"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Black Brady Bunch

Really: in reality; actually: to see things as they really are.

The Family... 2006

I really don't know if you would refer to my family as the Black Brady Bunch or not. Maybe the Beige Brady Bunch would be more appropriate... or the more politically correct term might be the Biracial Brady Bunch -My 20 year old son, Logan, refers to himself as "Half-fro American". I really don't know why I'm trying to push the Brady Bunch angle in this piece... I mean really, we are not identical to the original step family from the 70's. Yes we have six kids, but they were all mine and when we got married there was just five children with only one being my wife's child - I was, and still am, the father.. lol - .

The one child that is my wife's (and mine) is Ryan and today is his birthday. He is six years old.


So what's up with the Brady Bunch references and the obsession with race?

Nothing really.
Just really dealing with random thoughts and trying to understand why the word "really" is such a part of my writing repertoire of words. Like Stephen King said; "the road to hell is paved with adverbs." He makes a really good point. 

I tend to use the word "very" quite often too. Mark Twain suggested the writer, when writing, "should substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should." 

Man do I love Mark Twain.

So what does this all have to do with black, beige, biracial and the Brady Bunch?

Absolutely nothing.

The reason why I entitled this piece "The Black Brady Bunch" is because if you watch the youtube clip below you will see, and hear, what the theme song would have sounded like if the Brady Bunch were black.

Please watch it right now... it is "really" good... quite entertaining actually.

Go ahead and watch.

See I told you. 

That was the bomb. Sorry, "the bomb" was, and still is, an African-American term that was popularized in the late 80's and early 90's that depicted something that had tremendous worth or being of significant value. The white suburban kids later substituted the word "sick" for the term "the bomb".

I'm cool with that I guess.

Ryan at 1 1/2 years old...

But really, today we are very happy in the Bailey household because we are celebrating another birthday... and yes we celebrate one almost every month in our family. The only two children that celebrate their birthdays in the same month are Addison (Nov.8) and Reese (Nov. 29). Bryce is a few day later on the 2nd of December.

When reflecting on Ryan's life I realize how thankful I am that he is here. When I first found out that Ryan's mother (she is the love of my life and my wife now) was pregnant I didn't take it well.

I still remember that hot July day in 2004 when Rhonda called me and said that she needed to talk to me.

"I'm pregnant" she said.

I was devastated.

I didn't want any more children and I had no intention of getting married; besides I was in a relationship, albeit a volatile one, for over five years.

I told her if she decided to have the child to never contact me ever again.

I know what you are thinking... it is extremely difficult to even type these words now.

After the decision was to make the best decision and go on with the pregnancy I didn't talk to Ryan's mom for almost 5 months.

Then one day after seeing the movie "Million Dollar Baby" I broke down in my car; sobbing uncontrollably for what seemed like hours.

Million Dollar Baby

I had to call Rhonda. 

So I did.

I told her that I was sorry I was so cruel to her and ask if she could find it in heart to forgive me.

She said, "Yes, I forgive you".

We talked for a really long time and I told her I wanted to be a part of Ryan's life and I will do my best to set a good example for him as a man.

She said, "I'm relieved by your decision and I think you will make a great dad to our son."

With those words I couldn't speak... I could only cry as she told me everything would be alright.

Ryan William Bailey... Day 1

She's telling me that everything will be alright.

She is six months pregnant, single and no insurance, depending fully on only her parents for everything and she's telling me that everything would be alright.

No anger, no pointing fingers, no lectures; just compassion.

Please hear me when I say that she never attacked me publicly or privately, she never threatened me with visitation or child support issues nor did she challenge my extremely poor way of thinking or behaving. 

She quietly went her way and when the time came for her to speak to me again she simply forgave me.

There were no questions, no "what were you thinking?"; just a humble heart and gentle spirit that was "willing" to forgive another human being.

At that very point I realized how special my future wife truly was.

A really sweet person... I love her to death!

She was wonderful then and she is wonderful now. 

See three months after Ryan was born I found out from my ex-girlfriend that she was pregnant also and that she was due in November. 

I was devastated, void of any peace or reason; I even became suicidal.

Again, after sharing the news with Rhonda she told me that everything was going to work out.

Man was she right.

The bleachers at Wrigley field... 2006

On November 8, 2005 Addison Reid Bailey came into the world.

So there I was with my "Polish Twins" (you should see the confusion when I fill out birth dates for any, and all, insurance information) and thinking what next.

I know, I know... snip, snip should come next.

Addison Reid Bailey... 2006

Anyway, the following year in May Rhonda and I started to spend significant, and quality, time with one another and we fell in love.

We decided to date in the summer of 2006 and later that year we got married in a wonderful ceremony at her parents beautiful home in old Worthington.

I love this picture of Ronnie & her step-dad.

The rest is history.

There is so much more I could say about the situation, but I will end with the fundamental truth that God is good all the time and all the time God is good. He saved my life by giving Ronnie the strength to go it alone, if she had to, concerning Ryan.

He saved my life by giving me Ryan & Addison. These two boys single handily changed my perspective about me and my life. I will never be able to thank them enough or thank their mothers enough by making the decision to have these two beautiful boys.

I will always say that there is a much better way to build a family, but there is no better way to love a family, as a man, than giving your heart to Christ and letting him transform you into a man your family can be proud of.

He also saved my life with giving me Rhonda as my wife.

She truly is a blessing in my life.

I know this piece was all over the place and if you feel a bit confused don't worry, that is actually a good thing because if you're not confused then you weren't paying close enough attention.

All I really wanted to say is that Jamie Foxx is insanely talented (you didn't watch the youtube clip did ya), happy birthday to Ryan and that I love his mother Ronnie very much.

I also wanted to thank God for dieing on the cross for my sins, saving me from myself and showing me that there is a better way to live.


I really, really love my life.

I really never thought it could be this good.

Summer of 2010

sbb  3.3.2011


Karen said...

This was such a touching blog. I'm sitting at my desk almost in tears. God is so good to us, it's amazing how we think our life is so messed up and how God comes in and makes our mess perfect. I hope to meet you, your wonderful wife, and your family at Cypress soon. Karen Sexton

ward said...

Shawn, I don't know how I missed this when you posted it, but it is "damn" powerful writing. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. Your boys have are lucky to have such a great dad.