Revisiting A Tribute To The Victims Of The 9-11 Attacks

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9-11.  Each person paid tribute to a single victim.  The intent of this project was to honor the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.  

I first posted this tribute on 09.08.06.  I’ve adapted it for this blog using different photos, the one link that still works, and one new link.  The essence of what I wrote remains the same.   

   

Tribute To Maria Rose Abad

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Maria Rose Abad was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1952.  She studied sociology at Queens College and hoped to be a teacher.  However, a different career path opened up to her and she went to work in business.  At the time of her death she was living in Syosset, N.Y., and working as Senior Vice President with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, investment bankers.

Maria Rose married Rudy Abad, her best friend, in 1976.  The two of them liked to travel the world.  She liked to read books– lots and lots of them– according to Rudy.

On Tuesday September 11, 2001, Maria Rose was at work in her office located in the south tower of the WTC.  When United Airlines Flight 175 hit her building, she phoned Rudy to talk about what had happened and to tell him that they were waiting for the fire marshal to take them down to safety.  That was the last time he heard from her.

She is among the confirmed dead.

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As a surviving spouse of a 9-11 victim, Rudy was eligible to receive monetary compensation for her death.  He couldn’t decide whether or not to take the money, but eventually he did decide to take it.  And then he did something incredible with it.  He shared it with the world.

As a tribute to his late wife’s memory, Rudy created The Maria Rose Abad Village in a poverty-stricken area of the Philippines.  He used his part of the compensation to have 46 houses and a preschool built in Tondo, a suburb of Manila.  And today, thanks to his generosity of spirit, a few more people on this earth have a better quality of life.

He is among the confirmed angels on earth.

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[Added 09.13.11 -Yesterday while reading some blogs I found the current link to Project 2996.  Click here to be connected to it.]

Driving Mr. Bean

Zen-Den has fractured his foot.  His right foot, to be exact.

He doesn’t know how he did this.  Sometimes weird stuff happens.  All he knows for sure is that: 1) it hurts A LOT when he puts any weight on it;  & 2) the X-rays taken yesterday at the ER confirm that it should hurt a lot when he puts any weight on it.

The words “stress fracture” have been bandied about.

He is not to put any weight on it AT ALL.  So, for the moment, Z-D has a temporary soft cast on his foot.  He’s walking/ hobbling/ hopping with crutches. This is not a smooth or quiet process.  However, he is getting to his destinations unaided, so I won’t complain.

This afternoon we go to the orthopedic surgeon who will either: 1) schedule him for surgery [BOO!];  or 2) put a walking cast on his foot [YEA!].

In either case, I will be driving Zen-Den everywhere he needs to go in the next 6-8 weeks [maybe longer!!!]. To doctors’ appointments.  To work.  To wherever.  Because, as I previously mentioned, it’s his RIGHT foot that he has hurt.  The foot which pushes the pedals that start and stop the car.

Oy vey!  This is going to be a long fall.

Late afternoon update:  We’ve been to the doc and it’s good news all around.

The fracture is so slight that there’s no need for surgery– or even a cast.  Instead, Z-D is to take one month of anti-inflammatory meds + he is to slowly, deliberately keep walking– first with the crutches, and then without them.

Meaning that in about 30 days he should be as good as new– walking, driving, and jumping for joy when ‘ere he wishes to do so.

I’m smiling.  A really, really big smile. 🙂

This & That

{august – monday – late afternoon}

√  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  Yet.

On Friday, after I wrote and published my earlier post, I did something really annoying; I accidentally deleted my blog template.  Not the blog contents, mind you– just the template.  So, I had to find myself a new template– right quick, as they say.  And this little banana number is the one that I picked.

It’s kind of cheerful, don’t you think?  And the price is right– as in FREE.

Someday I’ll work on putting together a more appropriate header, but until that magic day arrives I plan on sticking with this bunch of bananas.

√   The Big Dig continues.

The landscape crew is here today planting bushes & shrubs & perennials & who knows what else.  This project has dragged on for so long now, with so many revisions, that I no longer know [or care] what is being planted.  I’m beginning to think of Greg, the land planner guy in charge of this project, as my very own Eldon.

Did Eldon ever finish painting Murphy’s townhouse?  Will Greg ever finish creating a backyard for us?  Stay tuned to find out.

√  I want to paint the hutch that is in our dining room.

(Actually, to be entirely accurate and forthcoming, it isn’t a hutch– it’s a pie safe.  But no one knows what that is, so I’ve taken to calling it a hutch.)

The “hutch” has scratches, gouges and is a dreary dark brown color.  Not pretty at all. But what color should I paint it?  Therein lies the problem.

So I’ve spent much of this afternoon looking online at photos of hutches.  I now can say that my head is swimming with possibilities— none of which seem quite right to me, but all of which are quite lovely to look at in someone else’s home.

I was hoping that after an hour or two of online research, I’d  find the perfect hutch– painted the perfect color– and it’d become my inspiration.  Which would give me the confidence to go forward with this messy, labor-intensive project.

But no such luck.  Yet.

Oh Well. Whatever.

