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

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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.

Moving Forward…

The snob in me wants to wax verbose about how the breeze feels across my neck, but I think that part of me died two weeks ago. I’m sitting here in Garfield Park in Indianapolis on a Saturday evening, getting ready to crew the pick-up shoot for Dark Ground, a feature film I had the pleasure of starring in shortly after moving back to the heartland, and I’ve been hit with a horrible revelation: I might survive this.

My second son, Isaac Joel Brown, was born six weeks early on September 8th, 2015. He was 18.5 inches long and weighed 5 lbs 9 ounces. He died the night before in his mother’s womb, and the moment that should have been overwhelming in its joy was instead filled with sorrow as I saw my son for the first time, a corpse.

Now, I’m a spiritual man, and I believe Isaac to be in Heaven right now and in that moment as well. He left a warm and happy place and found himself in an even better one. This does not comfort me much. I would rather replace this knowledge with the memory of his laugh, smile, cry, touch, smell or any of the other events that might have been had he survived. I look at my oldest son and know that Isaac would have had the best older brother and that not only was his family denied his presence, but he ours.

It’s very easy to look at the horrible things that life throws at you, and simply “throw in the towel.” I could lose faith. Saying “everything happens for a reason” not only sounds stupid in times like these but cruel as well. What reason could be good enough to kill my son?

Dwelling on thoughts like this is the path to the dark side of the force. I will not search for blame. Fear leads to anger, anger to hate, and hate to further suffering. We’ve suffered enough. I have an Isaac sized hole in my heart as proof of that.

So I continued. I continued to take job interviews, work on film projects and I have not stopped writing. This Friday I was offered and in turn accepted a full-time job. I have also begun working on three different film projects and began prepping a fourth (for the 60 Hour Film Challenge).

I make time for my wife. She is suffering as I am suffering. I have hobbies though. I’ve never prayed in a blog post before, but I pray now that God place his healing hand over all of us. Things won’t change over-night, but one day, one minute at a time, we will get through this.

So, Internet, here is my vow: I will not dwell in sorrow and anger, I will not deny them, I will feel them for as long as I must, and I will let them go. I will make this life the best one I can live and I will remember Isaac Joel Brown. I will remember him as he should have been, beautiful and alive. For he was beautiful, and according to his mother, one heck of a kicker!

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I love you, Isaac.

Now, it’s time to make a movie.

Beef Wellington: Dr Who vs. Santa Claus

I don’t know when this years Christmas became a uniquely British one, but it did.  As per tradition, I will be cooking Christmas dinner.  This year I’ve decided to conduct an experiment by way of making my first ever Beef Wellington, first Creamy Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce, first Carrot Purée, and the staple Mashed Potatoes.

Don’t worry, I’m serving an “Endless Summer Salad” with the whole thing too.  Because, #veggies.

And as much as I love food, and as much as I love cooking and trying new things…I’m really just counting the minutes until Nick Frost’s Santa Claus joins forces with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to save Christmas from evil aliens–though, they’ll probably end up not being evil and just being horribly misunderstood–but should, in the end, bring me a load of happiness.

This is my son’s third Christmas and at 2 ½ he’s finally starting to “get it,” which is awesome, despite the fact that we’ve watched nothing but Mickey Mouse, Curious George and Thomas the Train Christmas specials for the last two months.  He knows who Santa is, though he’s not quite sure what Santa means, other than that he say’s “Ho, Ho, Ho,” and that he means Christmas…on one level or another.

I began shooting the pilot episode of a web-series, “Cooking with T3,” I’m making with my son, and should be streaming it via Youtube by the New Year.  He’s a little young still, so the first episode may be the last for a while.  Maybe shoot the next one closer to his third birthday.

Anywho, I guess this really isn’t a blog post as much as it is a rambling, but I’ll be sure to take pictures of my food–something I’ve done my whole life, yes, even before digital photography–and will be posting them to my Instagram, no doubt.

Merry Christmas everyone, be safe, and remember to enjoy yourself.

Brain Farting; In Need of Mental Colonic.

I have found, lately, that I’m feeling stuck.  Immovable.  It’s not that I’m not going places, that things aren’t happening and that I’m not an active participant in my life.  Because I am.  No, what I mean is: Have you ever had so many projects going on at the same time, that you lose the “forest for the trees?”  Like a deer in headlights, I have just stopped.

D3Now, don’t get me wrong–I love Diablo 3–it’s a great game, despite Blizzard Entertainments attempt to remove everything that was awesome about Diablo 2 from it.  I’m still playing the game.  I’m having fun doing it.  But what am I not doing?

I’m not writing.  I’m certainly not blogging, until right now, of course.  I keep saying “yes” to things I should say “no” to.  I need a mental cleanse.  I need to find my bearings.  To come up with a new schedule for feeding my brain and for vegging out with my hardcore Barbarian, hardcore MP10 Witch Doctor, and MP10 Wizard.  ‘Cause, they’re awesome.  🙂

Unfortunately, this sounds easier than I’m finding it to actually be.  My son keeps my quite busy, which I don’t mind.  He’s awesome!  He gave me a thumbs up for the first time the other day.  I felt accomplished and I hadn’t done anything.  How awesome is that?  And yes, he is one of the things I said “Yes” to, but definitely not one of the things I shouldn’t have.  It is a huge blessing to have him in my life and I find that he’s teaching me more about me than I’m teaching him, well, anything.

So, I’ve decided (Just now, as I wrote the last paragraph–which was a process: I paced and everything.) that I’m going to treat my writing time like it’s work time.  This should be obvious, and something you’d think I would be doing anyway, but I haven’t.  I’ve been treating it as “my time.”  It is something I love to do, so it couldn’t possibly be work, right?

So not true.

I’m going to start with prioritizing my projects and then work on them as close to “one at a time” as I can.  We’ll see how this goes over the next few weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for “listening.”  It helped me figure out my problem.  You know, saying it.

Now, back to Diablo.  😉

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.