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2 Years Later... UPDATED

90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
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I'm sitting here at my local lounge puffing on a My Father No. 4 Lancero with a bit over 2 years of rest on it. It's tradition in fact for me to do this at this time of the year. Back in January 2013 it was cold as hell and very stressful, we were a month away from having our son show up and for the past two months I had been living on the sofa in the front room after moving the family downstairs since ?Amanda could no longer sleep in bed because our boy was simply too big on her tiny frame. Long nights and lots of anxiety, fear and giddiness during those days. Middle of the month hits and a package shows up from Rick and his family to ours. Inside was a gift card for Amanda, 10 AVO Classic Robustos and a box of My Father No. 4 Lanceros. Inside the note it said that he got me this box so that every year on his birthday I could have one of these and 22 years after he is born when I have the last I can be smoking the last cigar with 22 years of age on it from when he was born. Blown away doesn't quite cover it but in hopes of rambling as little as possible I will leave it there for now. I had the first one when he was born and now two years later this is the third from the box. At the time these were some of my all time favorite cigars in my favorite vitola... Time hasn't changed that a bit and sitting here today sipping on a dram of Elmer T. Lee (Thanks Doug) out of my Glencairn glass (Thanks Ken) I begin to reflect a bit on what was, what is and what may be to come. I peel back the layers of creamy goodness that the MF delivers and it has really smoothed out and dropped a great deal of the pepper spice that was heavy in this when they were fresh. Oh it's still there for sure but it's decided to take a backstage role and really let the creamy and sweet notes become the main players center stage. Vanilla, cedar, aged oily leather, cashew and heavy whipping cream to name a few. Now pair that with the sweetest and smoothest bourbon I have and it's a match made in heaven. Sure I have other pairings that are bolder, bigger more in your face and front and center... But nothing that compares to the class, grace and richness that shows with this one. Not only is the burn laser sharp but it puts off copious amounts of thick velvety plumes of dense smoke that feels like velvet infused honey rolling of my tongue. I could imagine no more perfect pairing and moment to relax and reflect than this.

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Which leads into my next tangent. 2 years later and much has changed in life. I was only about 5 months into working for Apple when Cael was born and only got emergency time off for four days during labor (25hrs) and delivery and the time until we got him home. One day after bringing our boy home I was back at work. That first year was terrifying to put it gently lol... Between figuring out what being a Father really means (a lesson I will continue to learn until the day I pass this mortal coil) and advancing in my career and balancing family and work and play, even to Cael having seizures 1-7 times a day every day for 6 months and even physical therapy to help strengthen his body to compensate for his big he is (10 months old he was already 25+lbs and nearing 2' tall) and everything in between. It was scary. But after that first year things began to settle down and I found my groove and sat back enjoying the ride. That second year, hearing him say his first word which was Daddy (thank you to my wife for trying since week one to teach him how to say that for his first word!), seeing him take his first steps and everything in between. We really have fm grown so very close this past year and have a remarkably close connection now. There have still been challenges of course, just last week he finally finished his physical therapy, work has been difficult and overbearing, and him being so big with so much energy in our tiny place has shown just how important it is for me to learn and control my patience as well lol. It's also been equal parts joyful and terrifying seeing how much he has grown up already as well as just how wildly intelligent he is... It fills me with pride and damn near brings a tear to my eye. At less than a year old he was taking things apart, organizing similar parts and pieces into piles and then putting them back together... Figuring out what keys were and how they work and even figuring out what key goes to what locks in the house and car even!! When I say that my boy is wildly intelligent it's not just me being a Proud Poppa, it's something that his Doctors and specialists have remarked on and brought up as well. And that is what leads me to the present day and moment as I type this.

