Max Tattoo

I finally did it.

After all the talk, I went and got a tattoo.

Me and Max both have 8-pointed stars.

Me and Max both have 8-pointed stars.

Now me and Max match, rocking our 8-pointed stars for all-time.

Addendum: Realized running today that with Max’s 8 points, and my 8 points, that adds up to the 16 days we had together.


I finally got around to adding Maxy boy to

Oddly, there are quite a few Tworzydlos on the site when you search.

Max serves as such a constant inspiration to me. If I ever feel overwhelmed at work, I just look at his picture and everything comes into perspective. Also, I started this bootcamp personal trainer thing a couple of weeks ago. It was really tough, but I’m getting better. When we’re at the end of our 1 minute high-intensity stuff, and the other people might be hitting a knee during mountain climber or something, I just focus really hard on Max and how strong he was and say “I will not stop” and then I fight through the pain and finish strong. I love it. I don’t think I’ll ever be scared of shots ever again. When I’m about to give blood or get an injection, I just think about how many times Max did that and that I need to be strong like him. Maxy helps me so much everyday, I just wish I had more time so I could have done more for him.

P.S. – someone please remember to add me to one day.


I sure do miss my Max.
He is without a doubt the strongest dude I’ve ever come across.
I remember the NICU nurses calling him a “rock star”.
Made daddy very proud.

Maxy boy, daddy loves you the best forever and ever and then even longer.


I love my little Maxy boy. Think of him all day everyday. Toughest thing a person can go through, they say. I’ll agree to that.

I (Michael) am living in Chicago for the next six months for work. I crave the parallel universe where I’m in Houston, and Keri is at home, and we’re carrying for Max. I’d give anything for that. I’m typing this from my apartment roof right now, which may or may not be safe.

My apartment has lots of Max pictures. I like knowing he’s with me watching me. And I know he’d want me to be happy. I know that because when I die, I’ll want people I left behind to be happy. And he’s my son. So there you go.

I feel like he’s checking out Chicago with me.

The dude is amazing. Love him so so much. I like him a lot because we are both monkeypeople. I’m a Monkeyman and he was a Monkeyboy. Monkey genetics.

We got his nice temporary stone set up. His grave is the best. Seriously, it will be so epic when the proper stone comes in. I hope he likes it.

I’d give anything to have him back. I’d trade all my appendages and be a stump.

But I KNOW he’s in a better place. Because the place I’m in without him, well, it’s not very good.

From Keri

Keri hasn’t really gotten involved with Max as far as the digital world goes. She prefers doing things like putting his pictures in frames, organizing awesome things for him, and feeding him breastmilk. But, without my foreknowledge, she added a guestbook post to this site the other day that should really be highlighted. It’s directed towards Max and echoes many of my sentiments. I loved it and hope she continues:

Hey, my little angel buddy. Just want to tell you how very much we love and miss you!!! Mommy and Daddy are getting better now, I hope you don’t worry about us when you look down on us from heaven. We wanted you more than anything in this while world but are so happy you are safe and perfect. Thank you for fighting to be with us. You made our lives a million times better than we could have ever imagined them being before we met you. You are so strong and brave, my little man. There’s a lot you didn’t get to do down here but you did get to experience the very best part of life, which is being loved ABSOLUTELY UNCONDITIONALLY. And not just by your parents, but by your grandparents and aunts and uncles and the rest of your family and friends and nurses and doctors and even people who were never lucky enough to meet a cool dude like you. Whenever we do something good with our lives, know that it is to honor (daddy would want me to spell it honour) you. You were a wonderful son and your future brothers and sisters will know all about you and be glad to have their big brother watching over them. I don’t know much about heaven, just that you’re there now and I hope one day I make it there to meet you and know you better. I love you, monkey.

Due Date

Yesterday was Max’s original due date. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait that long to meet him.

We’ve gotten a good load of sympathy cards, which I always appreciate, but this one especially struck me.

It’s from an old friend I met in 5th grade (Katie) and her mom:

little dude

Back when Max was in the NICU and everything was alright, and everyone was assured that he’d be coming home one day, I was just hoping that he’d be with me in time for football season. We could sit in our Cowboys gear and be buddies and cuddle and watch all the games. Unfortunately, we never got that chance.

But in his short time, Max did become everything I ever wanted in a son… a great little dude who loved his dad very much.

2 Months

Happy two month birthday to Max the Baby! A landmark day in my lifestory, to say the least.
We visited his grave today and it still has all the cool stuff I put up the other day, despite the rain. My makeshift lamination technique worked.

I’ve yet to get my commemoratory tattoo yet, but it will be Max’s handprint eventually, when I get the onions to go to the place and ask for it.

We’ve also yet to order the tombstone, but I’m hoping the lyric “The Earth Looks Better From A Star That’s Right Above From Where You Are” fits.

It’s been a 1.5 months since Max went to Angel-mode but the crying’s simmered down and there’s more of a blissful happiness when looking at and kissing his pictures. Got some book recommendations on grief and losing kids, but I haven’t gotten around to reading most yet. Counseling and just general time have helped though.

Love you, Mega Max the Super Angel Baby Boy.

P.S. – Stuff’s still coming in like the other day a really nice sympathy card spearheaded by I think my friend Miller signed by Nederland people. Really appreciate every gesture like that.

P.P.S – Before this all happened, I never knew how I’d react to this kind of situation, and people have told me, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through” and the like, and even with the benefit of hindsight, I barely know how I’ve come through it. But I realize there’s still a lifetime to go.

Max’s Music

I’m a big music fan. And I think Max was as well. When he was still in utero, I had purchased these things called bellybuds that would allow him to jam to some tunes inside the womb. The first song I ever played him was “Float On” by Modest Mouse, and when he heard the first few bangs of the drum, he responded with an epic kick. Instant fan. Amazing.

We didn’t get to use the belly buds as long as we had planned since Max decided to make his appearance early, but I made sure he got plenty of music.

One day I showed up at the hospital with the belly buds, and connected them to his incubator glass.

I had prepared a special MAX playlist just for the occasion, comprised of some of my favorite all-time songs, and stuff I thought he might like. The playlist looked something like this:

I think he got through the majority of the playlist, except for those last few songs, which I only added to the MAX playlist for the slideshow and stuff, so he didn’t hear those til the funeral.

Another nurse said he probably couldn’t hear through the sound of the CPAP and the incubator itself, but I don’t buy it. I like to think he listened and loved it. That’s my boy. And I, for one, will always feel these songs in a different way now.

More on music… during Kangaroo Care, when Max was on Keri’s chest, I tried to keep them entertained. I ran out of stories to read, so one day I just went about singing TV theme songs, whose lyrics I would look at online. So I KNOW Max was lucky enough to hear my renditions of such hits as the theme songs to Cheers, Who’s The Boss, Growing Pains, Greatest American Hero, Perfect Strangers, Full House, and more.

Needless to say, during his short stay with us on Earth, Max really dug the music.