09.08.2016

I thought about titling this blog “The Year that Didn’t Happen,” because, well…it didn’t–at least not as it was supposed to.  I was going to be juggling a job, a newly burgeoning film career, being a husband, and being a father to not one, but two boys.  But a year ago today I held my second son for the first, and last time.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Like all babies, he was lighter than he looked.  But this one…Isaac looked like me.  It was nice to see.  I love T3, but he certainly looks more like a Cooper than he does a Brown.  Isaac had my nose, which up until his mid-fifties would have been a good thing.  (It goes downhill from there.)

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not okay, and that that’s all right.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be “OK.”  I have an Isaac shaped hole in my heart that couldn’t possibly be filled.  But I don’t want that.

I still laugh.  I still dream.  And if you ask Isaac’s older brother what the meaning of life is, he will answer loud and clear: “Bacon!”  I’ve done well.

But Isaac, I miss you, boy.  And I always will.

Not many people ask me how I’m doing.  This, I believe, is mainly due to the fact that, as a Gemini, I’m quite good at keeping my cards hidden.  And I don’t take offense to it.  I’m usually more concerned about what is going on in others lives than to worry them with my own.  I am fine.  Just a little more sad than usual.

I’ve started (again) to write a novel.  I don’t have much written but the first page says the following:

To my boys, Thomas D. Brown III and Isaac Joel Brown.

I don’t know when exactly you became my compass on this adventure, but I can’t imagine life without you.  And so I dedicate this adventure to you.  

Love,
Your Father

Maybe I should have titled the blog “Meandering with Isaac.”  #LOL

You have never stopped being an inspiration my boy, and though the idea of waiting any longer to hold you again tears me apart, I’ll do us all a favor, and keep on kickin’ until I’m old and gray.  (Don’t tell anyone, but I’m starting to go gray already.)

Cheers.

Dad

PS: Your headstone / marker thing is pretty nice.  I liked that it had a tree on it.  A bringer of life. -T2

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Dear Isaac, #2

I read a love poem today and it made me think of both your mother, and of you.  E.E. Cummings wrote “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” in 1952, and in 2016, I share it with you:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Love,

Dad

2015

I moved across the country.
I lost weight, and gained it back.
I read twenty-three books.  Not one of them was the one I promised to read.
I literally, “leaped for joy,” upon learning of my wife’s pregnancy.
I starred in a movie and made several.
My son taught me how to be a triceratops.  I taught him about bacon.
I was unemployed. “Sorry, we’re going in a cheaper direction.”
But, then I got a job.
I wore a tuxedo, and cried at a wedding.
But then my baby died.  I held him in my arms, only once, for fear I wouldn’t let him go again.
We put him in the ground, and I held my wife.
And, then I went to work.
I made new friends.
I tried new food.
I cried a lot. 
I began working on my novel again.  We’ll see how it works out.
I have not visited his grave.
Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year.
All I want is for it to be September 8th, and for him to still be here.
But time is a constant.
Thanksgiving was good.
I’ve whispered “I love you” into my son’s ear, on a consistent basis.
I’ve watched Star Wars twice.
I’ll see it again, soon.
I don’t like resolutions.
But I will promise myself, this:

I will not stop.  I will continue.  I will learn how to breathe again.
I will make him proud.
I love you, Isaac.

Throwback Thursday or My New Old Best Friend

Dear God,

First, thank you for today.  I love it when I wake up and I’m still here.  Now, secondly, thank you for my brother, Richard.  When we were younger neither of us were very good at the whole “being a supportive brother” thing, but now that we’ve grown, I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

This isn’t my typical blog post, but it’s something that’s been pressing on my heart.  I need to say these things and not just privately.

Fifteen years ago if you had asked me what I thought of my younger brother I would tell you “I love him.”  Or I would have made a fat joke.  (Oh, the irony.)  What I wouldn’t tell you is this:

He is funny, charming, intelligent, honorable, kind, and fair-minded.  He has been nothing short of a beacon of support for me in any endeavor I have ever had, and doesn’t speak to me as if one day I will be successful, but as if I already am.  Do I have disagreements with him?  Of course, one could say “all the time,” but they are no longer fights, they are conversations.  Do I think he’s obnoxious?  Incredibly.  But then again, so am I.  I like to blame it on being a Gemini, but the stars hold little sway on my behavior, not nearly as much as I do.

