Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Five: Frank's Positive Outcomes to Covid-19

Hello Friday people! Today is an annual treat for me and you - every year, Frank writes a birthday guest blog for me (see 2019201820172016201520142013), and while so very many things are different this year, that is not one of them. We're still out here doing this. So much of the past five months has been taking a big pile of shit and molding it with our bare hands into something more visually appealing that smells much less. Frank is on that forward motion bright side train and I am here for it. 

So, yeah....42 was....holy shit! I am sure that a lot of people feel just like I do about this past year especially the 2020 portion of it. I can honestly say that I have not skipped one single emotion and they have all been to the extreme of their limits. I have ugly cried, rage laughed, rage broken stuff, rage cleaned, rage purchased, rage...well you get the point. Each year I feel very blessed that Steph asks me to make a guest post on my birthday. Most years are easy to think of a fun topic or something insightful about my life. This year my hope is to bring a list full of positivity and optimism after quite a few months lacking in both. There has been a lot of loss and hardship for me, my family, and my Framily (stolen from Steph). Far too much to comprehend. Yet here I am on my 43rd birthday feeling like I have the world by the balls in spite of losing my career, a visit from Mrs. Rona that knocked my wife on her ass and threw our home into chaos, and the loss of some dear people in my life. So here are the 5 things that are positive outcomes to Covid-19.

1. My marriage is stronger than ever. The two weeks between March 20-April 5 were like a bad dream. I lost my job, my wife Amanda’s hospital floor was converted to a Covid-19 floor, and she caught the virus. I have only been that scared once and that was when my daughter was born. We managed through the first 14 days by Face Timing each other over meals, keeping me and Eva as separated as we could in a small home so we didn’t get it, and all the while throwing my daughter an amazing 6th birthday parade two days after Amanda being diagnosed and explaining to Eva that her school was closing and Daddy was going to be the new teacher. We managed to laugh and keep each other positive and now months removed the shared battle scars leave me knowing I have a marriage that can legitimately take on ANYTHING! Together we kick major ass and will continue to do so.
last photo a snippet of one from Evan Leslie Images 

2. Time with Eva. In the beginning she was my only reason to stay positive. When Amanda got sick it was just me and her for 14 days. I was her only friend, her teacher, and essentially a single parent. Those 14 days together was the largest amount of uninterrupted time we had together since she was born. I used to work a ton of hours and would only see her an hour a day and weekends. It was a huge adjustment for both of us and my stress level was way unhealthy. We quickly became partners in it. She stepped up big time to help me through everything and we have had so much god damn fun. My hope when faced with the challenge was that she would look back at this time as crazy but mostly as a wonderful time spent with her pop. Thank you Mrs. Rona for giving me this time with Eva. It may never happen on this level ever again and I will honestly cherish it.

3. I have the best village. It's no secret that I am a family man. I don’t view family strictly as blood. People like Steph are more family to me than most of my blood relatives. They say it takes a village and when we needed one, they stepped up for us. Looking at pictures and videos of Eva’s Birthday still overwhelms me. The love that was thrown at us that day, only two days after Amanda’s positive test, turned a disaster into one of the happiest events in my life. If anyone wants to know what it's like to have a village like mine take a look at that Facebook post.

4. Summer off. Hasn’t happened since 1995 and I am enjoying every second of it. I'm very tan and very mentally well!

5. New Career. I am happy to announce that I will be pursuing my Master's degree in Education at Rutgers Camden starting in August. I was devastated with how my company handled my exit when this pandemic hit. I was an original employee and was responsible for building the company from the ground up over the last 10 years. My success was my downfall. What a tough pill to swallow. To be thrown away so easily simply over not wanting to pay my salary that I worked so hard to EARN! My main responsibility at this company was to teach. I loved that part of my job. I really loved homeschooling Eva. While all the other parents were stressing I was wishing I could take their kids and teach them with Eva. So, after a lot of thought, guidance, and my wife saying, “You need to fucking do this. I don’t care if I have to work extra!” (See number 1.) I am so happy to be making this 180. I truly feel like I was meant to do this and the support and help I have already received is overwhelming. The comeback will definitely be greater than the setback!

I know this was long, but I have to take the opportunity to thank Steph for all of her love and support. We have been framily for a long time and as always Steph and Mike were there for us in unmeasurable ways all while going through terrible loss and stress themselves. We love you and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you Frank for your guest blog every year. This year, fuck! I'm happy we weren't putting this out back in April when shit was much harder (although we are funny in our rage while also, like, raging) and am super pumped for what's ahead for you this year. Frank and Amanda and Eva are the first friends we saw in person aside from my sidewalk coffee with Michelle and it was such a relief - after all they'd been going through, to just see each other in person like you alright? Yeah. You alright? Yeah. Okay, let's sit on the beach and fucking breathe. Frank also neglected to mention that he raised over $1200 in three hours for Food4Staff during the height of the Covid crisis in NJ, feeding front line workers at hospitals. We are so fortunate to have friends like Frank for over 25 years and I feel even more fortunate to count Amanda as one of our people too. 

Happy weekend all!

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