That pride and fear that I spoke of over these past years has only intensified as of late. A new and rather terrifying (for Amanda and I at least) chapter has come. Cael is now 2 years old and the size of an average 5 year old according to his pediatrician. He is damn near savant level smart at his age, is bigger and stronger with great coordination and personality leaking out of his ears.... But there are some issues and big ones. It's those issues that have caused enough fear and concern that the State has had to intervene. This is the first time I am writing and talking about this on the boards, mostly because we still are in the dark on what may be going on. 2 years old and he doesn't talk. He only has at best maybe a dozen word vocabulary and he doesn't talk to anyone. He holds vivid and in depth conversations with most everyone but it's pure gibberish and lately he talks the most only when I am around. He has really severe and frequent fits where he becomes completely inconsolable and hysterical for minutes at a time a handful of times a day but switched back to perfectly happy and content on a dime. I could go on about other behavior but I think I have made my point. So on March 3rd he goes in for testing with the State for early developmental intervention to find out what these behaviors and issues may mean. Maybe it's nothing, maybe he is just a late bloomer and God help me I would give anything for that to be true! But the reality is that the behavior and signs he is showing is very reminiscent of some form of Autism. Amanda graduated with a degree in Social Work from one of the few accredited schools in the US. We have family and very close friends with Autistic children including her own brothers child who is nearly 10 and non-verbal violent autism. So yeah thinking about that and seeing this come closer and closer yet still not knowing what is going on has been just as scary as when he was having daily seizures if not more so. I'm not scared about myself or our family and friends and how they would treat him, I can say with certainty we wouldn't treat him any differently or feel any differently about him than we do now. But how the rest of society will treat him and his quality of life going forward..... Well that, this is the prospect that grips my heart in a frozen vice. I know worrying will accomplish nothing but as my son, I can't help but continue to worry. Come March 3rd we will be much smarter and at least knowing what is going on will help tremendously. It's been a bit scary and a bit dark at our place lately because of this and I can't begin to count the nights I've been laying awake staring at the dark ceiling. But I also know this too shall pass and a few years from now looking back in a similar situation I know things will look different, just a matter of staying strong and being the living and supportive anchor my family needs.

So as I wind down on my cigar and bourbon and come out if the fog of my head and fear I remember just how lucky and blessed I truly am. I have an amazing woman as my partner in life, a happy and successful marriage approaching 4 years married, a beautiful and amazing son, great cigars and bourbon, a supportive and wonderful family and a truly amazing community of friends and people I consider family to share it all with her at Ccom. Happy 2nd birthday Cael Brett Jarman.... Your Daddy will always love you and nothing will ever change that!

- Daddy


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"When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
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Comments

  • RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    Sorry to hear that Brett, but from one dad to another...I know what you're going through. Everyday is a learning experience as a parent and husband. As for the sleepless nights, for sure man...I just found out that I'm not getting my next two checks due to some lost Army gear. It eats at me wondering how I'm going to provide for my family.image
  • SM0K3YSM0K3Y Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭
    Irish, thats hard bro, much love to you and to Rain as well, keep it real and fam is first. :)
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Sorry to hear that Brett, but from one dad to another...I know what you're going through. Everyday is a learning experience as a parent and husband. As for the sleepless nights, for sure man...I just found out that I'm not getting my next two checks due to some lost Army gear. It eats at me wondering how I'm going to provide for my family.image
    Thanks Randy and I appreciate that a lot! Sorry to hear about the money situation that sucks dead bears! Don't let your pride create a situation, if it starts to get too tight let me know and I will help financially as much as I can! Always happy to help and it's more important to keep the lights on and food on the table so let me know if I can help!!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SM0K3Y:
    Irish, thats hard bro, much love to you and to Rain as well, keep it real and fam is first. :)
    Thank you Ray :)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • matkn293matkn293 O'Fallon, MOPosts: 3,565 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for sharing Brett! I cannot imagine the range of emotions that you and your wife are feeling through this. I know how tough it is for my Wife and I just when Gav is not feeling well. This is on a whole other level. Stay strong brother and do not hesitate to ask if something is needed or an ear to listen.

    Rain, bro, seriously, if there is anything that we can do, please do not for one second hesitate!!!!!!! It is the least I (and I am sure that I speak for many others) can do for you as a BOTL, friend, & dedicated Serviceman that has honorably served our country!

    Life is too short to smoke bad cigars!!!

    Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues go marching in!


  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    matkn293:
    Thank you for sharing Brett! I cannot imagine the range of emotions that you and your wife are feeling through this. I know how tough it is for my Wife and I just when Gav is not feeling well. This is on a whole other level. Stay strong brother and do not hesitate to ask if something is needed or an ear to listen.

