I started unpacking the remaining boxes from the move. I’m not sure how I managed to have 3 totes, and 2 boxes of bathroom items.
When I got to the final box, I opened it, and I could smell his Old Spice after shave. My whole body started to shake, but my eyes remained dry. I placed his after shave in my bathroom cabinet. I will keep that Old Spice forever.
I remember when he started buying Old Spice. I teased him. I told him “What are you, an old man, or what?” He didn’t buy, or even really like, the new “hip” version of Old Spice. It was the original, almost sweet-smelling stuff. The kind that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and safe. I also found his Tommy cologne, Hugo, and a bunch of other smelly good items. I put everything else in their respected baskets, and placed them in “Mitch’s” closet. One day, I will have everything down to one 50 qt tote, but, right now, I can’t decide what to keep and what to save for Meg. She isn’t ready to pick anything out, and says she doesn’t want any of his cologne or anything. (I’m saving one of the old spice bottles for her, too. She doesn’t know it.)
As I was sorting through all of his toiletries, I started to think back on happier memories. Like me teasing him, the day he proposed, and my favorite, The day we found out I was pregnant.
We decided on December 25th, 2003 that we should try for baby #1. And try, we did! February rolled around, and I started feeling weak, and tired, and, the normal smells of my job were making me ill. A little lightbulb went off and I told Mitch, “Let’s stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a pregnancy test.”
His face was priceless. “Really? Already?’
“Yes. I’m pretty sure.” I told him. I was so happy, and so scared, and so excited!
We went to Wal-Mart, on our way to our friend’s house. They were expecting their first baby any day.
I bought a two-pack of pregnancy tests, and told Mitch that I would take one in the morning, because that’s when it’s more accurate.
I couldn’t wait. I knew! I felt it in my entire being. I snuck one of the tests into our friend’s bathroom, and peed on it. It took less than 1.5 seconds for that happy face with “pregnant” in the window to pop up. I did a little happy dance, and washed up and ran out of the bathroom, tossed him the stick and said “Congratulations, Daddy!”
He was in shock! He got up, off the couch, walked over to me, hugged me, and said, “I need to go for a walk. I’m freaking out.” His face! Eyes as big as softballs. Reality hit, and he was so afraid of screwing up. (He could NEVER!)
During my pregnancy, I was fired from the bar I worked at, (surprisingly enough, it was less than 12 hours after I told them I was pregnant), so I went to McDonald’s and worked for an old friend. When I hit 4 months, my ankles hit the floor, and I was put on a very strict diet. That was awful! Mitch was the BEST! He made me steak, and washed my fruit and veggies for me.
At 5-6 months, I developed a rash, from the neck down, that itched like poison ivy and left scabs all over my body. When the doctor prescribed this powder (that was actually supposed to be mixed with water, to lower cholesterol) to me, to be mixed with my “favorite lotion” and rub it all over the rash, Mitch mixed that nasty powder in with some lotion and rubbed it on me. He was so kind, and so selfless. He made sure I had everything I needed.
When I went in for that last doctor’s appointment, he happened to be there, for that one. My blood pressure was high, and my PUPPPS rash was so so so bad. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I itched all the time. I had so many scabs that it opened my body up for staph infections. I was miserable. My doctor decided it was time. I was to be induced, so she told me to go home, have a nice dinner, and be back at 8pm. I did what I was told. Mitch, worried as he ever was about making sure we had enough money for our bills, asked if I thought it was okay for him to go to work. “Yeah, babe. I’m sure I will still be pregnant when you get off of work.” So, I drove myself to the hospital. I checked myself in, and got my room number. This was before text messaging was a regular form of communication, so I picked up the phone in my labor room, and called to give him the room number and such.
I was still pregnant all the way until 1:53, the following morning. I remember being in stirrups, and having my brother there on one side, up at the head of the bed, and Mitch on the other side. He was so scared. He was so worried for me. He was trying to do everything he could to make me more comfortable.
Megan decided she wanted to look the doctor in the face, upon her arrival, so, she was a little stuck. Her nose, my pelvic bone + not very stretchy tissue. Not a good combo. Doc decided episiotomy would be best. “SNIP”
MITCH’S FACE! Again, eyes bigger than softballs. Face white as a ghost. Mouth agape. He mumbles,
“You’re going to be fine. You’re going to be fine.”
To this day, I am still not sure if he was talking to me, or to himself. He may have been talking to both.
He was the BEST father a man could be. He was Megan’s biggest cheerleader. Her protector. Her friend.
He will forever be remembered as Amazing.
Mitch, Megan, and the youngest of Mitch’s siblings, Jack.