A Christmas letter to my niece in the hospital

​Dear Jayden-Faith,

What's up, yo? Merry Christmas​ and Mili's birthday! ​Here's a cute pic of you holding her. JayFay and EmRae. She's your fave!

It's been ​743​  hours ​(31 days!) ​since you were in an horrific car accident on Thanksgiving Day and cracked your skull and almost died. 

I choose those specific words on purpose because recently your recovery has not been progressing as fast as many would like and it's SO hard to have patience. We just want our JayFay back!

But what we all have to remember is that you ARE recovering. You're not dead. Your sweet mama reminded me of that fact yesterday in another tear-jerking Facebook Live video update on your condition.

You'll never believe what a pillar of strength and inspiration she's been through all this. Nobody believes it. But you know what I think? I think a lot of her strength comes from you. You have an amazing inner strength that you project to everyone the more they're around you. So it makes sense that the person who would be the strongest is the one who's around you the most, your best friend and mom, Michelle.

She loves you SO much she's been right by your side EVERY day and night since the accident, only leaving the hospital ONE TIME to get some girly stuff done (like hair, etc.) and have dinner with Jace. Pretty amazing, huh?

Anyway, it's Christmas Day and I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you all the time and I talked to Santa and he said he got you all kinds a cool stuff. Nice! Here's a pic of you a couple years ago talking to Santa. Awww.. 

That was back when you used to still let me call you sissy. lol. Remember when I called you "sissy" the other day and then corrected myself and said you probably don't want to be called that baby nickname the family have had for you anymore? You said "it's okay, you can call me sissy." :-) I thought that was so sweet. 

Get better and have a wonderful Christmas day, sweet angel. I love you!

- Uncle Nick

ps. I may or may not have tried to get the #prayforjayfay message to the REAL Katy Perry via Twitter. I said that's one of the things that I pray for when I pray for you is that you might get to meet her one day. I saw where she visited Children's Medical Center in L.A. over the Christmas holiday so why not Dallas too, right? Nice!

My ideal woman according to the dream I had last night is...

... a beautiful brunette cheerleader originally from southern England cheering for an Indian soccer team on a cruise ship (apparently large enough to host international soccer matches) whose real job when she's on land is working as a chef at a cozy but upscale restaurant tucked in a far back corner of a large Atlantic City casino. Hailing from England originally, she has lived in New York most of her life, therefore speaks in a mostly New York accent with English undertones.

She's on the outs with her girlfriend and described the relationship as being "dodgy" for some time.  In fact, she actually sent her $2000 to help pay for her to move out of the apartment they share back in NYC. She claims this breakup had nothing to do with meeting me but admits that her attraction to me is probably the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm not really concerned with how this all plays out in the end mainly because the whole story is a product of my over-active imagination.

What a great dream, though! :-D

Basic "dream analysis" of this would lead one to believe that I have a thing for brunette bisexual European women who can dance and cook and while that's pretty much spot on, I would also consider other hair colors as well. :-P

Letter number 2 to my niece in the hospital

Dear Jayden-Faith,

It's been 405 hours since mom called and told me the news about how y'all had a wreck on Thanksgiving Day and YOU (of all people) got the worst of it. Man, that sucks so bad...

Oh, wait, I left my #prayforjayfay wristband upstairs. I'll go put it on. I can't very well write a letter to you in the hospital without wearing my cool unicorn wristband, right? Duh.

Okay, I've got it on now. Phew! Canela followed me upstairs when I went up to get it (of course). She's so sweet! I heart taking care of your sweet puppies! (Even though neither one are really puppies anymore but they're still sweet). Here's a pic of Canela I took the other night with what I believe to be her favorite toy..

One thing I don't hate about this whole ordeal is babysitting your sweet family dogs. It took Rusty a minute to warm up to me but he's coming around I think. It's SO funny, he just WILL NOT go outside with me and Canela. But even though he won't go outside he still wants a treat when we get back in. LOL! "Oh, alright, here's your treat but you didn't do ANYTHING to deserve it." :-D

Even with the dogs keeping me company, this house needs its family back to make it a home. We'll all be happy when it's back to its normal hustle and bustle.

Hey, guess what? You got your braces off yesterday! Nice. When I was much younger I remember I had a girlfriend who was SO excited to show me when she got her braces off. I was TOO because it was easier to kiss her. haha. You probably think kissing boys is gross NOW but you won't one day. Your dad will NEVER want you to kiss a boy but if you ever feel like you want to it's okay to give it a try. Just don't let ALL of them kiss you. You're awesome enough to be WAY selective.

I've visited you twice now while you've been in the ICU. ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit. The funny thing about that is that you have ALWAYS received intensive care from your mom and dad and family. NOW you're just getting it from people outside of the family, too. That's pretty cool, dude. 

