|In Memory of Al|
(I signed, on December 26, 2011, the Guest Book of Al's Obituary. I was unable to get to New York for his funeral.)
On December 23rd, I thought we lost a HERO, but realize that we didn't. Al will always be a HERO and always amongst us. He will live on in your hearts, in the boys' smile, in their voice and in their laughter. You will hear him in the stories of lives that he has touched and know that there are thousands of stories of thousands of people he touched that you may never hear of. Al is always a HERO to me, a great friend and cousin, and surely will be missed. Who else will throw me in the boat 'cause my legs are too short? Who will get me coffee just the way I like it? Who will laugh with me about craving carrots? Rest in Peace Al; I'll look for you at the beach. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. love ya
(Sometime after Al's death, I tried to write a letter to Al's boys.)
Al was one of those guys that was every one's friend. You couldn't meet him and not like him. Once you got to know him, you loved him. My cousin, was a very lucky woman when she met Al. They both worked at jobs they may not have loved everyday at the New York Police Department, but they knew how to work hard and were good at their jobs. In turn, after working hard, they knew how to spend their down time and knew how to party like no other. There are people I know that work hard and party or have fun just as hard. I wonder if it has to do with the risks they take on their job and seeing the worst of the worst at times, that for survival and to shake it off, or not take it home, they do what they can to 'lighten up'. But I digress.In a time when marriages dissolve around us, I am very proud, and somewhat jealous, that they stuck together during good and bad times. I admire them and hope when all is said and done the good times far out way the bad. During that time, two good friends had two beautiful boys that have grown into the great young men any parent would be absolutely proud to have.I was unable to attend the celebration of Al's life with friends and family but was there in spirit. Times like this make it very hard to live so far away. Heroes don't die; they get their wings and become Guardian Angels. There are stories being told and so many more will be told over the next weeks and months... all of a sudden someone will say, "oh yeah, remember when Al...". I hope those stories begin to bring smiles instead of tears and warm that spot in your heart that aches right now. Of course, there will be those on the job, war stories that will be shared and just think of the thousands that will go unheard, for he touched so many lives.Thank God, Al had a great and quick sense of humor. I got to share my last laughs with him a couple of weeks before he died. He was in Sloane waiting for his transplant and had gotten a relatively new treatment using rabbit hormones. Imagine?? "Yes", he said he was "craving carrots!" His ears were growing and getting floppy, and was hopping instead of walking. I hope the laughs broke the tension for him as much as it did me. I wished him luck with the operation, told him I loved him and would talk to him soon when he was feeling better. As you know, he wasn't feeling better for very long and I never got to speak to him again. I too will miss him. I will miss just knowing he has moved on.
Over the past 11 years, many first responders, volunteers, construction workers, citizens alike, have been fighting and succumbing what is called environmental cancers. The EPA said the air was OK to breathe, I beg to differ. Although, the death count on 9-11 was nearly 3,000 people, the count continues to climb.
Please remember in your prayers ALL those who have passed and the friends and families they left behind. Please pray for the support and medical attention...and a cure for those still fighting these cancers.
After 11 years, the 9-11 Cancer Link is finally to be recognized by the Federal Government. See the story and video here.
I wrote about my relationship with my cousin before. I don't know if she realizes how much I love her and think about her and her boys but I do. You can read about some of our good and bad times here.
God Bless You All.
REMEMBER. HONOR. REUNITE.