    Rain, bro, seriously, if there is anything that we can do, please do not for one second hesitate!!!!!!! It is the least I (and I am sure that I speak for many others) can do for you as a BOTL, friend, & dedicated Serviceman that has honorably served our country!
    Thanks Mark I really appreciate that and won't forget it! Also, I complety agree on the part for helping Randy if we can, I know many others feel the same way!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • rsherman24rsherman24 Scranton, PAPosts: 6,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Stay strong and wishing you and your family the best Brett. Becoming a father was and is the most fearful and stressful times of my life. Feeling the love they have for you will never change. Be the best father and husband you can be
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    rsherman24:
    Stay strong and wishing you and your family the best Brett. Becoming a father was and is the most fearful and stressful times of my life. Feeling the love they have for you will never change. Be the best father and husband you can be
    Thanks Sherm and could not agree more, very best to you and yours as well my friend ;)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭
    Brett, everything you described could also be explained by trouble either hearing or physically speaking. Language learning is mostly an ongoing correcting feedback loop. Child sees you make sound, tries to imitate, fails but hears how it sounds wrong, and adjusts slowly and over time. Hearing trouble could result in hearing distorted feedback, making it impossible to correct himself to something that sounds right to anyone but him. Physical speaking problems obviously could prevent him from correcting himself as well. The emotional outbursts could simply be the result of frustration at not being able to communicate, and it's possible that he mostly talks around you (and Amanda I'd assume) because you're more in tune to his needs and can respond somewhat correctly even when he's babbling his needs. Of course Autism is a possibility, nothing you said can rule it out, but be careful about having him seen only by an Autism specialist, hammers tend to see everything as nails so to speak, and s/he might not rule out other possibilities.

