Woot Woot! We just got the news this morning that our little alien is going to be a boy! Oh don’t judge me for calling him an alien. Look at that photo. 🙂
We are so excited. Vaughan and I both wanted a boy. I know most parents don’t care and we would have been thrilled either way, but we are human, and our preference was a little boy. Vaughan’s dad, Patrick, definitely had a hand in this….
Vaughan’s dad passed away on October 2nd last year after spending over 60 days in ICU due to complications stemming from a hernia. That’s the short of it. The long story is Pat had not been in the best of health for a while. He was a lifelong smoker and hadn’t had a Dr’s checkup in many years. He had pain in various parts of his body and was worried about seeing a dr from fear of not knowing what may be wrong with him and thinking the worst.
I remember vividly, several years ago when Vaughan broke his leg, having a conversation with Pat about health and the future. Vaughan was bed bound for 2 months and Pat flew down from Rhode Island to help out. He showed up out of the blue and immediately pitched in wherever he could. Pat was like that. Always gave everything he could and always careful not to be in the way. I insisted on him staying with us but he wouldn’t hear of it. He wanted to help but didn’t want to pose any inconvenience. One day while he was here we were sitting out back and talking about the future and our health. Pat hadn’t seen a doctor in many years and neither had I. I take a very active role in my health through exercise and nutrition and have never been a fan of doctors. I also seldom get sick and never bad enough to resort to visiting the doctor. Pat… not so much. We talked about Vaughan and I starting a family and him being a grandpa. He told me how proud he was of Vaughan and how much he admired him. He also lit up as we spoke of bringing a baby into the world. One of Pats biggest joys was Ella, his grand daughter. He was such an amazing grandfather and we always loved seeing him with Ella! She was one of his greatest joys. Vaughan and I have had many conversations through the years of how much we looked forward to Pat being a grandad to our baby. When he was with Ella nothing else in the world seemed to exist. They had their own little gang that no one else could even understand.
I remember him telling me how he was in fear of passing away at the age of 65. Several people in his family had passed away at that age. He would be that age in a couple of years from that day and he knew his health needed some adjusting. We talked about how he was in a good place. He had an amazing woman by his side, Lisa, who loved him more than life and he her. Lisa has a daughter Kristen and her baby girl Ella. Pat had a family that he would do anything for and wanted to take care of them. He and I made a deal right there. I would see a doctor and get a checkup if he would as well. He made me shake on it.
Within a couple of months Pat held up his end of the deal. He got a full physical and started making changes in his life. He reduced, then eventually quit smoking. He started riding his bike more. He went to the dentist and started on a full dental makeover. He had a fully clogged artery in one leg and partially clogged in the other. He had both of them fixed. He had a hernia that the doctors were waiting to fix until he was off of blood thinners from the clogged arteries. He was attacking his health with a vengeance. And I knew he was secretly always waiting for the next phone call from Vaughan and I to be an announcement that we were (finally) pregnant. Unfortunately, we never got to make that phone call.
He had scheduled his hernia operation but his body didn’t want to wait that long. He was out on his boat ‘lil miss Ella’ when he suddenly got ill. This was a couple weeks before he was to have that operation. He was rushed to the ER in Newport and went into emergency surgery from a burst hernia. Complications ended moving him to Providence hospital with way more days in intensive care than anyone would ever imagine possible. It was 2 months of roller coaster weeks and he fought with everything he had in him. He never lost is smart wit or sarcastic sense of humor and had the nurses in stitches (at least the ones he liked). He made a deal with one of the doctors to take him out for a steak dinner when he got out. He had a pouring in of love from family and friends the entire time. For 2 months Vaughan spent several days each week in Providence. The entire family grew closer during that time. Pat had that affect on people. You understood love and the importance of friends and family when you were around him. You may have only met him once but he would leave a mark on you forever. He’s not someone you easily forget nor would you ever want to. I was fortunate enough to spend the last week of his life with him and the family. I’ll never forget how his eyes lit up when I entered the room and there was never any doubt how much he loved me and I him. He loved me because he knew how much I love and will always take care of his son and for him that was the biggest blessing.
Pat passed away on October 2nd, 2014. He was 65. His body didn’t have anymore fight and the Universe had other plans for him. I had never seen such an outpouring of love for someone after they passed as I have seen and continue to see for Pat. Everyone has a story and memory of some lesson he taught or the way he would take care of you. I miss Pat. And I am sad our children will never get to know this man that was bigger than life. I’m sad we never got to make that phone call and hear the joy in his voice as we told him we were pregnant. I’m sad that we couldn’t call him today and tell him that we are having a boy and the line of Dugan’s will be carried on (yes, that legacy has been on us). I’m sad that there won’t be any more memories created around Pat and our family. But through it all, he is letting us know that he is still here.
After a year and half of trying, we got pregnant a couple of months after Pat passed. I believe he needed to get settled in, then decided its time to take care of business. We were given our due date, then a couple of hours later Vaughan looked at me and said ‘when is our baby due again?’ I replied “October 2nd, 2015”. This happened to be one year exactly after Pat passed. Coincidence? No way, this was Pat’s doing. His way of telling us that he has a hand in this. Vaughan and I wanted a boy. Not only to pass down the Dugan name but just because. We got the announcement this morning, squealed (yes Vaughan in his manly way squealed too), then we high-fived. Seriously who high fives but us. LOL We both had the same thought. We know what you’re doing Pat. And we thank you! We thank you for making our life that much better.
So we are having a little boy, Bassil Patrick Dugan. Bassil was my grandfathers name and Patrick, well you know where that comes from.
Although I’m sad little Bassil will never get to meet the great love that was Pat, we get one better. Bassil has his genes and I just know he will have his heart! I look forward to meeting Bassil the baby, this child, the teenager and the man. I look forward to seeing glimpses of Pat in him. And Pat, if your listening, I have one more favor. Your eyes. Vaughan got them. I hope little Bassil will too.