Oh, how it seems that the extremely joyful events of my life always happen in sync with sorrowful ones. Life is truly a roller coaster ride. This has never been more true than right this moment.
First, the ups: I’ve got a little baby girl growing inside of me. There’s a small but cute little baby bump to prove it (hence the title of this post :) She will be our little 1/4 Korean, 1/4 Irish, 1/4 Italian, and 1/4 German princess. She’ll be born naturally with a midwife (God-willing, but that’s the plan.) We are already so much in love, especially after watching her yawn, stretch, and practically suck her own toes today at the ultrasound.
Just to orient you, her big head is at the bottom (you can see her profile in the first pic), her belly is on the left, and her little legs are totally stretched above her. Joe calls it her Jiu Jitsu stretch. I call it her ballet stretch.
Here is a little hypothetical baby Brancaleone- a morph of Joe’s face and my face. Pretty cute, right? At least as far as those morph pics go. Remember the hypothetical baby in How to Lose a Guy in 10 days? haha.
Now let’s talk about the downs: My dad passed away unexpectedly this Tuesday. I’m actually writing this at 5 am on a Saturday because I can’t sleep. My own emotions are a roller coaster in themselves. Sometimes I’m numb, sometimes I’m crying, sometimes I’m laughing, sometimes I’m reminiscing.
My dad was special in so many ways. He was a world-class Judo champion (at one time, 2nd in the world)- you can bet Joe didn’t mess around while we were dating, for fear of the wrath of my very physically fit father :) My dad was a wonderful singer, who passed on this gift to my sister who is now an opera singer. My dad loved us and cared about our well-being. I don’t agree with all his parenting practices, but he really did what he thought was best for us. He never allowed me to talk to boys until I was 18. Little did he know my first boyfriend was in 5th grade! Boys would call my house and pretend to be girls to talk to me. He was a very protective Korean dad.
He made us laugh. He cooked the best Korean BBQ on the grill for every special occasion. He and my mom babysat Pesto all the time even though he had a strict “no dogs in the house” policy. He always seemed to bend the rules for me, his second daughter (especially when I would cry or whine- bad habit! Hope my daughter doesn’t try to pull that stuff!) He did this thing called “Candy Magic” when we were little. He’d come home from work with candy bars up his sleeve, and we honestly thought he was creating them out of thin air. I think that’s where my insatiable sweet tooth started.
His passing was a tragedy. I’m not going to say my relationship with my dad was perfect. In fact, I have many regrets about the way I have related to him in my adult life. But I love him deeply, and already miss him so much. The song “Unchained Melody” is stuck on repeat in my head. It was his favorite song. I honestly can’t believe he’s gone.
This might sound like a Hallmark card, but as this bumpy road of life continues, I’m so grateful that Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is holding me up and carrying me when I honestly think I can’t walk anymore. God is good, even in the midst of sorrow and pain. This little life inside of me is a constant reminder of that.
Thanks for reading. I will be going through pics of my dad from my childhood, and hope you don’t mind if I post some of these later on. I don’t usually get so personal on this blog, but it’s been a great comfort to write in this diary of sorts when I can’t sleep.