....but, it is what makes his
crazy heart happy. And mine? Well, it makes mine rapidly palpitate have a heart attack.
I don't often get to post about my biggest baby, Tito. He's 27 years old, lives in another city and although we talk weekly, he's got his own life with a new bride. I guess I could admit that he's grown up.
From as far back as I could remember, Tito has always had lots of dreams. One of those dreams is one that I chose to ignore as he was getting older and would talk about it. I would nod and just say, "That's nice, honey." That was the extent of my encouragement of said dreams.
But, having a very similar personality to his Mama, he's no quitter. He perseveres. He's a fighter, literally. You may be asking, "So, what is this dream?"
My Tito has always wanted to be in the ring, either boxing, or worse yet, something more extreme like MMA (mixed martial arts) or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). And while this is not my idea of fun or even a sport (and yes, I know it is), I support his dream and do the only thing I can....pray.
Tito's been training at a gym with a Sensei for this type of sport for a while now. Last week, when I got into the car after church I saw I had three consecutive missed calls from him. That surprised me. He usually calls me on the way to work during the week, which he already had. Three calls immediately drew a red flag. What was wrong?
I called him back and he answered with, "Mom, where have you been? I've been trying to get a hold of you?" I said, "Sorry, I was in church. What's wrong?" I could tell he was weighing his words carefully. There was a tone of excitement in his voice, mixed with a bit of caution.
He said, "Mom! I was invited to tryout for UFC." There was silence on my end. He said, "Can you hear me?" I said, after taking a deep breath, "You were? What do you mean?" Hoping that invite was to go watch a fight or something
safe like that. He said, "The UFC is putting on a seminar that normally cost over $1500. to attend. I was INVITED to go and fight!"
I said, "So, this means you're going to actually fight, as in another person?", sounding dumb but hoping I had heard wrong. He said, "Yes. In the heavy weight division." After I reminded him about his beautiful teeth, his nose, his face, his brain possibly getting crushed, Mohammad Ali's illness attributed to being hit so many times in the head, etc., he said, "Mom, this is like a dream. Not many people get this chance." So, I bit my lip and said, "I really am happy for you. I will support your dream and pray for your safety. I love you and I want you to be happy and if this is what makes you happy....so be it." He seemed relieved, not that anything else I would have said would have changed his mind, but he seemed relieved.
So, this past Saturday was the big fight in central Florida. He went up with his trainer. I asked him if his wife was going and he said he asked her not to because he wasn't sure of what it would be like and if for some reason "it got ugly", he wanted his full concentration on what he was doing. So, to this Mama's ears, he was going at this alone. I prayed most of the day Saturday.
He called me early the next morning and told me all about the fight. He was a bit bruised, but said overall he was repeatedly told by the experts there that he did very well and they see him having a future in the ring. He was even told this by someone (sorry fighting fans I have no idea who this is) named Jeff Monson, a professional UFC fighter, who gave him some tips.
The fight consisted of 4 minutes of standing up fighting and 4 minutes of "grapling" on the ground. Tito is on the right and has the small tattoo on his back.
Warning: The person recording, does on a couple of occasions use foul words.
Tito, my precious first-born son, if this is truly your hearts desire and you want to follow your dream, your Mama will be standing there, albeit eyes closed, on the sidelines, holding on to her rosary and cheering you on. I love you, baby!