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Monday, September 7, 2009

Chief Stark Hero of 9/11 --- 2996 Lives Lost

What makes a person a hero? Wikipedia defines the word HERO as a "protector", "defender", or "guardian". A hero displays great courage in the face of danger or adversity, having the will for self-sacrifice - for the greater good.

You are looking at a picture of an actual hero...his name was Lawrence T. Stack, he was a Battalion Chief for Battalion 50, he was 58 years old on 9/11/01. He grew up in College Point, New York. He and his family lived in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York on 9/11/01.

Chief Stack was a devoted husband to his wife Terri, they had been married since 1967. He was the father of three children, Michael, Brian and Kathy. He loved his family and he cared deeply for the lives of the firemen that he worked with.
His job on that fateful day was to ensure the safety of firefighters.

According to statements, Chief Stack had been writing up a report on a really bad fire that took place in Queens, called the Father's Day Fire, three firefighters had lost their lives in that blaze. I can imagine him sitting there, he had to be heavyhearted over the loss...and hearing the call go out regarding the attack on the Towers had to be heart rending. He jumped into a department car and raced to the scene....

Even though he could of stayed back that could not of been his way...I can visualize him climbing those stairs - telling people that were coming down.."Hurry along now...it will be alright"....

Climbing ever higher....knowing what was waiting was akin to Dante's Infernal...a true measure of the word hero....

Reading through Chief Stark's different memorials, it was noted that his fondest wish was for his youngest son to join the force.....and that did happen. So many people had good memories of him, sometimes that is the measure of the man...please keep him, his family and the other 2995 people in your thoughts and prayers.

Remember 2996......9/11

Just saying that date sends shivers of painful emotion coursing through my soul. I am transported back in my mind's eye, remembering this horrific day.

Why remember? Two Thousand and Ninety-Six lives were lost, they became casualties in this war of terror...innocents lost to maniacal evil.

They need to be remembered, for someone to tell their stories, so that future generations will know the extent of their sacrifice.

Already with the passage of time, 9/11 is fading, human nature being what it is, letting our memories soften with regard to tragic events such as this.

This should not happen nor should we allow it to...if we do not honor history as the saying goes we are doomed to repeat it.

The immoral events that occurred that day should stand the test of time and remained burned into our conscious memories as though engraved there by the hand of God.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Negativy Sucks

Normally I try not to complain, I want to find good in people. I'm thankful that I am still alive after my ordeal last New Years. I sincerely want to avoid negative people for I believe they pull you down into their depths of self-pity like no one else can.

I want to greet each day with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

That being said, I had the crappiest day ever! Why? Well, let me set the scenario for you....

Three days ago I said to my Mother, age 89, would she like me to cook a special meal for my Father's birthday? He turned 93 today. So, of course, she said yes. It was decided after speaking with Dad that I would make Chicken Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cauliflower & Broccoli with a cheese sauce, side salad, fresh Italian bread. Mom, who bakes very well, made a special dark chocolate cake with a berry filling and chocolate icing.

My sister and I shopped yesterday, and I cooked most of the day. Everything turned out really tasty...and we sat down to a nicely prepared table that Barb had set using her good china.

My hubby had come over earlier in the day and lent a hand with some of the fixings. My brother-in-law, Larry asked Joe if he could check out a broken door handle - luckily Joe was able to fix it.

The dinner went well, everyone enjoyed the meal and everyone complimented my sister and I on it.

Well, everyone was so full from the meal that we waited until after 8 PM to have the cake....Mom lit the cake, Barb asked Joe to take pictures as he had his camera with him.

As we are eating the cake, people were kidding around with each other. Barbara got targeted as a "bad" driver and was being ribbed by Larry, Joe and myself for some of her driving habits. Please understand we were not yelling nor being mean to Barbara....she does things like waiting for traffic to be clear for about three miles on each side before she will pull out of a shopping mall.

My father, for God knows what reason, slams his fork down...looks directly at Joe and says...."You have some nerve to talk about driving"..."You of ALL people" ...my poor husband looked blank...in 38 years of driving he has only had one ticket! He said "I don't know what you mean Charles?" So my father says "What about the station wagon I GAVE you?" Joe pissed by now says.."Oh, the one where the tranny fell out two weeks later??" Dad started to say more but by this time Joe was REALLY pissed so he grabbed his hat and headed for the door.

