Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3: Call in the fire trucks!

Heaveno!

Okay, okay, everyone, thank you all for your participation in today's melee.  Now let's all (me too) take a nice, deep breath.

Here's the thing:  I have requested on two separate occasions in the not-too-distant past that comments on this page remain positive.  If you are reading this blog, thank you for being here.  However, I must ask a third time, please censor yourself if you find yourself writing a comment that is not positive.  I pour my heart and soul into this blog.  I have shared the most naked and vulnerable thoughts, feelings and fear I have here with you.  I provide TREMENDOUS value and inspiration on this page for free and have done this just about every day since June.  What can you do in return in the spirit of reciprocity?  Keep your comments positive, or keep them to yourself.  If you don't want to do that, or don't feel like you can do that, please do not read my blog anymore.  Find another blog to follow, and God bless.  Sorry, it's my blog and I'm pulling rank ;-)

Fair enough?

Moving on...

Today was my first of the two-day internet boot camp down in San Diego.  I began looking into doing business through the internet when Bella was born as I couldn't work in a hospital and take care of her at the same time.  Since then, I have dipped my toes into the internet marketplace without much monetary success, but have learned a ton, and developed an amazingly loyal community here, thanks mostly to Bella.  Without Bella, I wouldn't have started blogging.  Without Bella, I wouldn't have written a book, raised money, donated books to every new EB family in the US for the next 4 years, raised awareness for EB, met a whole new family of friends in Minnesota, and across THE WORLD.  It's all because of Bella.  Bella was good for the planet, wasn't she?  Exactly as she was.  I'll never forget doing bandage changes on her in May, shortly before leaving for MN.  They were soooooo peaceful.  She would lie on the bed, and watch Baby Einstein as we would 'put her back together' in her fresh bandages.  Every once in a while, she would pull her gaze away from the TV and just smile at me.  That smile said to me, "Ah, yessss.... THIS is why I picked YOU.  I knew you would take this good care of me."

My personal belief is that the soul chooses its own journey, and chooses the parents it wants to come through, not the other way around.  The illusion of control is so thick in our society.  Folks, we are not in control.  If we were, nothing bad would ever happen.  To anyone.

How many married couples do you know that have had a "change of life baby" later on in their marriage?  How many have tried everything under the sun and just can't get pregnant?  How many have gotten pregnant even on 'birth control?'  What if we did IVF and the baby ended up with Down Syndrome, or a million other childhood diseases or maladies that fill children's hospitals around the world... every. single. day?  Who would we blame then?

All I can say is that this baby chose us, just like Bella did.  In fact more so than even Bella did, because, candidly, at least with Bella we were specifically trying to get pregnant.  It's not like in November we said, "Hey alright!  Let's through caution to the wind and pump out another one!"  The conversation was quite the opposite.  We weren't ready.  But we are still pregnant.  Abortion doesn't fit within our view of the world and of life, so here we are.  Folks, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's not the events of life that determine our outcome, it's our response.  There are no if-then clauses about life.  We make them all up ourselves.  I fully take responsibility that I made up the if-then clause that if someone says something crass the day I post the SCARIEST and most EXCITING news of my life, I'm gonna deal on them.  I did that of my own volition.

And trust, us, we know exactly what the possibilities facing us are.  We don't need to be reminded.

However, we walk the walk, and have since day one.  SO, the event is here, NOW WHAT???  How are we going to be in the face of whatever it is?

 I wonder, is there anyone from the U of M hospital staff reading this that was in the room the day Bella died?  How was I being in the face of that?  How was I being as I harmonized to Bella's song, as we unhooked her from all her machines?  How was I while I watched the team administer CPR for TEN MINUTES?  How was Angelique as she delivered her eulogy not once, but twice?  What was she like to meet at one of our many round-the-country blog gatherings?  How was my faith when I wrote the the post:  October 11 Part II?  How has Ali been throughout this grief journey?

All of these things have been a choice, despite the events taking place.  It's actually all we have.  We have our vision, but life does what life does... ah, but we also have our response.  We always get the final word in.  It's THAT final word that ALWAYS and without escape determines the final outcome.

That's it.  We cannot control the events of life, but we can control how we respond.  Now, it's time for me to take a little of my own medicine here and say that I do not practice this perfectly, but I do practice it powerfully.  Yup, I get triggered and reactive also, yesterday was evidence enough of that.  I'm no saint, just a guy doing my best to be the best I can be.  My gratitude and heartfelt thanks goes out to all.