[This is my second attempt to publish this post.  How appropriate that my week should end with me unable to get one simple post to show up on my blog.]

It’s Friday and I’ve not accomplished one thing that I set out to do this week.  Nary a one. There would have been a time when this would have made me very upset with myself. Surly, even.

But not any more.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”  (Bible.  King Jame Version.  Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Good advice.  I figure that as long as I’m accomplishing something positive each day– even if it’s not what I set out to do— I’m doing okay.  I trust the process more now than I used to, and I don’t confuse my self-worth with the results.

Not that I don’t like results.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fond of accomplishing things. It’s just that I’ve come to understand that I can control only so much of anything, everything– and the best that I can do is to make a go of what’s right in front of me.

“You adapt. You overcome. You improvise.”  (Heartbreak Ridge.  Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway)

So that’s what I’ve done this week.  Spent more time online than I would have liked. Spent more time researching future projects than I wanted to. Spent more time goofing around in the kitchen and in the garden.  All the while not finishing that which I wanted to finish.  That which I’d planned on finishing this week.

Don’t know what it all means.  Don’t know that it matters.  This is just where I find myself on a Friday afternoon.  Nowhere near where I thought I’d be on Monday morning.

Again.

Me, Myself & Why Not?

:: Me ::

“How many hours have you wasted trying to think of something suitably witty, funny and original for your status on Facebook or Twitter?” ~ Generatus  I found this site as I was surfing along, so naturally I had to try it.  My status update, in the purple box above, is delightfully accurate.

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:: Myself ::

“What’s happening?” ~ Twitter As some of you know already, I was not immediately taken with Twitter.  But instead of giving up I asked for some guidance, and many blogger/tweeters came forward to help me understand the medium.  Thank you.  Now I’m on Twitter just about every day tweeting along with the rest of them.  Learning lots.  Laughing often.  Loving much.  You can find me @spectacledbean.

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:: Why Not? ::

“Yikes  Something went wrong! But don’t worry, we’re on it — and we’ll try to get it fixed as soon as we can.” ~ Pinterest  I’m enjoying my Pinterest account when it works.  Have you started one yet?  It’s addictive;  I was warned, but I jumped in any way.  Click here to see what I’ve accumulated so far.

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So this is what I’ve been up to lately while online. How about you?  What cool things are you doing? 

Ignored At The Zoo

Yesterday afternoon Z-D and I went to the zoo.  It was hot and humid outside, but there was a light breeze.  I thought that I might be able to get some fun shots of the animals.  I was wrong.

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We were ignored by a little brown wild bird, even though I was standing about 18″ away from him when I took this photo.

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We were ignored by many turtles who ducked under the water the nanosecond before I clicked this photo.

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We were given the cold shoulder by the okapi…  

… who then wandered to the back of her enclosure, just to make sure that we got the message that we weren’t wanted there.

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We were warned off by this less than friendly sign posted by the gorillas.

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And finally we were ignored by this hippopotamus who had better things to do than pose for the camera.

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It’s a good thing that I have a quite a bit of experience with being ignored– and surviving the emotional shock of such indifference.  Heck, I’m a free spirit in suburbia, remember. Still, I have to admit that I thought that at the zoo, at least, something might pay attention to me, and help me achieve my goal.

But no such luck.  *sigh*

A Garden Wall Worthy Of Fred & Wilma

[Sub-titled: So You’re Really Going To Do This, Huh?]

Last week while the stock market was on the roller coaster ride of our lifetimes, we decided to do something a little bit different with our money.  Why not invest in something stable, said we.  How about finally getting the back of our property to look like something resembling a backyard, said we.  So…

We had this concrete wall built.  It’s very Flintstone-esque, don’t you think?

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What I Learned About Having A Garden Wall Built

√  Unlike the land excavating guy who said that he’d be at our house at 8:00 a.m. on Monday and arrived at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, when the concrete guy said that he and his crew would there at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, they were.  With lots of battery-powered lights.  Trying to work quietly, not succeeding.

√  It took 5 hours to create the 2.5′ x 4′ footers.  Two of those hours involved the crew sitting around on the ground, listening to music, laughing among themselves, eating snacks– waiting for the footers to become solid enough to continue on with the wall.  We paid for them to do this, of course.

√  It took about 3 hours for 9 men to build this 30′ x 4′ free-form concrete wall.  A truck in front of the house pumped a foamy kind of concrete through a 90′ hose to the backyard. Two men positioned the concrete, which looked like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube, along the wall line by slowly walking back and forth; they stopped when the concrete was 4′ high. Then the rest of the men, each holding a trowel in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, shaped the wall.  It was the darndest thing to watch.

√  After the wall was stable and had air-dried for about an hour, a man stained it to look like naturally formed rock.  He used two different colors of paint in sprayers, a water sprayer, and a paint brush dipped in stain.  It took him maybe 45 minutes to do this.  He told me that he wanted the wall to look like “God had put it there.”

√  It takes about a week for this concrete to cure.  So until that happens, the land excavator guy can’t fill behind our wall with dirt to create our yard.  Meaning… there will be more to this story.

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[Please note: This is Phase Two of a three-part project.  Phase One is here.  Phase Three is here.]