Ten weeks premature. 3lbs 10oz. We named her Reagan. She was tiny. I mean she was so small she could almost fit right in the palms of your hands, but she was strong and healthy, considering the odds. The twins, Gianna and Leila, were born on time. They too, were healthy. But, in a misguided attempt to save my relationship with Patrice I had behaved pretty deplorably at the beginning of their mom’s pregnancy, so I didn’t find out about their birth until weeks later. Their mom wasn’t talking to me, and rightfully so. But I couldn’t keep the secret any longer. I told Patrice. You can imagine what that did to our relationship. To say we were on shaky ground would be an incredibly gross understatement.
After losing everything in the market crash, I moved my small family down South to live in a 600-square foot apartment outside of New Orleans. I didn’t know it at the time, but Metairie, Louisiana would be the place that would change my life. Originally, I moved there to try my best to save what was left of my failing real estate holdings. I figured the only way to tackle this would be with high interest, hard money loans from various investors that specialized in fix and flip projects. If you’re thinking to yourself that sounds like a bad idea, you’re right. That too would eventually bottom me out to zero. Talk about a low point. My daughters and wife were depending on me and yet everyday we’d experience one blow after another. Lights being turned off. Eviction notices on the front door. Barely scraping up change for milk to feed our baby. With a degree and what I considered to be a well experienced resumé, I applied for jobs at every major municipality in New Orleans with the hope of landing ANY JOB whatsoever. What I cared about most was just getting health insurance for my barely 1-year old daughter and wife.
Instead, I was rejected time and time again.