God night.





36 comments:

  1. enjoy your break from blogging!

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  2. What great photos of Ali and you with Bella today. Perfect post, you always write with such clarity. That is a true gift and although I will miss the daily posts, I am looking forward to getting your book when it comes out!

    Although you will be cutting back on your blog entries, know that you, Ang, Ali, Bella and baby are in my prayers each day. Your strength of love... family... faith inspires us all.

    Tracey
    Redding, CT

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  3. My hero(es).
    Rock on ringgolds....

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  4. Sara said it perfectly. You are heros.

    I wasn't "in the room" the day Bella's heart stopped, but I was near by. I was able to give you a giant hug, and I saw Ang in the bathroom as I was leaving and hugged her as well. In that moment, you were both amazing. You were not avoiding what was happening, you were being the best parents you could ever be and making Bella comfortable, loved, and safe as she left. I was also there for Ang's eulogy at the MN memorial and she was so beautiful, so strong, and spoke from her heart. Of all these events that happened, you chose your response, and you chose it well. I hope that others (with or without the loss of a child) can really learn from your experience the way I have.

    I actually just read that second October 11th post last night as I was searching for the photo of Bella for another fundraiser, and I couldn't help but read it again because it was so beautiful. You were so sad, yet the faith you had held you both up through that time.

    I love this post. I don't understand why people would want to write anything but positive words on this blog. I have said it before, but maybe they haven't met you in person.

    This baby has picked you to be his/her parents and will be perfect regardless. I can't WAIT to hold this precious little baby!!!

    Love to you all!

    Amanda Schauer (Bryce and Corynn too!)

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  5. "I provide TREMENDOUS value and inspiration on this page for free." Such as: " We cannot control the events of life, but we can control how we respond. "

    That's why I get out my notebook and pen when I come to your site. Thank you. I am very grateful for the way you blog and I'm grateful I found it. I don't just skim, believe me. You put things in perspective for me.

    Thank you for reminding it's how I respond to life events. It sure is a journey. Babysteps, but I'm working on it.

    Thanks for all you do! You are a very special family.

    Have a great day!

    Ann

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  6. Cynthia Skoda, MNMarch 4, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Praying that only positive and uplifting words come your way. People need to be surrounded by those with kind loving words. Praying for a pregnancy in which you can be at peace.

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  7. "Many are the plans of a man's heart; but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

    You are true testimony to that verse. Thank you for your insight and wonderful words!
    Lissa

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  8. Tim, Ang and Ali....

    Congrats on the upcoming newest addition. From one parent of a rare genetic disorder that received a transplant at the U of M. I am so happy that you are expecting again. That is just so Amazing. I am Joseph's mom and Tim we meet at the parents lunch out in the summer. I check the blog weekly and I too have to say I will miss them. I wish you all the best of luck. Please continue your wonderful work getting the EB word out there!!

    Kim and Joseph Parthenais
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/josephparthenais

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  9. Congratulations on your new addition! Hope that you have many sleepful nights before the arrival of the little one in August.

    Catherine

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  10. Ok - I thought the photo you posted of Bella asleep in Ang's arms are my favorite - but it is tied with this one now.

    Well said. And it is YOUR blog! And your life, and your children. And you and Ang are intelligent and have incredible faith and know what's best for your family.

    Congrats again!

    Best,
    Cara

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  11. My goodness! I step away from the blog for 2 days and come back to your AMAZING news! I have followed your blog for many, many months now and have to admit that I'm a lurker...not commenting much. However, I had to comment and congratulate you on your fantastic news. In fact, when I read your post, I let out an audible "awww" I was so happy for you and your family. Continued prayers for you and the entire family as you prepare for your new arrival. Congrats again on your wonderful announcement!! :-)

    Stacey

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  12. Congratulations to all of you! God definitely has a plan and we are all His instruments. I wish you all the easiest road and a safe and healthy pregnancy.

    Thank you for your blogging. I'm a lurker, rarely post but am inspired by all of you.

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  13. God definitely has a plan - and His ways are so much higher than ours! Praying for this next step of the journey for you, Ang, Ali and new Baby R!! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for Team A)

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  14. Exactly!!! Beautifully written, Tim!!!

    And for a bit of inspiration...We became pregnant in our 40s, the "statistics" presented to us by the genetic counselor were extremely scary, we anxiously awaited the amnio results, and now have a beautifully, healthy ten month old baby boy!! Amazing!!

