Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

The things I remember

June 21st, 2017

Pie Man Sticks His Toungue Out

I’ve noticed over the last few years I have been compressing all my sadness into the last day or two of Pie Man’s anniversary and you know, I’m sure that’s fairly normal given the whole “life gets in the way” thing.  And can you believe how time has passed?  In September, Wyatt will have been 10-years-old.  Next year at this very time, it will be the 10-year anniversary of his death. 10 years!  I remember the first year anniversary where we packed our house in San Marcos with friends and family to unveil “A Slice of Life with Pie Man“, our 30-minute movie honoring Wyatt’s life and impact on our family.

Ugh, ten years are almost here.

And speaking of remembering things, I have all these little memories.  Just random little tidbits in the overall picture.

So as I reflect on my son’s life (and death), I thought maybe I’d share some of them with you today.  Here it goes in no particular order whatsoever.

  • The night Wyatt truly died (Saturday, June 21st, 2008), I had dinner with my father and his family at BJs Brewhouse.  I have lots of little memories from this night:
    • I was informed by ESPN Sportscenter on the BJ’s tv’s that my awesome pitcher for my baseball fantasy league went on the disabled list (DL).  BTW, I’m still in the same fantasy baseball league (with the majority of the same folks) to this day.
    • My brother’s step-daughter (at the time) who was like 15 told me “he’ll be all right”
    • Parker ran a race with one of the other kids (Steven) and got smoked, like, badly… lol!
    • Afterward, went to a local bar that night with my brother Dustin.  He ordered us Patron silver martinis (straight), shaken over ice, with a salt and sugar rim.  By far the best tequila drink I’ve ever had yet I’ve never ordered that again.
  • I’ll never forget the look of suffering on my wife’s face when she walked into the room after I had just learned of Wyatt’s neurological failure.  It was a mix of disbelief and sadness and yet she was also so miserable due to the process of being worked up as a live donor.
  • Dr. Weiss.  The guy who came down and gave me the news on the lack of Wyatt’s pupil response.  He reminds me of Seth Rogan.  But obviously, when I asked him how we fix this problem, his delivery of “it’s usually fatal” [when referring to Wyatt’s condition] was not funny.
  • There are things about Wyatt’s funeral I remember.
    • I was late to it by a good 10-15 minutes.  Everyone was just sitting there waiting.  I even got some shit for it from the pastor.  Seriously.
    • So yeah, was late to my sons funeral.  I realized before hand that I accidentally left an HDMI cable at home that I needed to project my son’s video montage and I insisted I go home to get it (I’m so glad I did, it literally made the funeral).  Also, the main reason I was so late was because I got on the wrong on-ramp to the freeway (I headed north when I should’ve headed south).  Was very lucky there was one more off-ramp to turn around on (at the military base) or I would’ve been stuck going North on the I-5 at Camp Pendleton where there’s no off ramps for like 10-15 miles!
    • I spoke at the funeral.  I barely remember what I said, but I did take 2 warm tequila shots right before I spoke in front of the 30-40 people who were there.
    • My buddy Bill gave me a bottle of Grey Goose which is what he drank at his infant son’s funeral (his son passed away from SIDS in his crib).  Shortly after, Bill stopped drinking and is 7-years sober.
    • Afterward, we went back to our house and had a poker tournament.  I was really drunk and guilted people into letting me win.  Not really on purpose, but it was what it was.  Thanks to all of you who went with it.  My long-time-friend Dustin later told me how uncomfortable that was.  I get it.  And all I can say is all who participated did us right and we thank you and love you.
  • I loved the Sub-Marina being right next to Rady’s.  I had lots of Italian subs. People would help us by bringing food because the hospital food sucked so bad. One out-of-state colleague bought us Pizza Hut pasta which was quite a new offering for them (it was delicious). And of course, we ate a ton of McDonalds since there was a McDs located within Radys (it’s now a Subway)
  • I spent a lot of time one-on-one with Parker
    • Parker and I fell asleep on the couch watching “Surf’s Up”.  To this day, I not only adore that movie, but it brings me back to that couch.
    • I took him to Sea World one day.  We went on the sky tram over the bay.
    • He and I spent lots of time in the car driving to and from Radys, not really saying anything.
    • One of my happiest moments was when Wyatt was released from Rady’s prematurely and Parker had fallen asleep in his car seat as we waited for him and mom to come down.  Wyatt was strapped into his seat and started grunting and coo’ing at him but Parker didn’t notice because he was out for the count.
  • The day Wyatt officially passed, I asked my mom if we should stay in LA and she advised that we should just pack up and leave.  That’s what we did.  She was right.
  • It was soooo fucking quiet our first night back.  No little baby sounds coming from Wyatt’s room which were a 9-month staple.  Worst. Night. Ever.
  • My wife and I made love in complete despair that first week, almost like a release of stress.  It wasn’t very fun but yet very much needed.  We both agreed in that instant we would have another child (and then we had two!).
  • I completely melted down to my father when we were in the process of getting Trisha worked up as a living donor.
  • The shock of losing Wyatt was crazy.  I remember just sitting in a chair that same day while a butt-load of our friends and family packed up our rented LA house.  Then I was in the backseat of the car.  Then I was home.
  • We took Parker to see the first Kung-Fu Panda in LA one day.
  • I remember the day Wyatt was to be airlifted to LA.  They hopped him up on drugs and he was super goofy, like laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Dr. Newton and all of us had a big laugh at how silly he was.
  • I went to Kinkos to send our real-estate agent the final signed paperwork to close on our 8th St. Louis investment property (damn we did good on that until the economy crashed a few months after Wyatt’s death in 2008).
  • The second or third day Wyatt was at Rady’s, he had an allergic reaction to something and ballooned all over.  Face, lips, arms, feet, etc.  It was utterly horrific (I even have a picture of it and it’s really hard to look at).
  • Parker loved taking the bus in LA thanks to our bus rides to the hospital!
  • The pillows at that LA house were literally perfect.  I’m still looking for pillows that match the quality and balance of soft yet supportive.
  • I remember coming back to sign paperwork on that fateful day (Sun, June 22) and seeing Wyatt’s body.  It was completely purple and lifeless.  Like straight out of a movie.
  • When Wyatt had passed, Trisha held him in her arms and we must’ve said “I’m sorry” at least a hundred times.  We tried so hard to prevent what happened and couldn’t and to this day I’m still so sorry for all the pain and suffering he went through. As his dad I will be forever haunted by not being able to protect him the way he needed to be.  It’s not right that he was so tortured physically.  I kinda wish he just would’ve passed away in his sleep the first night.
  • If you look at our hospital pictures and videos, the majority of them have Wyatt smiling or sticking out his tongue.  He was so happy and loving and trusting toward us no matter how many needles, pills, machines, etc. bothered him.  He was sick, jaundiced, covered with rash, etc. yet was clearly as in love with and trusting in his family as we were with him, literally until the last week of his life.
  • My aunt Judy’s horror when I told her about what was going on (she was the first to hear from me that Wyatt was probably gone after my chat with Dr. Weiss).
  • My brother-in-law Andrew breaking down and saying good-bye to a lifeless, yellow Wyatt as Trisha held him (he’s the only person I have a vivid memory of saying good-bye even though dozens of people came through to do so).