No idea who all those other people are.

When I was younger I was indifferent to this “younger” person who was not smaller than me.  I know, if you ask him, he would say I was a horrible older brother.  I wasn’t mean, and I cared about him deeply.  That being said our relationship never really evolved past the point it was when my parents brought him home from the hospital:

“If I hit him (physically or emotionally) he’ll make noise, and often times he’ll make enough noise or the wrong noise, and he’ll get in trouble instead of me.”  Like the time when I poked him and he threw himself through a table in order to get me in trouble for pushing.  As quick and clever as the plan was, our mother saw through it.  #Skills

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I stopped this.  When I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and despite all of our previous history, my brother showered me with support.  I let a lot of things go during chemotherapy, to say nothing about my hair.  I don’t usually sweat the small stuff (outside of food in restaurants) anymore, and hurting my brother for sport had no more appeal.  It was childish.  And though, not intended, it was cruel.

Now, not all of the change was me, but it was enough.  I have found that this crusty Tech Sergeant is and has always been my best friend.  And I can’t thank God enough for bringing him into my life on that June morning, so many years ago.

Love,

T2

I make no promises.

Blogging, like most anything worthwhile, takes commitment.  That being said, I have more pressing commitments.  So, am I giving up on this blog?  No.  I will blog when I have something to blog about.  That being said, I don’t really have anything to blog about right now.  So, I’ll just let you, my three devoted readers, know what’s going on with me nowadays, by analyzing my other, more pressing commitments:

Commitment #1: Being a husband.

April and I are on different schedules.  And I don’t mean that when I’m at work, she’s home and vice versa, I mean I go to bed late and she goes to bed early.  Our time together is limited.  Now, we see plenty of each other when the two year-old is awake, but that isn’t husband and wife time, it’s father and mother time.  So, my time with April is precious to me.

We just finished watching “Legend of Korra, Book 2: Spirits” last night.  ‘Twas awesome.  Between waiting for our mutual television addictions to start airing again, and our desire to annihilate one another in well-played matches of Hearthstone, we get our quality time in.

My favorite part of every day is listening to her tell me about her day.  The time she spent away from me.  It allows me to feel like I participate in more of her life than I’m physically capable of.

Commitment #2: Being a father.

It is easy to turn on Netflix and let the television watch my son.  But when my son looks back I want him to remember the times we played, and laughed, and climbed, and jumped, and soared.  I don’t want him to look back and remember my back turned to him, playing on my computer, as he watched the television on repeat.  And so I don’t take the easy road.

A two year-old has a nuclear power supply somewhere inside of them; I’m guessing, of course, as I have not opened up my son to find out–there are laws against such things.  But this boy does not stop.  He goes and goes and goes.  Thus, commitment number two, is tiresome.  Not in the annoying sort of way, more so the “thank God you’re home Mom, I need a break” kind of way.  Whether or not Mom has had a busy day at work or not, I usually don’t care upon her arrival from home.

Commitment numero dos affects numero uno.

That being said, when you ask my son what his name is, he replies “Awesome!”  And that he is.

Commitment #3: Being a writer.

There are different schools of thought as to what consists of “writing” every day.  My process is this:

Step 1) I come up with an idea.
(This can be a character, a scene, a theme, or whatever nugget of creativity sparks further thought.)

Step 2) I outline.
(This process can take an hour, or months.  Sometimes I don’t physically write anything at all, but I continue to think about the story, and it’s elements, and how they fit together.)

Once the whole project is outlined I: Step 3) I write.
(This usually doesn’t take too long.  Two days to two weeks is my usual writing time for a draft.  Once I start, I don’t stop.)

That being said, to the outsider, it often appears that I’m sitting around doing nothing, or goofing off.  But I’m working.  I’m writing.