The upshot of this is that Joe said he will never step a foot back in this house...

At least that's how it stands right now. The main problem is that I am pissed
and I am very angry at my Father. He was rude, ill mannered and I don't care that he is 93 or 109...rude is rude. He took a really nice day, an enjoyable family and made everyone miserable.

So my question is this...why are old people so dam mean? Is it that they feel the approach of death and want to be as mean as they can so maybe the grim reaper will pass them by???

My sister Barb tends to calm me down....I'm glad she's here. But for right now I really regret planning anything for that old stinker.

Oh, I know I'll calm down eventually but please, please shoot me if I get like that......


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Years Eve Surprise

You know the old saying "You never know what's around the corner"? Well, I had no idea what was in store for me as I boarded a JetBlue plane, joyfully looking forward to a long awaited visit with my three grown children and grandchildren.


Someone on board that flight must of been flying feeling desperately ill, spreading the germs throughout the pressurized cabin....I didn't feel invaded but boy was I.


Within two days I was totally sick and fool that I was thought it was just a bad cold. By New Year's Eve I was so sick that I skipped my daughter's party and went to bed early. Thank God for my youngest son, he came to check on me sometime after midnight to wish me a "Happy New Years"......poor kid, he found me not breathing, soaking wet and very blue.

Joey yelled for his sister Alisa and she and her husband came running...my son-in-law took one look and called for an ambulance. They responded so fast Alisa said it was amazing, they got me pinked up in the ambulance and rushed me to the nearest hospital. I think that was a ride my daughter will never forget....looking back, after the fact, even though my family was so totally traumatized by what occurred - it was the best place for this to have happened to me.

I often think of that night's/day's events and if one thing, only one thing had not fallen into place...I would be gone - upwards (hopefully) knocking on Heaven's Gate. I am so very thankful for my daughter, son and son-in-law John for their very quick actions and for my life.

I truly believe that it is only when you are immersed in the throes of a life or death situation the people that sincerely love you come through. I also firmly believe in the power of prayer, I am a living example of the power of God.

When I was taken into the ER I coded five times. After the fourth time, the doctor came out to my daughter and told her that I was passing - she pleaded with him try one more time...on the fifth try....something brought me back to this earthly plane. The doctors were amazed that I stabilized, of course, I had a breathing tube and more IV's than anyone would want to count. I was unconscious for almost a full week.

At that time I had no way of knowing what was happening around me. My husband Joe, with the help of my sister Barbara and niece Laura, found a quick flight out of Tampa to Long Island, Alisa's friend Coleen drove out to meet him and bring him to the hospital in Queens. Poor guy, he was so upset that when he closed his suitcase he put his jacket in it and left his neatly folded clothes right on the bed! So he arrived in -05 degree New York style weather with nothing but his jeans, boots, shirt and light jacket....and of course his black cowboy hat!

At the same time on the other coast, in Portland, Oregon my other sister Charlene and her husband Bob were boarding a direct flight to Kennedy Airport. Charlene is an RN and knew how dangerous my situation was.

My mother and father are in their late 80's and early 90's yet they did what they could, my Mom called her church and started a prayer circle for me. I know it worked.

Alisa also let my on line friends on Ebay (The Jewelry Neighborhood) know what had happened and I know that a lot of them sent prayers and cards...a really very caring group.

I know that Alisa, Joey, John and my Joe kept a vigil at my bedside and then they were joined by Charlene, Bob and my other son Kenji. Alisa's two best friends from grade school, Mary and Colleen stayed with her to give her some moral comfort and support...two little girls that used to play dolls in my house grown into such loving women.

The doctors warned everyone that I might not be "myself" when I woke up, they were not sure how long I had been deprived of oxygen and were concerned that my carbon dioxide levels which had been up to 90% had to come down lower too.

This is part one of my story.....my hand has a bit of nerve damage so typing is a little difficult and slow....will write more