Where have I been?


Jan 24, 2012
Cheyennes reply today about my daughters and a few requests for updates ( some of you know the story) made me realize that I have been a very bad forum member in the last 12 months.

Some times life deals you a hand that you cannot understand. When that happens I feel you have two ways to look at it.

1. You lay down and let it consume you, and concede the outcome
2. You look it dead in the face, nod confidently, and kick it square in the nuts.

In February of 16 our then 3 year old was diagnosed with Epilepsy. We thought she was just daydreaming at first, but everyday the cadence of her not listening became greater and greater. She regressed from being fully toilet trained to wetting herself 4 to 5 times a day. At one point she would be walking and simply walk right into a wall. Anyway we spent a couple frightful days at the Neurologist, she endured an EEG ( not easy to make a 3 year lay still with dozens of electrodes glued to her head), blood work, observations,etc... All we could do was think of the worse. It took 3 months of medication trial and error before she finally had her first seizure free morning which transferred into the afternoon, evening and when she went to sleep.... her first seizure free day. That was Fathers Days ( no joke). Her/our motto is " I am going to kick Epiloopsy's Butt!" ( her pronunciation).

During those we made it our life mission to keep her safe. We dove into everything we could about the disease and what was working. We taught our two oldest daughters what to do in case she fell into a grande mal seizure. Explaining to a 6 and 8 year old what that means was not easy. We had to keep an eye on her all the time to make sure she was indeed living life without seizures.

Today I can report that she is still seizure free and she was at the Neurologist in December and although she hasn't gained much weight ( side effect of the meds), all the tests came back good. We are not out of the woods yet as the seizures can break through the medicine at any time and then it is back to square one. We are told that 60% of children diagnosed grow out of these seizures ( petite Mal or Absence) but there is that 40% chance she will be dealing with this her entire life. If that happens I hope life is ready for another kick to the boys. She will be bigger, stronger, faster, and probably carrying a Glock :)

Here is the two of us just after crossing the finish line at the St. Louis Epilepsy 5k run. She requested that I wear the mohawk! On her right arm is the word "warrior", and she embodies it. Her team came in second in the " who raised the most money" category with almost $7,000 raised. This year we plan to be in first. Cool thing was I rocked that mohawk for a few weeks and even though I have to dress Business to Business Casual everyday, not one of my contacts raised an eyebrow after I told them why.

Secondly my wife and I decided to start a company from scratch and in mid August we launched an online boutique for women's clothes ( no I am not a model....). My wife models 80% of the clothes and our neighbor the other 20%. No zero size models, no silicone, etc.. just casual fashion with real sized models. With this we needed an office for her ( and I needed one as well). Long story short I had to finish part of the basement. One 12x16, one 16x14 (mine), and one full bath later it was done all by myself from frame to finish ( okay I paid someone to mud and tape the drywall) The three older girls helped throughout the entire process as well. What 6 year old can say they know how to run a framer?

Anyway business is booming and in 2017 we are looking to possibly rent/lease/buy a warehouse to move the operation out of the house. It is a perfect storm. We sell more clothes from 8pm - 2am than any time of the day. Women shopping from home with a glass of wine is a good thing.

So as you can see we have been busy. I did save some good stuff for last.

Both our 6 and 8 year old girls have expressed interest in hunting, and this year we dove in as well. I bought Mack a crossbow in May and we practiced all summer long. She was deadly at 20 yards. We couldn't wait for the Nov 7-8 break from school. I have access to a couple of magnificent farms in Northern Missouri. Three of the four are leased by a Hunting TV show and the fourth is open to friends and family. We headed there. My friend who owns all four is more excited to have kids shoot deer than anything and we were pumped. I took my bow but didn't plan on hunting as it was her moment. On the second evening we had a buck at 18 yards. Too bad it wasn't legally big enough to shoot. Mack was on him, breathing heavily, her voice cracking as she said " I got him in the cross", but finger no where near the trigger. Little did he realize how lucky he was. Grow big my friend and next year if you have that 4th point on that side you are freezer material...

