob Urban, Editor in Chief for all your support, a few extra papers and for making “Down Syndrome – A Family’s Journey” a permanent link for all those who visit the Times News web page.  Also, thank you to Dave Rowe, Graphic Designer, for making the story look so good in print and Len Alabovitz, Plant Manager, who  manages the press and for making sure the extra papers found their way to us.  Amy Miller had the responsibility for writing about the medical issues and procedures for the story.  Thanks Amy for interviewing the doctors and surgeons, even if when I was late in providing you their names and contact information.   I also hope you learned a thing or two about G-Tubes and Fundoplication Surgery.   
Thanks again to Karen for putting our thoughts and experiences through this journey on paper.  You are a part of our family now and we appreciate all the work you have put into documenting this for us.  I only have one question for you, “Why did your interviews with me last about 15 minutes and your interviews with Mary would run for hours?”  I guess you enjoyed her conversation better than mine?  LOL.  Bob, Thank you again for photographing the journey.  I know most of the photo’s you take will never be seen in print but we appreciate you spending so much time with us either at the hospital, Buddy Walk, Shane & Wyatt’s Christening or just around the house documenting a normal day.  Also, not a day passes without Jesse asking about you, as he says “Bob is MY friend.”
Thank You to the Times News and for being a part of “A Family’s Journey”.