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Family: The Sing Along

Posted in baby, children, daughter, ella, family, music, parenting, torch-passing, whimsy on July 29th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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My youngest daughter is (as of this writing) three years old. Putting her to sleep often falls to me for two main reasons: my wife (in her words) feels like shoving the baby at me when I walk in the door after having home schooled all day. Second, and there is no secret about this, the youngest is an avowed daddy’s girl to the core.

Part of our ever evolving night time ritual is that Fuss lays on my chest while I sing her a song. When I started doing this, I was so shocked to know how few songs I knew without hearing at least some of the musical cues (with backing tracks, I may know a hundred or so). Now I’ve accepted this strange sampler plate of songs as the ones that will be drilled into Fuss’ little brain: “The Scientist” by Coldplay, “The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get” by Morrissey, “As” by Stevie Wonder, and the following ditty, which we’ll address in a few moments.

I’ve heard Fuss singing snippets of songs I sing or that she hears a lot before, from “Dance Apocalyptic” by Janelle Monae to “Self Control” by Laura Branigan. I was so taken aback one night when, lying on my chest, Fuss matched me nearly word for word on “Smile Like You Mean It” by The Killers.

She may not hit every note, but she remembered a whole song (instead of just fragments like her ad libs of “If You Remember Me” by Night), which seems like more than many three year olds can pull off, including the lyric I changed to reflect my karaoke hosting days before she was born or all my ad-libs.

My long suffering wife recorded it, I uploaded it to YouTube, and here’s the world premiere of our a capella cover of “Smile Like You Mean It.”

The lyrics of the bridge really get me here. Oh, and when I smiled, I glanced over at our first born, who was waiting for us to finish so she could eat a bowl of cereal.

Playing (Music): “Something About You” by Level 42

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Life: “… showed heart but got cardiac arrested …”

Posted in bad ideas, children, family, life, ranting, sadness, wife on July 27th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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robin roberts got scared too, and she can afford way better coverage

People often ask me “how are you” or “are you all right?” My honest answer of late has been “I don’t know.”

Sitting in a doctor’s chair on Friday, I learned some of what’s happening with me. Papillary muscle ventrical tachycardia. A muscle inside the lower part of my heart has some kind of electrical problem that’s unusual, leading to something weakening the heart muscle and my heart pumping a little less blood than it should. I’d say more, but I don’t want to look it up.

For years, I’ve considered myself the healthiest person I knew, and sitting in that chair, it settled in on me that I am now a completely different person. Now I am a person with a chronic health condition, one where doctors have advised me to keep taking medicine for the next two or three years while they hope that my heart heals itself.

I’m not “that healthy guy” I once saw myself as. Given that this could have lurked in my chest for years with me being none the wiser, maybe I never was that guy. Any minor indiscrepancies in my work are the swinging of the sword of Damocles over my head, the need to maintain employment and health coverage now having nothing to do with my wife or kids for a change.

On one hand, I had an epic run as “apparently flawless.” I did things that would make Brothers’ SportsCenter, I have a laundry list of accomplishments that I worked hard to achieve and inspire me. Still … I want to do so much more, for my girls, for my marriage, for myself.

The sentence that most affected me was “you didn’t do this to yourself.” My diet, my lifestyle choices, all of it was fine. I did everything I was supposed to do, from sodium to exercise and it didn’t make a lick of difference. They said I’m doing well on the treatment and just have to keep it up along with my doctor visits. It doesn’t treat my fear, my anxiety, my worry for my girls to never be young and ask Tatiana Grant’s fateful question.

“I don’t know” is my answer to how I am because I felt fine all along. I have to recalibrate my entire sense of what “being okay” is about, and I have no idea where or how to start. I am forty years old and driving fast in the dark with no headlights and no idea where I’m going.

I’m still here and I’m still trying. That’s the best I can say right now. How am I? I’m here. That’s all I’ve got.

Playing (Music): “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

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