    Best of luck to you and much support!!
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • Edna20Edna20 DCPosts: 1,323 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for sharing that Brett. I hope you find some answers soon. I agree with what Ken says, sounds like he is frustrated at not being able to communicate the way he wants to. I know boys also tend to start talking later, so maybe it'll come. But obviously you, and Amanda, and his doctors know and see more. Best of luck and please post updates as you learn more!
    Team O'Donnell FTW!
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Ken and Kelly, I agree with that and it's what we've been operating under for a while now but with the lack of change we are having him tested for any and all possibilities so it's not an autism specialist but rather an early intervention specialist for physical, emotional and developmental challenges. Hope it ends up being nothing and suspect it may but the unknown until then is scary for sure. Thanks for the support all I truly appreciate it as does Amanda thank you!!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,441 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for sharing that Brett, I can't even begin to understand how that must feel. All I can say is have faith and offer prayers for you and your family.
  • EulogyEulogy Bay Area, CAPosts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for sharing that Brett, it's amazing to hear you talk about your family and fatherhood. I hope you get some good news and hopefully some clarification to what is happening.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you all really for such kind and encouraging words, we will all get through this and things will work out how they work out ;)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 12,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Eulogy:
    Thank you for sharing that Brett, it's amazing to hear you talk about your family and fatherhood. I hope you get some good news and hopefully some clarification to what is happening.
    Ditto. And of course, I'll be glad and privileged to add you and yours to my prayer list. Reading this thread really cements how fortunate I feel to have stumbled on this forum of caring and kind people! What a wonderful and warm family this forum has created!
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • curtpickcurtpick nunyobusynezPosts: 2,757 ✭✭✭
    Hang in there Brett.
    Family, Friends, Golf, Cigars, Fine Whiskey, Good beer.... is there anything else ?  Follow on instagram @crguy1961
  • Glock1975Glock1975 Posts: 5,132 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You already know I feel about this through our texts , you will get through this I know it. Prayers bro.
  • blutattooblutattoo Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭
    My heart goes out to you guys. My little guy exhibits a lot of the same issues, albeit he is little tiny dude. My sister is an executive director of an Autism non-profit, so if it turns out he gets that diagnosis I can put you in touch for some support. We've found a lot of success with sign language he seems to pick that up really well even though he doesn't really speak. It has helped a lot with his frustration.
  • CrouseferCrousefer Posts: 445 ✭✭
    You really are an amazing father. Love for your children no matter who are what they become is how it should be. I respect you more and more for this. Honestly i look at this and realize that i hope to be as caring a father as you man. I look forward to having kids even knowing its a total life style change. Hang in there man theres penty of us behind you to help ya along,. i know iv talked to ya a bit about things but any time ya need to talk feel free to text me brotha. wishing you the best and most amazing time raising your kids one could ever have. Dont let it all just breeze buy.
    Rain man if there is anything i can do you have my number man just let me know. and get that go fund me account going ill donate what I can cause i think its bs, but thats just my two cents man. both of you will be amazing fathers im sure of it. Good luck to both of you.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    blutattoo:
    My heart goes out to you guys. My little guy exhibits a lot of the same issues, albeit he is little tiny dude. My sister is an executive director of an Autism non-profit, so if it turns out he gets that diagnosis I can put you in touch for some support. We've found a lot of success with sign language he seems to pick that up really well even though he doesn't really speak. It has helped a lot with his frustration.
    I'm sorry to hear of your trials Jason but I really appreciate the support as well as the offer! Glad you have found stuff that works for yall too and really really appreciate everything thanks man :)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glock1975:
    You already know I feel about this through our texts , you will get through this I know it. Prayers bro.
    Love you too blood brother and thank you, means more than you know.
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    curtpick:
    Hang in there Brett.
    Always brother always ;)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    peter4jc:
    Eulogy:
    Thank you for sharing that Brett, it's amazing to hear you talk about your family and fatherhood. I hope you get some good news and hopefully some clarification to what is happening.
    Ditto. And of course, I'll be glad and privileged to add you and yours to my prayer list. Reading this thread really cements how fortunate I feel to have stumbled on this forum of caring and kind people! What a wonderful and warm family this forum has created!
    Thanks Peter and I know exactly what you mean this is a truly special place!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Crousefer:
    You really are an amazing father. Love for your children no matter who are what they become is how it should be. I respect you more and more for this. Honestly i look at this and realize that i hope to be as caring a father as you man. I look forward to having kids even knowing its a total life style change. Hang in there man theres penty of us behind you to help ya along,. i know iv talked to ya a bit about things but any time ya need to talk feel free to text me brotha. wishing you the best and most amazing time raising your kids one could ever have. Dont let it all just breeze buy.
    Rain man if there is anything i can do you have my number man just let me know. and get that go fund me account going ill donate what I can cause i think its bs, but thats just my two cents man. both of you will be amazing fathers im sure of it. Good luck to both of you.
    Thank you Scott, really really nice of you to say and all I can do is try my hardest and wake up the next day focusing on trying to do it better than the last. I know that when the time comes you will be a great father too ;)
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • ChemnitzChemnitz Brad in Austin, TXPosts: 1,300 ✭✭✭
    Sorry to hear this Brett. Prayers for strength for you and your family.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's a great tradition and one I hope to have one day as well! I hope that you get some good news on the 3rd, but Cael will enjoy a great life no matter what, I'm sure! Praying it goes well, and you get some answers and direction. I'm sure it's tough, but sounds like he's got great parents!
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jimmyv723jimmyv723 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 1,858 ✭✭✭
    That was a very thoughtful and generous gift from Rick and what a very cool tradition as well. Hopefully everything is good news and some kids just end up being late bloomers. He sounds like a great kid though and you can tell he has a great Mom and Dad and it's easy to see how proud you are. You've definitely got all of us on here sending good thoughts your way.
    Ken Light 3K MOW Badge - 8/14
    2015 Gang War - East Coast
    Enola Gay - Target #29
     
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,652 ✭✭✭✭
    Prayers for Cael Amanda and you Brett. God watches over his children, even if it's in the form of doctor's and specialist's.
  • firetruckguyfiretruckguy Greeley, ColoradoPosts: 2,522 ✭✭✭
    Wait, you were sitting in your local lounge without me???? That's harsh bro........

    Seriously, hang in there bro and don't jump to conclusions yet. Call if you need to talk.
  • StubbleStubble T E X A SPosts: 6,867 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All you have to do is love, support, and guide him. Sounds like you already know and do that. It won't always be fun, it won't always be easy. Stay strong brother! Thanks for posting...prayers sent.
    Hey, you gonna eat the rest of that corndog?
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