This is Her Story of Peace, Love, and Strength

7 a.m. wake-up call!!

Hello Friends and Family,

Anyone else awake at 2:06 on our Nations Birthday? Probably the men and women over in Afghanistan?….. and me and the nurses in the P.I.C.U./C.I.C.U. up here!  and some of you, either busting your butts hard at work, or you’re up to no good at this hour! GO TO BED!!

Anyway, I posted a little video over at the Facebook page below:

I can’t load a video longer than about 10 seconds on this website, or a picture above 2 MB, therefore, I will be posting bigger things over there.

That will include photos from the incredible event last night at Marty and Nicki Kasteler’s house! It was a HUGE success, on many levels.  The kids had a blast. And the adults partied like kids! And some people even watched the 1964 movie “A Fistful of Dollars”! with a young Clint Eastwood.  A  pure classic. (Can you hear the whistling?…. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!)

Last night, MiaBella played the part of The Good, and she made off with the Gold! The beautiful and generous people who came together 4 years ago to support Marty and Nicki have returned to wrap their loving arms around our family and MiaBella.  Just like the earlier dinner party at Egg’s in the City, in which so many people donated their time and resources, last night so much karma and energy came together……. and more than a fistful of dollars! They raised (get this….wait for the whistle!…..) $2,775.00!!! from a silent auction of donated and created items, and other donations!  Unbelievable! Add that to the nearly $16,000 raised at Egg’s, and Mia’s beginning to look like a fairly attractive dowry item, despite the obvious future liabilities!! 😉 No, but seriously….. We are blown away by everyone’s generosity and willingness to extend themselves.When I told Mia about it this morning, you should have seen her eyes! They opened so wide! and she just stared at me again.  It was awesome. 😉 I just can’t tell you how warm and good it feels to have your loving arms around our family.  To know how many people have extended themselves, both financially and personally with their time and effort. All for our MiaBella, and in support of our family. This is a testimony (yes,… I’m going to use that word) to the quality of people we have been blessed to come to know.  I do not know why we have been so fortunate, so blessed? But, I can sincerely say, that I don’t think anybody in the world can say that they have better friends, or that they know a higher quality of people, than I can say of what we have in all of you.  If you are reading this, then that includes you.  It shows that you care. And that you understand the value of ‘people’. The real and only Treasure in this life can be found in the hearts and minds and dreams of People.  It’s Love and Compassion.  And MiaBella, and our family, have been receiving epic dose quantities in the past month!  Profound. and Humbling.

It’s all about Perspective.  My advice?….. get you some!

cont. at 3:48 a.m., Juy 4th, 2011.

In quieter times, I sit and find myself shifting through emotions like a leaf or cork    traveling and bobbing through the eddies of a river. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking  about what a shitty ‘hand’ my daughter has been dealt. Don’t get me wrong! I do sometimes…. but it doesn’t help. It brings me down. It’s a serious Buzz Kill. Because, that perspective implies  several things which fall away quickly with a little reflection. Like the idea that the ‘hand’  given you is worse than anyone else’s. ???  Or, that you were deserving of something else.   Something ‘better'(pretentious git!). And maybe, even, that someone ELSE was somehow  ‘more deserving’ or worthy of your own misfortune, not you. ? right? well……. as I’ve said  before, and as I discussed with the nice nurse up here tonight, all you need to do is  remember to come spend some time up here in the I.C.U.,….. just take a walk down the  hall, and unless you have no ears or eyes to see, you should come to realize that it could  almost always be worse. And no one ever promised you a rose garden.  And even if they  did? How boring??  I like a variety in my garden! including some purty wild flowers!  The  things many people used to call Weeds!  I call ’em Perennials!

Four years ago, when Marty and Nicki found themselves fighting for their lives, I found it more than easy to ask for money.  It was a “no brainer” for me!  Marty and Nicki were two of the kindest, sweetest people I’d ever met! and the ‘goodness’ that exudes from them is thick like honey! And I’m a “B”ee!  So Swarm I did!  And when Marty expressed reticence in accepting help from complete strangers, I tried to understand him, but didn’t. And I had little tolerance for it.  I told him, “Let them help! It makes them feel good! It’s a beautiful thing! Everyone is rallying around this injustice, and coming to the aid of a fellow human being who needs help! Allow this beautiful and spontaneous outpouring of love ensue! It’s GOOD for the community. It’s good for us!”…….. and Marty, with much effort and help from his incredible wife and many friends, did accept and allow these strangers to help him. Many of those ‘stangers’ were You! The very same people who are reading this and coming to our aid now.  And You continue to impress and amaze me.