The next morning we packed in the two man blind and set up on a Biologic plot next to some thick CRP and ditches along both sides. The edge of this plot was littered with scrapes. It was quiet, very warm, and the deer movement was non existent. At 10am ( 4 hours into the sit) she had to go to the bathroom. We slowly made our way 20 yards away from the blind and she did her business. As we slowly crept our way back to the blind I look up and there standing in the middle of the plot was a 10 pointer so big and proud. Dark chocolate rack, well outside his ears, mass, length, the whole nine yards. Mack saw him and in her excitement pretty much yelled " BUCK". He stood there for a minute or two and let us look him over before turning around and walking into the crp and down a hill. We scrambled into the blind and I started crashing antler, Mack worked the grunt tube. We got quiet and a few minutes went by.... Here he comes back! Nope darnit. A little 6 point came out of the CRP and stood at 40 yards. No can do. 4 point rule in full effect. Mack learned a hard lesson in deer management those two days. We had a blast though. We left empty handed but vowed to come back for late season muzzleloader and help with the doe population.

Late December we made the trek again.

This time I would be on the trigger and Mack there to watch. We fully intended on her hunting with the crossbow, but at the last minute she asked if we could leave it at home and if she could just watch me. I didn't want to mess with what momentum I had going so I said " no problem". We had two and half days to do get it done. The first night we sat in an elevated enclosed blind overlooking a plot. Darn it if only one little doe showed up. Trail cam pics revealed ( after my friend pulled the card the next day ) that every night but the night we sat there, buck after buck was in the field a good hour before sunset. Oh well. The next morning we hunted 3/4 of a mile behind the cabin and I had one of those moments when dirt gets in your eye and it waters profusely. As we were 1/2 way there out in the pitch dark of morning with just our green lens headlamps, a little hand reached up and grabbed mine. It took me back to when I first started hunting and felt the uneasiness of walking the woods in the dark. We stopped walking as I reassured her we were alright, and we heard a few deer below us walking up the ridge to the south. We were covered up with deer from sunup to 10am. Had a blast. Mack kept watching the hillside to the north as the deer funneled out of the bean field and took refuge on the hillside. I kept talking myself out of shooting as no bucks appeared and all seemed to be does with fawns.

That night we went back to the blind where the little 3 point walked by. It sits on the edge of a bean field and with the cold we figured it would be a good afternoon sit. We weren't in the stand for 30 minutes when a couple fawn materialized and fed past us and camped out at 50 yards in the beans. I did a quick scan and found momma hanging back in the woods. She seemed a bit uneasy and started circling back behind us. " Mack get ready, scoot back". Mack scooted back which allowed me to move to the window directly in front of her. She leaned back and in and watched as the doe slowly made her way around. She stopped at 45 yards. Her head was behind a tree. I had a small window of no brush or limbs and I could see her ribs. " Mack plug your ears". BOOM!

She took off with tail tucked around the bend and I lost her. My ears were ringing. So much for shooting with the muzzle inside the blind ( HUGE bale blind). My mistake. Darwin award to me!

" I heard a big crash Daddy, I saw her run away!"

"Good that means she is probably dead".

We got down, I reloaded just to be safe and went to impact area. A big chunk of lung sat hanging on a pricker bush. Mack tracked the blood the entire way ( it was pouring out both sides) and when it ran out she looked and said " daddy the blood ran out". " look to your right". There she was. We pulled her up to the field edge, said our prayer of thanks and field dressed her out. Golf ball sized entrance and exit. The 350gr Speer Hot core wholloped her.

We hunted the next morning and although we had deer all around us, not a shot was fired. We saw over 60 deer that weekend. We will be back in Spring for turkey and Mack says she can't wait. Every other night she asks before bed when we are going back to hunt. I smile deeply as I write this. All three of the older girls they are now 4, 7, and 9 want to go. Not sure how I can make the turkeys cooperate with three giggle machines in a blind together but we are going to try and make it work.

