17/23 Woke up to a full grown huntsman spider on my cheek. I flinched, and it jumped to my chest. It bit right next to my nipple. For the rest of the day, I had to discreetly itch my boob because people would look at me strangely if they saw.
18/23 One day toward the end of summer years ago a good friend called me shortly before 9am and said somewhat franticly "Go look out your back window, NOW!"
I put the phone down and strode up to the window and stood there, cleaning my glasses like I obsessively do, using my shirt to wipe the lenses, wiping yesterday's nose oil off the nose pads, etc.. and then I finally put the glasses up to my face as I wondered what all [this was] about.
The back of my parents' house in NYC has a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline from about 12 miles away. Sure enough, the day was September 11 2001, and if you'd asked me to name a million things I thought I might see that day, what I was looking at probably wouldn't have made the list.
19/23 The worst thing I ever woke up to was the sound of my wife screaming that our baby was dead. Just a blood curdling scream of pain, fear and sorrow. I'll never forget the sound she made.
In a flash, I bolted across the apartment to the kid's room. My wife was in shock just standing there. My 1 year old son, standing up in his crib looking at me, and there, in her crib was my daughter, hard as rock, frozen in the position she slept in. Because my wife had rolled her over, all the color was just horribly wrong, her face flat from being face down. It's difficult to describe, she was purple and yellow, I'd never seen death before. I can remember the smell. The sound that leaked out of her when I snatched her up and squeezed the air out of her before I realized that she was gone from me. It's like in the movies where time slows down, and sounds stretches out.
I looked at my wife and said, "She's gone." I remember that. I can still hear the drawn out "Noooo" from my wife as she collapsed onto the floor as I stood there helpless, holding my daughter's lifeless body. I must have told my wife to call 911, but I don't remember, the next memory I have is of the paramedics prying her out of my hands. The flood of neighbors, media, cops, and so on outside the apartment. They actually showed my dead daughter being carried out of my house on the news. In a moment, my whole world collapsed, imploding in on me. My one year old son was born "terminally ill". I'd expected him to be the one she was screaming about, I'd emotionally prepared for that. Doctors had told us It would happen. We checked him every morning to see if he made it through the night. It'd become a habit.
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