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This is *WAYY* off topic, and probably inappropriate here.... so, if you do not know me, please just click "NEXT"...

The Fool community is an 'extended family' for many of us regulars... so please forgive this sappy non-financial post.

I communicate with many Fools more frequently than almost anyone else in my life, aside from my direct family, and while I will eventually get around to sending out a communication directly... this is one way for me to tell the people I love and appreciate what's going on.


My 9-week old baby daughter, Dagny, died in her sleep Monday morning... and my wife and I have been in a complete fog (and still not entirely out of it... perhaps never completely out of it....) I fed & changed my daughter at 6am... and my wife fed her again at 8am just before I left for the office. I kissed her forehead as she was just lying down for her nap on my way out the door. She smelled like sweet, sweet breastmilk... she slept on her back in a baby 'flat-recliner-rocker' she always loved...

My wife laid down for a little nap (the rules are "when baby sleeps, mommy sleeps" so we are all told... and beyond any other logic it HAS to be true, else mom never ever sleeps...) When my wife checked on Dagny not even 90 minutes later, she was turning blue and not breathing (shoot... we could normally go 2 or 3 hours without waking up to check on her in the middle of the night normally.) My wife called me in hysteria, then called 911... my office is 1.5 blocks from my home and I sprinted beyond human capacity... When I ran in the room I lifted my daughter from her rocker to the carpeted floor and I began infant CPR & mouth-to-mouth. The paramedics seemed to arrive in seconds... and while they took over I kept holding my daughter's tiny hand in my right and keeping my left hand under her tiny neck, talking to her, calling her back, squeezing her little hand, tapping her feet, calling her to wake up for daddy... at one point there were at least 5-6 paramedics in a huddle around us with all their hands doing one thing & another to monitor & revive my daughter... and probably another 4-5 people somewhere in the room (my tunnel focus was on my baby and, at the periphery, my wife... I still don't know how many people rushed in & out while the paramedics were working with me...) everything was moving in slow motion freeze-frame, AND in a hyper-blur all at the same time. Several times it seemed her own little heart was taking up the beat when they stopped CPR to check... only to stop again. Her lungs restarted exchanging carbon dioxide out at another point... but she couldn't keep breathing on her own. Ultimately the paramedics and I worked with my daughter for over 2 hours before all signs showed that she had left her body for good.

ALL the wealth in the world can't buy or protect our mortality... My beautiful daughter never woke up. Before the officials finally took the body away that once held my sweet baby daughter, I sang to her with her favorite special lullaby; Little Dagny Girl, (my modified version of The Beach Boys 'Little Surfer Girl,) and my wife tearfully kissed our daughter's forehead goodbye for the very last time.

The coroner examined her yesterday morning, and confirmed it was 'SIDS' (Sudden unexplained Infant Death Syndrome...) our absolutely perfectly healthy child, growing at a healthy rate way ahead of average... zero evidence of any causes... no asphyxiation... no overheating... she simply settled into a deeper sleep and the part of her tiny nervous system that naturally "alarms" us all to breathe, when we all naturally relax into a deep REM sleep (and we ALL tend to stop breathing periodically (called sleep apnea) while sleeping, ALL of us...) it didn't fire up to force her to re-start & keep breathing. At least, that's the thinnest vestige of possible explanation the doctors can offer at this point in time....

I still can't stop sharing her...
PASSWORD (to get in) is;

Added a couple new small vids (she's showing off for the grandfolks!)

We are now fully indoctrinated members to the Northwest Infant Survival Alliance - SIDS Foundation of Washington;
SIDS is an extremely rare statistical occurence in the U.S.... so I "took one for the team."

I WISH that meant that now we can all rest assured that statistically all the rest of our kids are extremely unlikely to be victims.... (I am so blubbering like a damn baby...)

I hope I am now, and can remain, the ONLY Fool known to become a bonified member of this special group of parents... but if I am not, I will ALWAYS be an immediately responsive resource to ANYONE in need. As have otherwise 'complete strangers' been there for us, I will drop EVERYTHING to call and/or visit with support ON THE VERY DAY you discover such tragedy.

I will definitely be back in the saddle sometime soon...

Meanwhile, if you aren't hearing from me, I know you'll understand why.

I *FREQUENTLY* think of a friend's comment the day I emailed him from the hospital the day Dagny was born.
He told me "you are a very lucky man!" and he was so, so, so right.

I was just given the most wonderful 9 weeks of my entire life.

My baby is in heaven... my wife & I are in absolute hell... And for the gift of those 9 glorious weeks with Dagny... I wouldn't trade them away for all the monetary wealth in the world.

To ALL who have been in contact with me in loving support... and all who WOULD have, had you known... thank you, my beloved friends and community fellow Fools!

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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