    Sooooo happy for you and your family!! You are blessed in so many ways!

    Annette

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  15. I am so very happy for all of you. I am also appalled at the rude comment by one reader. I have a grandson who is mildly autistic. I thank God for him every day JUST THE WAY HE IS....he has taught me more about love and what is real in life than anyone I have ever known. God does have a plan just as he had a plan when he sent Bella to you. This baby is also from him, special needs or not. I believe God picks the parents and families for his special children very carefully. I am glad we were chosen and I know you are too.

    Every good and perfect gift is from above.

    Becky in Savannah, GA

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  16. I normally do not commment after a new post has been put up. BUT this is just ridiculous. First Tim is gracious enough to share his family and his inner most thoughts and feelings with us. This is not the place for people to judge him for his personal thoughts and feelings.


    He shares his motivation and inspiration with us to help uplift us. We as a community should support and motivate Tim and his family as he does for us.

    Just because this is the "internet" age, does not mean that social standards go out the window. NO ONE CAN JUDGE TIM, and ANG for anything. You have not lived their lives or been in their shoes. IT is not your life.

    What gratification do you get from being negative and mean? If you are codependant and need others to feel miserable and depressed with you, then you need to get some serious help.

    I am a nurse who works in high risk L&D. Everyday I see tragedies and miracles. I see babies full term with no genetic problems end up having multiple complications with disablities later in life, and those born 23-24 weeks gestation and beat all the odds and are whole and happy. THERE is no KNOWING what will be. The only comfort is HOPE. Hope is powerful and even if our hope for what we want to happen fails, it was better to have had it than to have not.

    Tim, Ang this baby is a MIRACLE he/she came during a time when you should not have even been able to concieve whether trying or not. Stress does horrible things for fertility. This child was meant to be. Furthermore he/she is alive and growing so everyone needs to stop with the nasty comments, the baby is already here.

    Tim, Ang I am so very happy for you Alli and this new baby. Your family is such a model to follow.

    Lisa
    Houston, TX

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  17. What wonderful news to hear that our Heavenly Father has blessed your family with a new baby. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proser you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " ...Jeremiah 29:11 All things are for the glory of God.

    Blessings,
    Krista (mom to Keric)

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  18. What a sad perspective you have. I am glad that have wisely chosen not to post again.

    Tim, what imperfect people we all are.... you have so much more important things to concentrate on than this sorry person. Not a single thought or emotion should be wasted on this nonsense... someone is just looking for attention. Very sad.

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  19. No. No. No. People. Remember the rules. Only warm, fuzzy, kitten thoughts on this blog. No opinions. Just pats on the back.

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  20. You're completely right Tracey - Someone is just looking for attention...... TIM

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  21. Unreal.

    anywhooo....we need to get do a family dinner night again! I'm so happy and very fortunate to have developed a friendship with you Ringgolds...and all because of Bella...you are truly genuine and sincere people...and I'll take that to the bank all the day long!

    get lost annoymous...weirdo


    xoxo to my fab & fav 5!
    nicole

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  22. ps....Tim does not need the attention...if you knew 1oz. of him or even get the big picture through his blog...you will see that he is very passionate about delivering his promise he made to Bella....God have mercy on you annon.

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  23. This is craziness...this is Tim's blog. Who else should it be about?? Are you kidding me?? He continually gives his wife praises and is clearly in very in love with her and his family.

    This man is working his a** off to raise millions of dollars to save other people's children. Pretty sure that isn't all about him.

    Tim, Ang, and Ali...you have stolen my heart and I just can not believe how mean some people can be! Perhaps you need to make it so annoymous posters are unable to post. I would gladly register so I could leave a post. I think that is what Patrice had to do. Because truly, who needs this crap?

    Hold your head high!

    Sara from WI :)

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  24. Congratulations on a new life forming in your wife's womb! A new baby is ALWAYS a blessing, no matter what!
    I was curious about something you posted on the announcement post. This is not meant to be negative at all, just curious. You posted that you are having an amnio to determine if the unborn baby has EB or not. Why? You already mentioned that you are not in favor of abortion. So why would it matter knowing that info before the baby is born? Forgive me if I am ignorant. Just seems like an unnecessary risky test to do if you won't abort based on the news.