It has been a very emotionally draining year, full of ups and downs, and I wouldn't trade the 5 days I spent in the woods with Mack for 40 days alone. I recently added a tattoo to my collection and it is a Gaelic 4 leaf clover with each girls birthday on a leaf. Around it there is a saying " Mo cailíní, mo domhan".. My girls My world.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Life I hope you went out and bought a protective cup. You're gonna need it!

I will be back on the forum more now. Things have settled. Unless I become a full time fashion photographer....
Awesome story Pat. You're a great dad buddy! Keep after them girls. You always have my number if you need anything. Scotty B
Great story about real life Pat. Kudos;s to you and your wife. I believe you and the family also moved from one state to another and back again during this time. My hats off to you and your wife.

As an aside do you still like Harleys ?

You have indeed been very busy being a dad, husband and a rock for the family. You are a good man!
Glad to hear that you youngest daughter is kicking butt and taking names.
Way to go buddy!
Nice work filling the freezer too. :)

Thanks for sharing your story with us Pat. I would also like to offer my prayers for your daughters full recovery. Our children are our most precious possession and we must safe guard them well. You've done well Dad.
Naw.. It is nothing anyone of you guys wouldn't have done if you found yourselves in my shoes. Family comes first for me. As Cheyenne said about the girls it is keeping us busy and I find myself outnumbered. One is in basketball, one is in soccer, and the other two we just bring along. I know someday they will be grown and out the door and all we can hope is that they will come back and have a beer with dear old dad and a margarita with mom. And have a love of the outdoors so they can keep me active.

Yes I still love Harley-Davidson. It was my first tattoo and will always be a part of me. I do not understand the direction of the company as guided by the exec's in charge. Numerous friends of mine who stayed on when I chose to left, lost their jobs the second week of December this fall. No severance package, nothing. 9 or 10 others ( not friends but higher ups) were let go as well. Sad. Very sad. 3 years of declining sales year over year, inflating stock price by buying back shares to make the earnings per share higher than reality. Seems to me the wrong way to do business.
Life is full of challenges! It's our tenacity and character that allows us to persevere and move forward, reaping the successes of our lives with family and friends, despite the challenges that arise before us each and everyday. these are not only the lessons that we learn on our individual journeys, but the examples that your daughters (and others) will witness and remember throughout their lives. Great mentoring, parenting and providing! It will not be forgotten...

We did not even notice you were gone!

Of course, you knew I had to fill in for a certain buddy of our who would say that.

I'm so glad things are working out for you. Sorry though that you can't pass through my town now and have the opportunity to buy me that beer you promised!

Keep it up sport, your a pretty darn good dad and all around good guy.

God has blessed your daughters with wonderful parents, Pat. I'm so grateful to read all that you are doing with your girls. There is little doubt that they will turn out just fine in the midst of a world that has otherwise lost its way. Congratulations. Consequently, I can't imagine anyone saying anything negative about the Mohawk! I'll pray for your little one's health. Here's to success in your new business venture. (y)
Beautiful post that your love of family shines through. You're my role model as a husband and father.


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Pat, you and your family are in my prayers. I find it uplifting to see parents loving on their kids, and the kids loving the parents back!

Wishing the Gigglers a successful Turkey Season and much health!

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Thank you Pat for a great post, your story is a inspiration to all that read it.
May our Lord touch you daughter and take this disease from her body. Lord we thank you for such strong loving parents, we ask that you bless and protect this family. Amen (y).

Congratulations on your daddy-daughter hunt! (y)

And best of luck with your daughter's health. :grin:

lefty315":600qvvdk said:
You can't buy memories like that for a million bucks, good job Dad!!!

Just enjoying the vision of a Million Bucks.

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salmonchaser":q307sbt2 said:
Well done Pat. You've my vote for Dad of the year.
I will second that! Definitely Dad of the Year.

My prayers are with your Daughter, your family and you.
Time with your family is always your highest priority, Pat.

Forums will be here when you get a minute to breath.

And as was mentioned, you know where/how to find me if there's anything I can ever do to help.

You're the man Pat!
Dr Mike said it much better than I can but you're building your family a solid foundation. That is always a good thing.
As others mentioned, you know how to find me. :grin: