Hi, I’m Angelo… This is my story, some of it anyways…
Hi I’m Angelo and this blog has been a dream of mine for quite some time and now it’s real.
Everyone who knows me, knows that I have always been a giving person. I am just an ordinary guy that enjoys helping others. I believe what goes around, comes around. It most certainly does, as I have seen my share of miracles. This blog will hopefully inspire you “to give”, even when you think you cannot afford it. Perhaps it will show you “helping people” does not always cost money. The below is a glimpse into my personal life, a rather recent part. Why am I doing this blog? Because I have experienced “too much loss”. It all happened in the course of just one year. This blog is my way of healing myself, allowing myself to heal through the forgiveness of of others. I also had to forgive myself for some things. In the healing process, I decided to do something we have all dreamed about doing. I packed my bags, hit the road and started wandering the globe. I also moved to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) Vietnam for a little while. My moms ashes are there, but even from there I head out often roaming the globe. I have now returned to Vietnam three times. I’ve been around the world several times but this time I was carrying a different type of baggage, mental baggage. I planned to leave that baggage hear and there on my Journey. I have already left some on the uninhabited side of Phu Quoc Island and at the top of a sacred temple in Angkor Wat. I have been buying one-way tickets for most of my international destinations. This way there are no time constraints. I stay wherever I am, enjoy the scenery for as long as I want, enjoy the people. I share my stories and listen to theirs. Again, it all came down to “too much loss”, and I could no longer sit still within my four walls. This is my story…
About a year and a half ago, I lost a child, to my fiance whom I loved dearly, right up to the abrupt and unforeseen end. It was a completely happy relationship in the beginning, she helped me in so many ways. She even shared a one person mattress with me in the break room of my business for over a month when we first started seeing exceptional growth. Then one unforgettable day, she up and vanished, returning to China, while pregnant 6 months with our son. It was a terrible year. In short, I lost a fiance, a child, my mother and a new wife soon after, all within a little over a year. It was too much loss, too soon.
In regards to the new wife, I thought quickly starting over was the solution, I was wrong. It was a short marriage, about 7 months. While I still consider it a loss, it was a relationship that I decided to end. Why? I love reading motivational stuff and often noticed some Trends across different speakers. Many of them mention the importance of removing “toxic people” from your life, “even if they are family”.
While the new wife was very supportive immediately behind the loss of my child and fiance, she was not supportive in the height of my suffering over the loss of my mother. She was not even supportive while my mother was falling ill. To be honest, I think she simply got tired of seeing her very strong man, now shattered and sad all the time. I thought she was my Angel at first, I was wrong. One of my favorite quotes: “it is never too late, to right some wrongs”.
I will give you some of the back story to give you a better scope of how things unfolded.
Approximately 2 years ago, I was single for two years prior. I was focusing on my business which still today with God’s blessing, is experiencing great growth. My mom is now a real Angel and I like to believe she is helping me from up there.
However, while I’ve always been an over achiever my growing business began to consume me, slowly but surely. There are a lot of misconceptions about being a business owner. For example, people think when you own a business that you do not answer to anyone. The truth is, you answer to everyone. When a problem finds Its way to you, there is no one else to give it to. My business pays for everything, without my business I would be asking “Do you want fries with that?” or maybe I’d just hike the Appalachian Trail (which is another idea that keeps growing on me) Maybe work my way up to being a grocery bagger after that.
I met a nice Chinese girl by fate via a group chat on WeChat (Chinese App similar to Facebook). After having several long relationships, I prided myself on the fact that I never got anyone pregnant. I was always very responsible and I wanted to wait for the right person and the right time so I could provide a comfortable life for a wife and child. Six months in we decided to get engaged and she demanded a baby immediately. I recall the first time she met somebody disabled mother would had a stroke about two years earlier. She got down on one knee and promised her she would marry me and bring her another grandchild soon. My sister gave her her first grandchild. Nevertheless it made my mother cry and my mother accepted her with open arms as easily as I did. She was pregnant soon after and I felt blessed. I have always wanted to be a father. An amazing father quite the opposite of my own who left me and my sister as toddlers.
Anyways, this new, Young and Beautiful Chinese woman entered my life and I ran with it! I dove into it with all of my heart! We never fought, until she became pregnant. I believe a serious mental illness began taking her over. In addition to that, extremely wealthy parents in China were constantly making offers that included cars and property, in their best effort to entice her to pack up and return to China. The reason being that I had no family here to assist with the arrival of our new child and she had a huge family there who can help after childbirth. She loves her mom dearly , but still she politely declined. Her mom, much like my own mother is persistent and did not let up. She even contacted me and made me offers, I too politely declined. Instead I assured her I could make sure her daughter’s every need was met.