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  25. Tima I have to agree with you 100% that we do not choose the path our lives take and this new child has choosen you! My husband and I tried for years to get pregnant, then we went the adoption route (our girls were born n Korea). I truly beleive GOD put my family together. Life has not been easy for my family over the past 3 years, but I think that is all in the plan.

    I will admit it is totally a struggle for me to deal with life day to day some weeks due to my younger daughter, but I keep moving forward and trying for the sake of this awesome family I have. I know GOD intrusted this child to me to help in her times of need.

    Hugs to all of the Ringgolds! You will be the best parenst for this new Ringgold and provide this child the love, support and attention just as you provide for Ali & Bella!
    Tina

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  26. Wow....I took a "blog reading break" and missed the great news!! Congrats!! Praying for a healthy baby!!

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  27. My heart is just breaking reading some of the comments. Especially now when what Tim and his family needs is love and support.

    It's not about just posting only "warm and fuzzy" comments. It IS about providing a place of mutual SUPPORT. This blog has felt like a family, but it is still entirely optional! If you don't appreciate what is found here, just move on. There are a million other blogs to read and comment on.

    I have to say that I cannot do enough to truly appreciate the time and effort Tim has put into building this community...through months and months of emotional ups and downs, through the death of precious Bella...and now through the anticipation of the newest little Ringgold. Is it really too much to ask to be positive and uplifting here?

    I have to agree with Sara from WI, and would also not mind a "registration process", if that would help mitigate anonymous, hurtful comments.

    Thank you for all you do Tim, one day I hope I will have the honor of meeting you and your inspiring family in person, until then, many blessings on your journey...hang in there...{{HUGS}}.

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  28. Yes, Ange...God has a plan...

    Much LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS, SELF CONTROL! Donna/NJ

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  29. ANNOYmous... keeping it public means he allows himself to be subjected to people like you... again proving the point that he is a pretty wonderful guy~ he will even tolerate your idiocy so he can keep this open to all who could potentially stumble across it and find help or worth in it. You really need to examine your life and figure out why you feel compelled to be so disrespectful and rude.

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  30. For not speaking anymore "anonymous" sure has a lot to say. They keep coming back for more Tim, which means they must be searching for something here. I will pray for them as they are in God's hands.

    May God continue to guide you and your family.
    I am so sorry if they are not understanding...GOD has a plan...no one else. Children are gifts from no one else but God.

    We love you and pray for you. I think it would be a good idea to make the blog private, you deserve peace and kindness for all you have shared with us. Much love, Donna/NJ

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  31. Congrats on the new baby (on the way!)
    I was wondering how you definitely know there will be a 25% chance that the new baby will have EB. Do both you and Ang have to be carriers of the EB gene for that to happen or just one of you for those odds?
    If this is too personal, then I apologize,and perhaps you can point towards some literature to read instead.
    Anyhow, blessings for the new mama to be. I hope Ang is feeling okay these days. Pregnancy is hard on the body, and can wear you out!

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  32. If this new baby does have EB, would you go through the stem cell transplant again with that baby?

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  33. I remember reading on Tripp's blog that his mom, Courtney made the decision not to have any more biological children (she would consider adoption), because she could not bear the thought of inflicting this horrible disease on yet another child. Watching Tripp suffer daily just rips her heart out. Have you given any thought to how the other EB families feel about you and Angelique throwing caution to the wind and not preventing yet another possible EB pregnancy?

    Cara

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  34. Hey Tim! One of my favorite stories from Ang at Bella's memorials was about the mind melt. So love seeing the mac and cheese photos! Made me laugh!

    Did Bella do that with other things to or just the mac n cheese?

    Kim

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  35. Criticism on them having another baby can't turn back the hands of time. This baby exists.His/her parents believe in having him or her and letting God guide them through this. So, what's with all the comments about something that can't be changed? I'm all for speaking your mind when it might make a difference. But if there is no other point than to criticize, then where's the human decency? We're not talking about views on some random topic. This is a human life. Give this baby that kind of respect.

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  36. Kristin, there are good explanations on the genetics at ebnurse.org and a number of other sites that are linked on the right hand side of this site.
    Cara, as an "insider" I assure you that caution was not thrown to the wind and Tim mentioned in a prior post that this was an unplanned pregnancy. That aside, it wouldn't matter even if it were...its none of our business.
    Even those of us who have known Ang and Tim for years and years are scared for them, we also know that what's happened, happened and positive thoughts and feelings go along way toward positive outcomes.

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