Monday, April 12, 2004

A Moment in Time

Soon after my divorce, in the fall of 1997, I fell in love with the most fantastic women in the world. I had vowed to never get married again, but my 'Lover' restored my faith in the sanctity of marriage, and the joys of being part of a family. She had one child, a son named Josh, who I have taken in as if he were my very own.

I remarried in June 2000. It was a bittersweet time as the morning after our return, we received an awful phone call. It was my mother-in-law calling to tell us that my new father-in-law had passed away. No warning, very sudden, and very heart wrenching. He was only 57.

My bride would hop on a plane that afternoon, to join her family. Josh was already there as he was planning on spending the Summer with his grandparents. His grandfather, 'PaPa' was the closest think he had to a stable father figure, and now he was gone.

Within a few days, I drove from the Twin Cities to Flint, MI to meet up with my wife and her family. I had spoke of my desire to go to Boston that Summer, but now, with the change in plans, we looked at a much broader opportunity. Josh and I had never spent an extended period of time together. With the difficult issues that needed to be dealt with during a sudden death, I offered to take Josh on a road trip. Him and I, alone, with an opportunity to be together, and learn more about each other.

Our travel goal was simple, a loop through the East, and stop when we can. Starting in Flint, sharing the front seat of a 1996 Grand Am, and a full cooler of sandwiches and beverages in the back, we traveled across Canada to Niagara Falls. We then B-lined to our first destination goal, Boston, MA. After spending the next morning at the Boston Art Museum (I wanted to see the over 30 original van Gogh's that were there. Simply awe inspiring!), we had lunch at the Bull and Finch (The original Cheer's bar) and then walked the Freedom trail.

Our next goal was The Big Apple. While I wanted to see the van Gogh's in Boston, Josh had his heart set on the 'Statue of Liberty'. We took the smart way in and totally bypassed NYC, choosing to come in through the back side and land in New Jersey. From there we worked our way to Liberty Park (I think) and rode the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We then hopped on another ferry for the trip to the financial district, and a subway ride to Times Square. During this ferry ride, I took what would become the most popular photo in our family, and one that I will always cherish. It is as powerful as it is poignant. I wanted to share it with all of you.

Here is a ten year old child, awed by the powers of mankind, as he looks off into the most powerful city in the world. Who would know what would happen just 13 months later.

Regardless of what is said on this blog regarding the 9/11 commission, the Bush White House, and the onslaught of rhetoric coming from both sides, I wanted you all to know, that I have my way of keeping things in perspective. This photo is one of them, the other, is the story of where I was on the morning of 9/11, and how it affected my life forever!


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