So, yeah.  As you can see, I don’t really have time for blogging.  And though I love the concept of keeping a daily journal of thoughts, observations, story ideas, and well, just to stay in the habit of putting fingers to keyboards, I make no promises.  More posts soon.

 

*winky face*

My Son Turns One

 

The beginning is the hardest part to write.  Endings come easy, and depending on who the author is, can be filled with hope, promise, and a fulfillment only appreciated after taking the journey.  The ending is the reason we tell the story in the first place.  Tomorrow, my son will turn one.

Where to begin?

I am firmly in the second act of my life’s story, the “Complications” or “Rising Action.”  I’m a fan of the five act structure–mainly, so I can live longer–but also because I feel it’s the best way to get to the heart of the matter: my dénouement (or “catastrophe” for those of you who want to see me go out with a “bang.”)  T3 though?  No, he’s in Act One, the “Exposition.”

If one year of parenting has taught me anything, it is that the beginning can be just as exciting as the end, or the middle for that matter.  My son teaches me new things about myself every day–it’s a little frightening.  But it has made me a better person, and a better writer.  I now understand the feeling one gets when a whole other compartment of your heart, that you didn’t even know was there, fills up with an endless supply of unconditional love.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep that perfect little boy safe.  My life changed forever on June 8th, 2012.

They are perfect, you know.  Our children.  They’re made that way.  And, as I see it, it is our job as parents to ensure they reach adulthood with as little “baggage” as possible.  Heroes with troubled pasts can help make for an exciting read, but not our children.  He should reach Act Two without so much as a broken bone…if only, right?

My wife has decided that his birthday party should have a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme as he’s quite the fan of Mickey.  So we’re having a “hot dog, hot dog, hot-digidy-dog” hot dog bar with condiments and potato salad.  I’m excited about the potato salad, and the few hotlinks I will be sneaking onto the grill.  And my son won’t remember it.

C’est la vie.

My act two has had an influx of rising action lately, as I said a few days ago, I’ve been writing a lot.  I submitted the spec script to several television production companies with the hope of earning a place in one of their writing programs.  I’m optimistic.  My friend, who’s working for a small independent production company, has asked me to write the script for a remake they are doing of a 70’s cult classic–to go unnamed for now–assuming they can get the rights.  It’s a “if we get paid, you get paid” kind of gig, but I like the challenge of reinventing something for a contemporary audience.  It’s going to be fun.  Also, I’m almost completely done the “outlining” and “thinking” stage of the next pilot I’m writing, so I’ll tell y’all more about “Eden” soon.

As for my “climax,” “falling action,” and “resolution?”  No one knows when they will die, or how–I just hope that one of the last things I see is my son’s smiling face.  Because whether my life takes a turn I’m unprepared for, or not–I will die a proud father, and that I’m okay with.

I’m in Indiana…

I met my wife in the land of the often misunderstood “hoosier,” where sports is king and God is a Baptist.  It’s where I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001 and where I found my cure.  It’s where I was married, and where I first lived in my “own” home.  I’m fond of it, but it never felt like “home” to me.

It wasn’t the cold mountains of Upstate New York, where I spent my formative years dreaming of a life more literary.  Today; however, I found myself surrounded by my wife’s family and our mutual friends and I didn’t feel out of place or like an outsider.  So I would have to agree with Captain Hammer when I say:

“Home is where the heart is, so your real home’s in your chest.”

Anywho, I’m making some good headway in the whole getting-ready-to-make-my-web-series planning.  I have character bios done, for casting calls and have really worked out how I want to use the camera to tell the story.  Planning, planning, planning.

Episode one has been written and I’ll have the first few written soon after I return from Indiana (Feb 11th).  Oddly enough, I think Indiana would be a better place to actually shoot the project as I think the snowy landscape would provide a good quality to some of the episodes, but alas, sunny California will have to do.

Posting will be infrequent while I’m here, but I’ll try to get on here as often as I can.

– T2

PS: JJ,
I’m still waiting on that email buddy.  Next best thing to happen to Star Trek since you is me.  🙂
– Tom