Backtracking a bit more I want you to know that I never really was the kind of guy who had my ducks in a row. I have enjoyed living a life that goes from one moment to the next. I do not know what tonight brings but I know if someone calls I’ll show up :-). Another one of my favorite quotes it’s from the movie Castaway “who knows what the tide may bring..” I have transformed it slightly into my version “who knows what the night may bring…”
Being a single guy, I had been spending every dollar I’ve ever made, until the day I realized I was creating a family. I quickly began to save. As it turns out I have my mother’s blood flowing through my veins and I am as persistent as she was when it comes getting something I really want. I am also blessed with her sense of Bravery and not being afraid of the hard work it takes to get there. That being said, I want you to know that I buckled down and I grind’d.. I came home to my pregnant fiance sometimes at 4 a.m. and a couple nights, not at all I slept on my desk more times than I care to remember. I did not rely on luck. Insert another favorite quote: “some men rely on luck, I create my own luck.. ”
In a few months of hard work, the dedication paid off. I actually prepaid my child’s birth in cash. Including appointments, blood test, lab work and ultra sounds she would need before and after childbirth. I was really excited to be a father, ecstatic actually. Everyone knows that I have always loved children. I remember hearing my child’s heartbeat for the first time on a machine, a happyness I cannot put into words. My eyes begin to fill right now with that memory. Soon soon after we we also got to experience the day we learned our baby’s sex via an ultrasound. “IT’S A BOY!!!” I remember jumping up and down for joy! I remember getting to see him for the first time. We got several nice photos including one very clear video, where he tickling his nose lol. We also caught a video of him sucking his thumb and popping it out. Someone must be cutting onions nearby, my eyes won’t stop now.
“This too.. shall pass…” or at least that’s what they keep telling me. I remember thinking in that very room about all changes I would need to instantly make and “maintain” to be a good dad and husband. It wouldn’t be a burden, it was going to be my highest honor, a privilege to provide a better life. A life that me and my sister were not fortunate enough to have. It didn’t feel like it was going to be a stretch or impossible, like a lot of our goals in life. I knew it could be done and I knew I was eventually going to make it to my goal of seven figures. I knew having a family was going to be the the push and inspiration I needed. I would take notes along the way so my son one day would know how hard I worked, how much I sacrificed, to make sure he and his mother would always be okay. More importantly I’d make sure him and his mother both knew they were worth it. I’d leave notes or a journal to inspire him when he struggled in his own life. I was not going to let my child become a spoiled rich kid. He would learn as I learned, the value of a hard earned dollar. He would earn it, as I earned it. He would be taught that he can beat the odds, even when they’re stacked against him, just as his father did. I dreamed about all of the things a father and son would eventually get to do. I remember praying that he would turn out OK even before his arrival. I wanted to set him out on the right foot so he could eventually raise a family of his own. I started listening to songs that I could not relate to previously like Blue October “Home” or Cat Stevens “father and son”, both have amazing lyrics. In an instant I was seeing the world from I knew an exciting perspective. For once in my life things were looking hopeful, there was even a hint of a happy ending. You can watch the moment I learned that was going to be a father here: (insert pregnancy test video). As much as it hurts knowing how it ended. I still enjoy watching this video and seeing myself being truly happy. Hearing myself gasp for air excitement big hit with the great news! I was going to be a dad!!!
Perhaps my son would also end up a poet like me, who knows? The dreaming of things to come was endless, that was until the day that changed my life forever…
As she got bigger, she also got a little slower, naturally. She would occasionally stay home cook some delicious Chinese food and bring it to the office She had done this several times and she cooks enough for the staff. They really loved her cooking too! So I had no reason to doubt her when she told me she wanted to cook and come in for lunch again. Sadly our lunch break came and went without any sign of her. I drove home to check on her assuming she was just napping as she often did, carrying our son further into the 6th month of pregnancy. She was not home and I was not worried. I assumed we simply passed each other, she was certainly going to be at the office when I returned. Unfortunately she wasn’t and panic begin to set in immediately. “If there is one lesson or piece of advice I can give you in this entire blog, it is to always trust your gut feeling”, that energy is rarely wrong. Her phone was going straight to voicemail. The next 2 hours were the longest 2 hours of my life. Then out of the blue, I got one simple text message that read, “I’m on my way back to China, good luck with life”.
