Thursday, May 23, 2013

The gas in my life.

Rambo called me from work the other day and when I asked how his day went, he said,
“It’s been a really shitty day.”
Immediately – I’m scared. 
Shitty days in a super max prison are a whole different kind of shitty then most people’s shitty days.
I braced myself for what “shitty” meant.
He said, “I got exposed today at work.”
Exposed to me means that he got spit on or urine got thrown at him or feces got on him and it connected with his bare skin or a facial cavity. 
Most of the men at the prison have things like Hepatitis C or AIDS or things like that.  When a guard is exposed – it’s a big deal with consequences that can last a lifetime.
But that’s not what happened this time.  Thank God.
Rambo meant that he got exposed – to gas.  The vent system didn’t work properly and so after an inmate was gassed – the gas traveled to the cage where Rambo was and he couldn’t leave that post or get out. 
The inmate wouldn’t listen to Rambo and actually said to the guards – “Let’s do this thing.  You guys are going to have to come in and gas me and get me.”
So they did.
Idiot.  He has asthma even.  Can you imagine getting gassed with asthma?  Idiot.
Anyway – for the rest of Rambo’s shift his head was in a trash can and his eyes burned and dripped tears and snot dripped and he was coughing and hacking and vomiting.
Shitty day indeed. 
Rambo had a chiro appt after work and just by touching Rambo, the chiropractor got exposed a little and he was coughing and hacking.  The gas stays on you.  We can’t touch Rambo until he showers and the worst part is that when you get wet and shower – the gas reactivates all over again. 
He coughed even 2 days later from the gas in his lungs.
It sucks donkey balls.
I felt bad for the guy. 
The thing about Rambo is that it doesn’t even seem to get to him. 
Let’s just put it out there that if I had been gassed at work…well I wouldn’t be able to do dishes, cook, clean, work, sleep, talk or move for about a week.  I’d be out of commission.  Forget being a mother and wife and career woman.  I was gassed man – I can’t do anything BUT recover!!
Not Rambo.  That same night after Rambo showered and went through all the pain and discomfort again from the reactivation, he went outside by the girls who were on the trampoline.
I heard screaming and giggling…more than the usual anyway.  Like all kinds of commotion and excitement.  So I went out to see what was going on.
Rambo was in the trampoline.
Bouncing around like an idiot.  And I think he even surprised himself at how fun it was because he was laughing every time he flew in the air like he couldn’t even stop if he tried. 
And the girls?
You couldn’t have stopped them from smiling or laughing no matter how hard you tried.  Their Dad was jumping in a trampoline with them.  Sometimes Watermelon was laughing so hard AT him that she couldn’t even jump.
Big ‘ol from the gut laughs – from all of them.  And from me watching.
For them – this is normal.  They have a Dad who does silly stuff like that and isn’t afraid.
For me – I watch with tears in my eyes and my breath caught in my throat.  I know that for me – this was not normal.  This did not and would not ever happen.  I wouldn’t have believed it if it had.  And I certainly wouldn’t have known what to do with the moment had it occurred.
That’s okay.  It is what it is.  It is different than what my girls have – and that’s what matters.  They won’t wish for a father who does things like this – even after a downright shitty day at work.    They won’t wish for a father who laughs with them and hangs out with them – and notices that they are alive.
Long before I ever had kids – I made promises to them.  Even unborn yet – I told myself that if I had kids, they’d never feel some of the same pains that I did.  I may suck a fat baby’s ass in a lot of areas in my life – but this particular area – I conquered.
I made good on a promise to my little girls before I even knew they were little girls.
If I could some day write that on my headstone….I just might.  It is without a doubt – one of my greatest achievements.  Even if it doesn’t come with a trophy for the shelf.


Rachel said...

How cute that he is so silly with them... I love it!

Laura Belle said...

Awwww! I think I picked Ryan because he was so much like Mike. And I knew he'd be the dad that Mike was to me, to our kids, (that Martin never was to me).

Having a father figure is the most important thing I think in a girls life. I'm just glad my mom was able to pick up the slack for Martin.

I still miss having Mike around as a dad. His birthday's tomorrow. He would have been 54.

Terrie said...

OMG, I can't even imagine the pain. I was a park ranger for a few years. Right after I got the promotion to the big house (hahaha, get it?) they finally agreed to allow COE Park Ranger to carry pepper spray. They were required to go through training first, which means they had to be pepper sprayed. So glad I didn't have to go through that!!

He is such a good dad. Sometimes the best thing to do after a bad day is to be silly around the little people.

Cat said...

I absolutely love these stories about your husband and your girls. I grew up without a father. Not even just a Dad...but no father figure at all in my life really. I'm envious in one way...but so very grateful that your girls will grow up knowing how cherished they are by their father. : ) Thank you for sharing this bit of your family with all of us. /hugs

FitBy40 said...

Just more proof that it's the little things in life that are most important. Great story!

Joanna said...

I don't think I can ever complain about having a shitty day again after reading that. How awful!!

What a fantastic man you've got yourself. And I'm so thankful that you come here and share these moments with us.

**Oh, and thank you for caring enough to check on me yesterday...don't think I said that in any of my replies.**

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Fatherhood was really different when we grew up. My dad wasn't even in the delivery room for any of the 7 of us. He worked hard and provided for us and there was definitely the "traditional" wife/husband roles in my house. Now, with households having 2 working parents, dads are being required to do more of a "woman's work." There's where the father-child bonding happens- the bottle feedings, diaper changes, carpooling, etc. I don't have a dad like my kids do, but I can't fault him for just being who he was and doing what was expected of him. I believe Oprah quotes Maya Angelou all the time- "when you know better, you do better." We know better and hopefully our children improve upon the job we did and so on and so forth. But, no matter what, you do have an exceptional man/husband/baby daddy in Rambo.

MandaPanda said...

That IS a shitty day but good for him for turning it around. :)

Tara Cartledge said...

That is "Man Tuff"---go him... And he gets the good daddy award for the week!!

Connie O said...

That is a spectacular achievement and well worth being proud of--for both of you.

Sarah Kopf said...

I LOVE that you stop and appreciate those moments... REALLY appreciate them. It's part of why I feel connected to you. If I could go back again and log all those little memories in my mind and heart and soul again from Cole's childhood, I would... Because, in an instant, it can change. Love your love, Mama. LOVE!


Angelwithatwist said...

OK we have to have a long talk about you making me all misty eyed every time I come here. I get it hun I do. My dad wasn't there when I was little and walked out when I was 10. My stepdad molested me for years. My role models sucked as well.. totally.

Karrie said...

Bless his heart!! He probably needs to let loose after these horrifying days, your girls definitely reap the rewards and that's how it should be! :)
Your post, even though a horrible thought that not many of us will experience left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. You have something special there momma!!

Joia said...

Absolutely beautiful story Draz...just beautiful. It's those moments that make everything in life worthwhile.

Didi Paul said...

Love love love love this post.
A man that can be gassed at work, and then re gassed in a way in the shower, but still laugh like a hyena and jump on a trampoline with his girls- that one is a keeper.