At the moment they're in a process of bringing you out of a medically induced coma. When you come to and know what's going on my friend Katie wants to know if you can remember anything while you were in the coma. This is really interesting to people. Not a lot of people know people who have been in a coma so they're curious about what it's like. I saw a YouTube vid of a girl that described what it's like to be in a coma. You should make a vid like that too later. Here's her vid:

I'm probably going to go visit you for the third time today. The first time I went was pretty soon after the wreck and people were warning me that it wasn't a pretty sight. But when I went into your room you just looked like the most beautiful sleeping angel to me. I honestly didn't think you looked that bad. Then the 2nd time you looked even better! We pretended like we were sending snaps back and forth and took a selfie. lol. I expect this time you'll look even better still. You're one amazing girl. I think the reason you're healing up so fast is because you want to be back doing stuff and having fun and not cooped up in a dumb hospital. We do too, yo! Who ELSE sends me silly and way cool snaps?

Check out this cool collage your mom posted of you smiling. 

Smiling is the BEST! I smile all the time and my FB profile even says I smile a lot and laugh more. Of course you know that because we only have like a thousand selfies together of us happy and smiling and being goofy. Speaking of which, I've taken a few selfies of us even while you've been "sleeping". We can laugh about them later.

Hey, here's a secret I wanna share with you. People are praying for you who don't normally pray for nothin. Isn't that cool? I know this for a fact because I'm one of those people. Shhhh! Don't tell your mom that, she's a ginormous prayer. Sometimes I just let the wristband pray for me. It's praying 24/7! :-D I even started the #pray4jayfay hashtag but it got overtaken by #prayforjayfay. People don't realize the significance of the number 4 in your life but that's okay. 

Check it out, though:

You were born in 2004. You family has 4 members. You have 4 pets. One of your favorite games to play is Connect 4. AND if someone asks you if you want a mint, you say you want 4! lol. I think we found your new favorite number. :-) Can you think of any MORE stuff in your life where 4 comes in? I bet you can. (he said, channeling Mr. Rogers.)

In the grand scheme of things, hashtags are way not important, though. Unicorns are! And man, are you gonna be happy when you're fully conscious again and see just HOW many unicorns are waiting for you. Unicorns EVERYWHERE, man! It's unicorn city! You can totally make another unicorn movie later that will be even MORE awesome than the first one because NOW you have a ton MORE unicorns to use. I can't wait to watch it!

Okay, I guess that's about all I have for now. Heal up, feel better, and we'll be goofin around again soon!

Uncle Nick

Let's thank the real life honest to goodness living, breathing people too!

While everyone is praying and thanking God for the recovery of my niece I thought I'd take a moment to thank all the actual real life human people that have worked their asses off to help her as best they know how.

The awesome ambulance driver and EMT's at the "Gator Pit" (aka Fire Station #3 in Deep Ellum)..
Dr. Scott in Children's Medical ER who resuscitated JayFay upon arrival and was a kind and nurturing rock for my sister Michelle who told me she really needed in her corner that day..

 Dr. Miles and Nurses Kenzie, Nicole, and Mandy at Children's Medical ICU.

And if I missed anyone, THANK YOU TOO!! 

If y'all ever feel like you work in thankless jobs, from the bottom of my heart I'd like to say again THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and one gigantic THANK YOU from all the people who haven't thanked you in the past!!!

God saved the queen but these actual people saved my beautiful niece. 

And for that we're all truly grateful!

What makes Jayden-Faith so special?

If I were an outsider looking in at this whole "little girl in a coma" and seeing the thousands of people praying for her, news stories, hashtags, candlelight vigils, whole schools wearing purple for a day in support of her, etc. I might start to think to myself "what makes THIS little girl so special?"

Well, as her uncle who has watched her grow up over the years and developed a unique bond with her I can tell you it's the love she pours out on everyone she meets. She's never met a stranger and she tries her best to show the world how much she cares for each and every person in her life every day.

I turned 50 recently and one would think a 50-year old man wouldn't need a 12-year old niece to make him feel better when he's feeling down but JayFay does it all the time. And ironically, she does it by being crazy and silly and acting just like her Uncle Nick.

It's hard to describe the joy I feel when I see another Snapchat come in from her mom's phone which JayFay uses to send her Uncle Nick funny snaps since she's not quite old enough to have her own account yet. It's like she just KNOWS when I need a little pick-me-up in my day and sends me a snap to make me feel better.

And I'm not the only one. She does this for everyone. Putting the needs of others before your own is not something most people inherently do but it just comes naturally to Jayden-Faith. Well, naturally as well as having the best parents in the world guiding her.

So there you have it. That's what makes Jayden-Faith the most specialist girl in the whole wide world. Thank you for your continued prayers in her time of need. #pray4jayfay #prayforjayfay :-)

Jayden-Faith is 12 1/2 today! Happy half-birthday, JayFay!