My world stopped turning…time stood still…
I hoped that I would wake from a horrible nightmare. I instantly tried to call her mother through WeChat, she was always nice to me and she helped me resolve other minor disputes with her daughter in the past. She was a good mom, for sure she would come to my rescue because we communicated often, even from opposite ends of the globe with the help of google translate. She always thanked me for taking such good care of her daughter. Her mom didn’t answer. It instantly got worse, I learned her mother actually blocked me. It was clear the “good luck with life” text was not sick a joke or prank like I hoped. “This is real”… I sat down…I vomited…
Soon as I could see straight, I scrambled and tried to plan the best course of action. Sadly other Revelations were discovered soon after. I noticed she removed other family members from my phone, so I could not reach out to them either. There was no way I was waking up from a bad dream, this was real.
I do not remember anything else for the rest of that day. I woke the next day on the floor in a pile of baby clothes thanks to a call from the hospital. The nurse said she had some test results I could pick up for my wife, I did not tell her she was gone. When I got there, A nurse pulled me over to side and sat me down, (I use to work in healthcare and knew that this is exactly what they do when they have to give bad news). They never give it over the phone, in case you decide to off yourself. For the record, I know life sucks sometimes, it gets pretty damned dark and hard at times. Still I would never kill myself. Instead “I’ll go through it” and get through it. I knew something was coming. As politely as she could, she explained that the mother of my child had l been to the hospital the day before, trying to obtain a refund for the prepaid child birth. Just when I thought I could not possibly bear anything else, I felt like vomiting again…Suddenly I’m glad she sat me down, the room was spinning again and I was gasping for air…
I fell asleep the night before thinking that she just panicked and needed to be with her family, I was planning a quick move to China. I was going to do all it took to save my family, to save my child. But now it’s clear it was premeditated, it was not a knee jerk reaction like I first thought. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I was now glad I was actually in the hospital. For the first time in my life, I felt exactly what people must feel right before a heart attack. I tried hard to calm myself fearing for the worst. i could not get air no matter how fast I was breathing… I could not let this get the best of me. I could not let it end here. I reminded myself “of the many people still depend on me”. This is not my time to go. Eventually I caught my breath and my heart slowed. Two more weeks went by with no sign of her. No returned emails or messages. That was until the evening before my birthday.
It was June 14th and I was staying up to midnight to see who would be the first to call me at midnight and sing me Happy Birthday. A tradition I started by some extended family in the Philippines. I am even more impressed that they usually call first from the other side of the word. That tradition has now rubbed off on other friends and family members. It’s nice to see how good gestures can become contagious, what goes around, comes around. About 10 minutes before midnight I was at Fireside Lounge on Ravenswood. To my complete surprise a beautiful Thai waitress came in with a birthday candle in a piece of cheese cake! I looked at the time, it was now a few minutes after midnight. For the first time in years, no one called at midnight. Her cake saved me, in ways I cannot explain. Sitting there with my thoughts, my phone vibrated and I got an email.
It was her and it was in Chinese. I recall her making cards for all my family members before she met them, so thoughtful she was. She was also certain to bring them with us to Ohio on her first meeting with them. She also translated each one of them ( kneeling down to my mothers side and translated the promise of a grandchild in the near future). I threw her email into google translate. It started by saying I could stop all efforts I was making on trying to locate her in her hometown. She explained she was not there and that I was wasting my time. She said the reason she decided not to go straight to her hometown was because she wanted to go to a more advanced medical facility in Shanghai. For a millisecond my hope was reignited thinking she was going to arrange for our child’s birth at one of the best hospitals in Shanghai! I was praying I’d be there to witness it. I was hoping we could smooth things out because, we never really fought, ever! She was just crazy with the pregnancy. Sadly. that hope was quickly snuffed out.
It translated into this: “I checked into this facility. They induced labor and I terminated the pregnancy”. Once again, my world stops turning, I can’t catch my breath, my heart is raising, my vision is blurred. I buckle to my knees and start sobbing uncontrollably, screaming in the bar, yelling NO NO NO!!!! PLEASE GOD NOOOO!