But now, the shoe is on the other foot.  And my folks taught and raised me to be self-sufficient. To be of service to others. Tis better to give than to receive. And “me do it”!  You know?….. so accepting help and such overwhelming assistance has been…… difficult. And so very humbling.  I apologize if I have not thanked you for your help. I am trying. We are all trying and we are all learning. I’m in some uncharted waters.

Last night, as we sat around the small kitchen table…. sharing chairs and laps and leaning on each other’s shoulders, we shared our feelings and thoughts, while the kids melted into each other falling asleep to some kid’s movie.  It felt so safe. Such a warm and loving home Marty and Nicki have built. And it was filled with beautiful, colorful people. People who value individuality and self-expression, and often shun the acceptance and approval of the greater society, and yet, you all come together without question or hesitation when a friend of a friend is in need. I love your tattooed, stretched, gauged, and pierced assess!! Everyone one of you!…… well, except, there is that one tattooed butt I don’t really like,… how could you? …. it’s gross!!….. but there’s only one! so, no harm, no foul.  ok. just joking. too early.

So, I don’t know if you’ll ever really understand?…… until or unless you’ve logged some time up here, in some I.C.U., or anywhere that you find angels in earloop face masks tending the sick, the torn, the children and parents with lost dreams and altered futures. But not all dreams are lost. They just change, I guess. I’m trying to figure that out now….. and foresee a difficult challenge ahead.  Regardless, either you change…… or you die. I swear it’s true. At least, it feels like that.  Anyway, I just hope I remember some of what I’ve learned. I’d like to remember it all! But I’m not Rain Man, and too often I seem to forget the very Miracle of my only daughters existence! But then I remember about the other kids….. and I see that silent spector who wanders these halls.  He’s called Perspective. Not everyone see’s him. But those that do won’t soon forget the lessons he hands out. You only need to open your eyes. And mine have been pried wide open.

In my office, we’ve been saying, “It’s all about the Love!”  I even had it printed on a version of my business cards.  I wanted to print it on my toothbrushes, just after, “Floss yer Head Off!”, but there wasn’t room on the handle.  But I swear to you all, if we can all learn something from what our MiaBella is going through, if through reading these random wanderings of my sleep deprived and sometimes desperate mind, then I can feel better about taking all that you are giving. And I can believe that maybe everything that Mia and our family has been through will be of value and meaningful. I acknowledge you all for your hand in this experience and would welcome the opportunity to assist any of you or someone you love should you ever need me. Because, it is true. It IS all about the Love!

Thank you for your compassion and empathy, all for a little girl who needed you, and a father and mother and brother who don’t know what we would have done without you………… or her. At least we’re all going to have her around for a little while longer?! Like, hopefully, couple of more decades or more!!

carpe diem and Namaste to all of you!


One Happy DAd on July 4th, 2011, 5:25 a.m.

ps. I’m telling you….. there’s NOTHing like a neutralized mouth. Just ask Mia.  ……but wait until the tube’s out. She can’t talk right now, dummy. 😉


Comments on: "Perspective….. such a gracious mentor and guide." (3)

  1. bonnie martineau said:

    oh tom, you are so right about changing or dying. there is no choice, is there…

    kind of like jumping off a cliff and hoping you’ll land in a soft place…and i think you are and will continue to do so.

    i’m glad you are making a concerted effort to keep your thoughts on the positive side. there are a zillion good reasons for doing this, but again…there is no other choice, which is what you find out when you stop doing that for awhile. you can’t’ exist for long with negative thoughts. i’m sure you know by now, that positive thoughts attract other positive thoughts…

    …and what’s a positive thought anyway? prayer? intent? whatever it is…its a good thing to fling out into the universe. good things will always come back to you.

    i love you guys

  2. Such TRUE and BEAUTIFUL words! Dreams are not lost, just changed! Oh how are family relates!!!! We love your Mia and we haven’t even had a chance to actually meet her 🙂 Keep fighting Mia Bella!!!!

    Miracle Mason’s Mommy

  3. David Brickey said:

    Thanks “T” – another awe-inspiring post. We (Isaac & I) just finished reading your all night composition (started @ 2:06 & posted at 5:25am). Thanks for sharing the moment with us. Please give Mia a hug. We hope the tube comes out very soon. Love always, Uncle D & I-I

    p.s. Hope you get some sleep as well.

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