Monday, November 19, 2012

The Girl and the Ghost

It's been a long time coming.  Setback after setback kept popping up and delaying the project at every turn.  At this point, it's been five years since I had the idea, wrote the story, and began animating it.  I actually finished it a few months ago, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.  A few weeks ago, I thought "it's nearly Halloween, it's the perfect time."  So, I decided that Tuesday, October 30th was going to be the big day.  Then, true to form, just as I was about to upload the movie, another setback popped up.  What was it this time?  Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, October 29th, at 10:30 PM, an hour and a half before I was going to start the upload, I suddenly found myself sitting in the dark.  The winds proved to be too much and ended up snapping three electrical poles on our street and splitting a fourth in half, not to mention the tree that came down and blocked our street.

So, on October 30th, while everything was supposed to be happening, we were packing up to head over to Grandma's house, where there was still electricity, and more importantly, heat.  And that's where I stayed until November 3rd, along with Mom, Dad, Kris, Jessi, Matthew, and London.  It was an interesting few days.

Then I found myself back at home, but Halloween week, the ideal time to release the project, had passed.  I regrouped and weighed the options, trying to decide when the next best time would be.  One could go nuts trying to plan this stuff, so I decided.  What better time than right now?

At long last, I'm finally able to present to you… The Girl and the Ghost.

I'd love if you'd let me know what you think of it.  I'd be honored if you shared the film with your friends.  Most importantly, I hope you enjoy it.

Meet London

Saturday, October 13th at 6:10 AM- I was done unwinding after hanging out with the guys and was about to go to bed when the phone rang.  Jessi woke to contractions that weren't stopping, so Mom headed to Kris & Jessi's house to watch Matthew, who was still sleeping, while they went to the hospital.

7:11 AM- Mom called to let me know Kris called with an update and Jessi was at 6 centimeters.

8:03 AM- Mom called again.  Jessi was about to get an epidural, it was time to get ready to go up to the hospital.

8:30 AM- Mom brought Matthew over, I woke my brain up, got ready, and we headed up to the hospital.

We made our way up to the 5th floor and got settled in the waiting area as flashbacks of that night nearly five years ago began  to hit me.  I sat there with Mom, Dad, and Matthew and prepared for the wait.

Over the next little while, Matthew and Mom both took a couple turns each going back and visiting Jessi.  We watched Dora (en Espanol) on the waiting room TV while Matthew was there, The Walking Dead when he he wasn't, and then Justice League Unlimited.  It was an Amazo episode (the one where he returns from deep space and hunts down Lex Luthor), very awesome.  Eventually, Hanna and Kari came from the birthing room and joined us, as Jessi was in the home stretch.

Ten, maybe twenty minutes at most, had passed before Kari looked at her phone and simply said "she's here."  Thinking she meant someone in the family had arrived at the hospital, we questioned her, but no, at 10:43 AM, after only two pushes, London Ann Drake was born.

I was shocked.  I was ready to wait the 12+ hours we spent waiting to meet Matthew, but no, Little Miss London had a schedule to keep.

We waited.  Bobby, Jessi's father arrived, and before long, we started to got called back to meet her.  Hanna, Kari, Bobby, then Mom, Dad, and me.

Matthew came to hold the door for us and we went through the familiar halls into to the birthing room.  We were met with little cries and then we saw her.  Little London.  So tiny, so cute, and with such big feet and long toes.  If she were mine, her name would contain some kind of reference to hobbits or Hank McCoy.  Nerdiness aside, she was adorable, beautiful, and perfect.

We all just sat there and waited for our turns to see and hold the baby, as all in birthing rooms do.

Before too long, I got my turn.  And here is where the written-word format of this blog fails, as it would take a far better writer than myself to describe the feelings and emotions that rush through you as you hold a newborn baby.

In that moment, she, and everything in the world, was perfect.

In the following hours, we mostly just sat there, absorbing it all.  I loved watching Matthew, in many ways (in my mind, but surely not his), still a baby, switch into big brother mode.

Matthew was hesitant to hold London at first, but eventually found his bravery.

After that, he took charge.

"How's your pain?" he'd ask Jessi.

"How much pressure is she getting?" he asked the nurse, checking on London as she lay under the heat lamp.

He's going to be a great, caring, protective big brother.

For a while, we all just sat, soaking in the moment, being there and welcoming London into our lives.

Time passed.  Hanna and Kari left to get ready for the homecoming dance.  Jessi's parents left.  Then we all kissed the baby and left with Matthew, who was spending the night at our house.
We went down the elevator and the lobby, where Matthew casually told the receptionists "I got a new baby sister.  You should go up and see her."

The rest of the night consisted of pizza and video games back at home.  It was a crazy day, but a good day.

Welcome to the craziness, London.