I had to step away from my phone. It hurt bad because of the phrase she used “induced labor” that f*cking phrase will haunt me for life, it made it a buy-able story. That’s exactly what you I have to do, induce labor, if your baby is almost 7 months along. Motherf*cker! Yep, for the first time in my life I was feeling TRUE HATRED to another human being. I know it’s wrong but I can’t stop imaging the god damned procedure in my mind, it has been revived even while I’m typing this. I lose the hate quickly and I am ACTUALLY FRICKEN SAD FOR HER, how scared she must of been. WHAT THE HELL! WHY AM I SAD FOR THAT BABY KILLER! I am not anti-abortion. I believe that is a very difficult and personal decision. I think it should be the woman’s right to choose especially in regards to rape. I think women should also choose to consider how the father feels, especially if he is a good guy. The mother of my child did not extend me that courtesy, she was selfish but God sees all. You have to deliver it, it’s a fricken’ delivery. At 7 months it could even be crying at birth. The nightmares persisted for months, occasionally they still return. There is no way she could have ever had that done here in the US and I bet that’s exactly why she left. Money can bring out the worst in people, it’s so damn sad.
I replied instantly to her email saying, please tell me you are lying. Please tell me you are not a monster. Please tell me that my child is okay and will do everything I can in my power to make sure you and the baby are happy and healthy. If this is real please send me a video showing that you now have a flat stomach. Without such a video I am assuming and PRAYING that you are carrying my child and plan to go forward without me, for reasons I may never understand. I will give you peace, I will stay away. Just please do not cause our child any harm. I just hope there will be a day in which you let me meet my son again, in a few months, years or even decades down the road. Just please tell me you didn’t really do this horrible deed. If you still have him, God Bless the both of you. May he protect you and your mind, may he make you stronger. I would come and visit every two weeks Chicago to China if you will allow it. Even if you had another man in mind for raising our child, I’m okay with that. As much as it too would hurt. I’d rather you tell me our baby is fine. Please tell me our baby is fine. I’m so sorry life has gone this way. Please continue to pray, I know you have faith and I know you pray. Keep praying. I know your mind will eventually return to normal after the pregnancy or after this if you really did this horrible act.
As much as I am begging above, I have always been a person who says what I feel. That being said, I must WARN you what will happen if I find out your claims of killing our child are true. If you did, I assure you now that you are going to be so far gone from my life and my memory, that it will be as though you never even existed. She replied one more time assuring me that she did go through with it and ended the pregnancy. She encouraged me to start over and find someone else to start a family with. She added that instead of seeking mother and child, I should be seeking closure. I was speechless. That closure would have come a lot sooner if there was at least an apology, there wasn’t.
I think I have said all I want to say about this now, in all honesty I cannot handle much more.
Now you know “why I am writing this blog”, because doing nice things for other people helps heal the hurt.
I also dove into my work. I told myself that I will not settle for just being successful. I have set the bar 10 times higher. It took a lot to get here and hopefully this blog will share some of that with you. I want you to know that nothing was ever given to me. “I worked my ass off and I earned it”. Me and my sister were raised by a single mother, a registered nurse whose last boyfriend was seen when I was age 5. She made sure me and my sister were her only 2 priorities (until my sister created her first grandchild Brianna). She gave us plenty but lived paycheck to paycheck. No extended family to rely on and times there were no paychecks either. We got through it, we starred it in the eye, we faced it and most importantly we surpassed it “as a family”. I hope this blog helps you see what it takes to “survive even after severe trauma and loss”. Do not be mad at God or whoever you believe your creator, I know it’s tough especially in light of repetitive losses. He is on your sides at all times, you have to take my word for it. More importantly I hope this blog of mine, helps you see what it takes to keep your faith in these crucial and testing times.
In this blog I want you to see what it took to go from homeless at age 13 and at age 17, to business owner at age 21. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t made it to the top “yet”. In fact, I still have a long way to go. Still, in the deepest parts of me, I find what my mother instilled in me, that is the importance of putting the needs of others ahead of my own and by doing that I will fill my greatest need. The need to be happy. I realize being happy isn’t always easy. Still it appears I’ve made it over some pretty big hurdles thus far. I will continue to keep my chin up.
I believe I have made it further than most my age, I am now a lot older and wiser. These days, I feel I have a lot to offer those around me and here on this blog. Especially those who might want to run their own businesses one day or get past a difficult part of their lives and learn how to “start moving on” as a much happier person. I assure you no matter how bitter or cold you might think life has made you, there is an tremendous amount of internal peace that comes “instantly” behind helping others. So please try to forget your own problems today and go help someone else with theirs.
I believe the climb straight to the top is the best route, rather than the long way around. I believe life without risk is not life at all. So I invite you to come take some risks. Join me and my efforts in making the impossible, possible for some. Come join me in righting, some wrongs and doing some good out there.
I will continue to believe in the impossible. I will continue to beat the odds. I will not give up on love. “Love heals all”, so does time.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Call your mother, tell her you love her. Call her now.