Friday, July 17, 2009


Happy Fatherhood Friday Everyone!

Thanks to for giving me that new-dad smell sponsoring this weekly extravaganza of dad blogging.

I was honored last week to be bestowed with the Keepsake Blog award from Super Mega Dad. Be sure to check out the adventures of Super Michael and Princess K! You’ll enjoy it, as I do.

Okay, now you’ve done it. I’m getting a little vah-klempt.

I’ll give you a topic: A Picky Eater neither Picks nor Eats.



Ah, there, much better.

The rules of this award state that I have to tell a sweet or funny keepsake that tells something about myself, and to share the love with 10 of my fellow bloggers.

Coming up with 10 bloggers was easy hard because I neither read 10 different blogs, nor do I know 10 people for that matter, or everyone I know was already nominated and I was the only one left. So, I randomly drew names from a hat picked from amongst my top commenters and/or favorite blogs.

If you “won”, congrats!

If you didn’t, you may never read my blog again, I hope someone else nominates you.

Here they are (in reverse alphabetical order by name, because those people went through years of school at the end of the line.) Enjoy!

Weasel Momma
Surprised Mom
Shank Rabbit
Mocha Dad
Melisa with One S
Bella Daddy

And now for the keepsake.

If I could sum up my life in one word, it would be serendipity.

In science, serendipity means that chance occurrences favor the prepared mind. That is, discoveries are made with something “goes awry” and the right person is there to correctly interpret the result.

A more concrete example is that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin because mold spores from a cantaloupe flew in an open window while he was away on vacation and landed in a petri dish. Rather than throwing away the contaminated dish when he returned to the lab, he was astute enough to recognize that a substance from the mold (i.e., penicillin) had killed the surrounding bacteria. Genius.

Okay, enough of a history lesson.

Probably by divine intervention, many important “steps” in my life have resulted from seredipitious meetings/events.

Meeting Mom-E was one such event.

It was summertime, and I had just come home from my junior year of college. My maternal grandmother, who lived with my parents, had been battling a terminal cancer of the bile ducts of her liver for about two years.

Completely exhausted with “caregiver burnout”, my parents very much leaned on me to help my grandmother eat, toilet, take medications, and to change the dressings of the two tubes extruding from her side, which went into her liver to keep the bile ducts “propped open.”

One late night I was doing something to help her (can’t remember what), and in one of her more lucid moments she told me (paraphrasing here) “You’re going to be rewarded for helping me.”

I wasn’t doing it for a reward. When it’s family, you do it because you couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I was home about a month when she died (on Aunt-E’s birthday) at the ripe old age of 91.

And it was about a month later that I attended a month-long summer research program for college students.

I think they had about 50 applicants for this particular program. I was fortunate to be one of the 6 people chosen.

One of the other 5 people was, you guessed, it Mom-E.

Serendipity (or coincidence or fate or divine intervention or whateveryoucallit) had also led Mom-E to this program. She had applied to a DIFFERENT summer program that was much closer to home, and was NOT selected. They very well may have lost her application. And so, she ended up getting selected for this program a few hundred miles from home.

Let me just say that very quickly my research interests at this program shifted very quickly from the topics at-hand to “Human Relations.”

In short, I knew a (darn) good thing when I met one, and even though the program was only a month, I wasn’t going to let Mom-E get away easily. Fortunately, she felt the same way. We did the “long-distance-thing” for a year (where we really learned to communicate with each other—I have the phone bills to prove it), before making big decisions to end up living in the same city.

Ten years, a marriage, and 2+1 kids later, we got a little more than we bargained for at that month-long research program.

You must understand that I was my maternal grandmother’s ONLY grandchild. And she was a bit possessive of me, especially when it came to girls. I remember coming home from a date one night, and she slammed the door in my face (presumably because I’d “ignored” her in favor of a girl she didn’t like (for some obscure reason)).

I’d like to think that my grandmother would’ve liked and “approved” of Mom-E.
My grandmother LOVED to crochet. She’d spend her evenings watching tv and crocheting, making about ump-teen blankets.

It turns out that (among her many talents,) Mom-E has a “BLACK BELT IN GRANDMA ARTS.” She can crochet like the wind. I’d like to think that the two of them would’ve instantly bonded over their crafts.

And so, as we sat together holding hands on the beach (at the summer research program, mind you—sounds like a plot for a movie called “Romance of the Nerds”), watching the sunset, I knew in my heart that meeting Mom-E was the “reward” my grandmother had predicted the month before.

Have a good weekend,


  1. That was so sweet Dad-E. Meeting Mom-E was definitely serendipitous (is that a word?) for both of you. We figured out pretty quickly after Mom-E got home from that adventure that something BIG had happened. It is amazing to think about the chain of events. We are so glad she was accepted for that summer program and you found each other.

  2. That was very sweet and I'm so happy that you two found each other. YOu just never know what little decision will change your life forever.....for the better! Love, Aunt-E

  3. Good story. I wrote about meeting my wife for this award too. You had some good lines in there too. I love the black belt in grandma arts.

  4. This is a wonderful story and really romantic. I really like romantic stories. I found The Mr. in college as well. Like Otter, I like the "black belt in grandma arts." Do you think your wife would teach me how to crochet? I don't know anyone who does it. Thanks for nomimating me for the award. That was nice of you!

  5. Thank you for the award. I had been away and have so much to catch up on.

  6. first of all, i'd like to say that i'm a little hurt about not receiving the award. but, no, that's ok...i'll get over it....someday. lol

    anyways, i think you definitely were rewarded and i have this feeling if grandma didn't approve, things wouldn't have worked out like they have :)

  7. Thanks for the award. Now I just have to figure out how to pay it forward since your list includes most of my blogroll LOL.

  8. Thanks for the award! I'm a mix of WM and Jason since I've been away and have much to catch up on, and my blogroll is your list too, but I'll figure it out. I'll be hard pressed to write one as nice as yours...but I'll give it a shot!