Last year I talked to JayFay about having a half-birthday party for her when she turned 11 1/2. She was excited about it as she is about all things. If you know Jayden-Faith you know it's her birthday EVERY DAY as far as she's concerned.

But when the time rolled around to actually go through with the fun half-birthday party, we both got busy and it just didn't materialize. I could have done more to make it happen but I didn't. :-( Bad uncle!

True to Jayden-Faith form, though, she didn't complain or even mention anything about us not celebrating her half-birthday. Luckily for me, she's a VERY busy girl. Well, okay, she DID mention it once after the fact but it was just in a joking matter and not to make me feel bad.

So here we are, a year later and I invite the whole world to celebrate her 12 1/2 birthday with us. I know she's throwing a big party for herself in her mind. It's a wonderful party outside in the sun with all her family and friends dancing and Katy Perry singing surrounded by a hundred flying unicorns. 

Imagine with me all those unicorns flying in formation to spell out #Pray4JayFay

A letter to my niece in the hospital.

Dear Jayden-Faith,

It's been 113 hours now since I received the worst call of my life from Nana telling me that you were in a terrible car accident and suffered a fractured skull.

I hope that you never have to hear a distraught, worried sick, crying Nana trying her best to relate sad news to you because it's not fun. You are both angels and angels are supposed to always bring constant joy to all those that surround them.

Even in the states you are in now you two are still bringing joy to the world because you are both precious and strong and determined to make it through this. When I talk to Nana now I can still hear the sadness in her voice but at the same time I can also hear strength. It's as if she has spoken to God and he has assured her that you are going to be fine and when she speaks to people to relay this to them in some way. She may not even be aware she is having such a calming effect on all those so concerned about your well being but she is.

After dinner with Marie two nights ago we stopped by a convenience store and bought a $5 lottery scratch off. When we got home we tried to have just a normal night like we usually do but "normal" these days is pretty much thinking about and praying for you to get better. At least it is for me. We even forgot we even bought the lottery ticket.

Yesterday we remembered we had it and Marie wanted to use a special coin with your birthday year on it to scratch it off. She found one, we scratched it off together, and needless to say it was a winner. It wasn't a big winner but if I've learned anything in the recent past it's that small wins are still wins and they add up in time.

The moral to the story is that everything is on your side. The best doctors in the world. The prayers of thousands. A solid endlessly hopeful family unit. Your own fortitude and will. And even some luck.

A beautiful, sweet, gifted, silly, fun, lucky angel. That's the Jayden-Faith Fraser I know and will be joking around with again very soon. I love you.

Uncle Nick

Warning/suggestion to future programmers of URPOs (Unarmed Robotic Police Officers)

Make SURE you don't include in URPO programming the ability and/or propensity to USE the weaponry they seize from criminals against them (or any other human for that matter) because while an URPO is a good thing an ARPO is an extremely dangerous thing potentially. 

In the beginning an uneducated society may blame URPOs that wrestle guns away from perpetrators for then killing said perps but there will never be any video evidence (taken by the URPO themselves) to support such claims. Besides the fact that they have no motivation to kill because A, it's not in their programming and B, guns don't do them any harm. 

Also I would design their outer surface to absorb rather than deflect bullets as much as possible. 

Thoughts on @JohnHMcWhorter's assertion that skepticism is a cornerstone of intelligent thought

I'm listening to a book called "The Language Hoax" by linguistics professor John McWhorter wherein he says "skepticism is a form of intelligence." 

While I agree with McWhorter's assertion in general terms, I believe some take skepticism to a paranoid extreme. This may or may not be due to the aging process and senility creeping in but what I fear is that such assertions may lead people to want to become overly skeptical believing this proves they're "smarter than the average Joe" in some way.

Healthy skepticism is okay but being overly skeptical of every little thing is to bring upon oneself undue stress. Personally I don't feel the need to increase my level of skepticism just to prove I'm smarter than the next guy.

That said, the "skeptic" has never been my favorite personality type but having this new awareness will at least help me to have more respect for skeptical types heretofore.

Why the #Astros CF lost the mental game vs the #Rangers tonight.

Setup: Top of the 9th. 2 outs. Rangers down by one run. Fast runner on 2nd. One more out wins the game for the Astros. 

As a championship amateur baseball center fielder I have some perspective on how to play this. 

What you have to be thinking in this situation is that even if you have a big arm you're probably not going to throw the runner out at the plate on a single up the middle even cheating in some (aka play a little shallower than normal.)

Therefore, your best bet is to play deep because if the batter muscles up and hits one over your head you're *really* screwed. Not only is the tie run going to score (which you were hoping to cut off by playing shallow), but the batter is going to have at LEAST a double and possibly a triple if they're a fast runner. 

This is exactly what happened to the Astros center fielder tonight and led to a Rangers win. Nice. 

But don't fret, Astros center fielder. In my youth I would have optimistically played it the same way. And this is why baseball, more than any other sport, requires extra smarts and makes it > all other sports.