Jeff Pearlman

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Remembering my Angels, by Danielle Rydberg

Earlier today one of my high school classmates, a lovely woman named Danielle Rydberg, posted this about the birthdays of her twin sons. It’s both heartbreaking and moving, and Danielle was kind enough to give me permission to post it here. Bless her on what is surely a difficult day …

Ten years ago today I was forced into being a mom 18 weeks too soon.

After a week of false hope, my precious little twin boys, Tomas and Kristofer, were born weighing only a pound each—no chance to live, no way of taking a breath successfully, although they tried. I tried my best to be a good mom for that hour. I kept them warm and whispered loving thoughts to them. This was a defining moment for me; it shaped who I’ve become and how I will be forever.

The intensity of that grief is indescribable. I grieve for the family that didn’t happen and then in the next heartbeat I’m forced to be thankful for the children I have—for who is to say that, had Tomas and Kristofer survived, Ani, Tahlene and Axel would be here? That conflict of emotion is like fire and ice. We didn’t have a memorial service then because those little babies only lived for an hour and we were the only ones who had a ‘relationship’ with them.

So, to show them our respect, every December 10 we honor their short lives by decorating the tree and hanging a special ornament. This year, we are adding a trip to Santa and constructing a gingerbread house. Sure, I’ve shed a few tears today, but I’ve also laughed at my kids, hugged them and made them smile. I’m looking forward to a nice family outing with some hot chocolate, sweets and a Christmas movie to end the day.

All my love to my two angels.

Showtime Book
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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life