I could go on-and-on.  I love and miss you Wyatt.  And I’m so very sorry.

–Corey

Just Re-Read my Blog from 8 Years Ago

June 21st, 2016
Pie Man Sticks His Toungue Out

Click Photo to Read May 22-Jun22 2008 Blog Chronicling Wyatt’s Story

I don’t have a ton to say here, I realize the world has moved on from 8 years ago and you are far more worried about Trump vs. Hillary, Guns and Massacres, Trannies in bathrooms, Lebron bringing a trophy to Cleveland, etc.  But on the 8-yr anniversary of the evening that I’m pretty sure I witnessed the death of my 9-month-old son, I decided to re-read the blog posts I added to the interwebs at the time to try and make sense of it all while keeping people updated.

Knowing what I know now, the optimism portrayed by these “suckers” posting the content on the blog almost makes me nauseous but the 8-year removed realist (and relatively happy man) in me understands better what truly happened to this family.  And yeah, I’m older, wiser and probably a better human being because of it all if that doesn’t just reek of irony and just-injustice.

Regardless, I am utterly heartbroken how the shoe just completely dropped on my family from post #1 on May 22 through the final announcement on June 22, 2008 and now we have to try and grapple with our loving memories of Wyatt every year while cursing the fates and knowing what it’s like to see the curtain of stability pulled out in front of your eyes by some fragile Wizard just pulling the strings.

Wyatt would be 8 years old today.  He’s not even known by his younger twin brothers other than a set of 1’s and 0’s making up a beautiful digital image displayed on our 5th gen Apple TV slideshow.

And yet, there’s something so real, and physical about him that resides in all of us that I just can’t help but break down into an emotional mess around this time of the year.

That’s all I have, but feel free to see the attached for what an incredible journey it was to follow along in 2008 as Wyatt met his demise at the hand of all of us who didn’t have the will to protect him and keep him safe from the harm that was headed his way.

Godspeed Little Pie Man, I miss you with every waking moment of my being.

Love, Dad.

Click Here to Read the Blog from May 22-Jun 22 2008

 

Lost My Shit Today… Here’s Why

May 21st, 2014

So even though no one likes to have a bad day we all do, that’s life right?  I kinda had a bad day but for the most part, it was #1stworldproblems type stuff (tough work day but in the end, give me a break, I love my job and am very fortunate to have the kind of job I have).  Still, I did not enjoy today and look forward to erasing that shit from my existence and making something really good out of it.

So why the hell am I so damn sad today?

Well, if you know Wyatt’s Story, you know that in a couple days, we start our somber period where we basically re-live the 30-days when Wyatt was hospitalized and then ultimately passed away (May 22-June 22).  Now I ain’t gonna mince words.  That period was the fucking worst nightmare any parent could ever live through and it changed me deep down to the core.  But hey, this is the 6th year anniversary and it should be a hell of a lot easier right?

Not exactly.

Pie Man and his Tools!

Unfortunately, for the first time since he passed away, this is the first anniversary where I don’t have any outlet.  No major videos to produce, celebrations in his honor, websites to launch or projects that will honor and cherish him.  Every year before, I had that thing that would take this terrible, terrible experience and turn it into a positive, something that would help others.

Don’t get me wrong, I will love, remember and cherish Wyatt in the next month in my own personal way and with my family and I will always express how deep that love goes any chance I get.  But the reality is that life is in the way.  We do have wonderful things in the mix including a brand-new diabetic pup, a couple of twins turning (OMG) FIVE, Parker just turned 9 and lots of great things going on both personally and professionally.  Plus, we have some great things for the WLF simmering until the time is right (maybe later this Winter, we’ll see).

Fast forward to six-years later and I’m finding a new, sad, but ultimately necessary level of grief that doesn’t include a major “Wyatt” project on the agenda to be ready by June 22.  And you know what?  I need to be ok with that.  It doesn’t mean I’ve “moved on”, or that “time heals all wounds” or even that I’m just in a better place (or not).  It just means that I will have to love and remember and grieve a difficult anniversary for my beautiful little Pie Man in a different way and that emotion has bubbled to the surface a bit early this year due to that uncertainty for how this goes.

Anyway, I know tomorrow will be a new day and I’m going to accomplish great things and be with great people that help shape the great outcomes I’ve been thankful to experience so far in life.  But in the meantime, this year, I’m going to just have to accept how much I miss Wyatt and be ok with channeling that into alternate energies as I continue to live and be happy just like we chose to do so even weeks after he passed.  I know he wants that happiness for us and I wouldn’t trade this next 30 days for anything if it meant I couldn’t have ever had him in my life.

The takeaway?  I’m cool with losing my shit today.  And in the next 30 days, I may lose my shit again once or twice.  But you know what?  I’m going to do some amazing shit too.  And Wyatt’s going to be there guiding me either way.

–Corey

The Birth of Baby Wyatt

September 3rd, 2011

You know, I’m so used to telling Wyatt’s Story, that sometimes I forget that there are other stories starring my little cowboy that aren’t quite as sad.  Take for instance the story of his birth.  Four years ago today, my little Pie Man (or “Baby Pie Pie” as we called him that day) was born and it was one of the happiest days of my life.  I still remember it very vividly.  To commemorate his 4th birthday (yes, he’d be four-years-old today, hard to believe), I’ve posted my original blog from that day as well as a couple of great videos from his first week of life.  Happy birthday little Pie Man.  –Corey

Baby Wyatt is Born

[Below is the unedited, original blog written on the day of his birth]

Wyatt is Born

Wyatt, Only a Few Days Old

After a very stressful several days of waiting until the hospital and our doctor decided to admit us, we finally made it into our room at approximately 8am on Sunday morning, September 2nd, 2007.

For most of the day, the labor process was fairly uneventful.  Trisha began around 8am and was fully dilated by 4:30pm.  I headed out for a minute (when I thought she was about 7 centimeters) and sure enough, leaving the room did the trick because just like with Parker, I was returning to the room when I received the following note from Trish:  “I’m a 10”.  Needless to say, it was showtime!

As with big brother, once it was time, things escalated quickly and it only took a couple of quick pushes to bless us with the birth of baby Wyatt who was born at 5:05pm weighing in at 8 lbs 2 ounces and measuring in at 19 ½ inches long.

There was a little tension after the birth because as expected, he had wrapped the umbilical cord around his neck 3 times (his mom joked that she realized “Wyatt” may be a very appropriate name since he seemed to wield his cord like a lasso!).  Because of the stress this caused during the birth, he had trouble transitioning to normal oxygen levels which left him very pale and short of breath.

But with quick action by the nurses and doctors, he was wheeled over to the NICU where they hooked him up to an oxygen mask and some fluids and it wasn’t long before his color was normal and his eyes were open!

In the end, all is well and both mom and baby are doing great and when Parker was able to see his brother for the first time he couldn’t take his eyes off of him!

The birth of my sons have been the most wonderful experiences of my life and it was wonderful to share the experience with my friends and family… 3 cheers for friends, family and another healthy Leamon boy… welcome to the family Wyatt Reese Leamon (otherwise known as “baby Pie-Pie”), we love you!

–Corey

Baby Wyatt’s First Video

Here is Wyatt’s first video taken the day after he was born as he slept in the hospital. He came into this world at 8lbs 2ounces and 19.5 inches in length.

Parker Loves Wyatt

Most of this footage was taken during Wyatt’s first week of life. It illustrates the almost instantaneous bond he formed with his brother Parker. The pride Parker felt in being a new big brother was truly wonderful and this footage shows that perfectly.