Friday, August 5, 2011

The Name of a Hero

Arthur, Janet, and Sean are coming up from Maryland, 3 hours away, for Manny's birthday party tomorrow, so I won't be doing tomorrow's Saturday Summary, but I'll make up for it with a Super Sunday Summary, and it will be chock full of random. Chock full. 

It's funny, 9 times out of 10 I post these things the day I write them, and I usually start just by rambling and then either the topic comes out of that or, more commonly, a topic comes out of thin air and I have to delete my rambling and post the real story. That's what happened today. I started out rambling, but then a phone call from my mother's sister lead to the perfect story. 

How I got my name. 

Late at night, 25 years ago yesterday (I would have posted this yesterday, but I always thought it was the 18th or 19th for some reason) there was a fire in a bar.  I don't know exactly why the two firemen entered the blaze-- if they were looking for anyone trapped or if they knew that there was someone there or what, but after finding a man or the man they tried to escape, but what they thought was the exit was actually the door to a stairwell and all three men died. One of the firemen was my parents' best friend, Joseph. There was a memorial yesterday and it made the front page of today's local newspaper here, on The Times of Trenton website. The whole article isn't available though, which is a shame, as I'm sure it contains details of that night that I was never told, for obvious reasons. 

Good came from this, though, as now it's a law in New Jersey that businesses must submit floor plans to the responding firehouses to avoid another tragedy like this one. And Joseph's parents became my "grandparents" in a way that my biological grandparents never did. My first daughter's name will be Genevieve, after Joseph's mother, regardless of my husband's opinion, haha. 

I have a deep love and respect for those that willingly risk their lives to save others. Firemen, police, military-- honoring their bravery is ingrained in me, and in the very letters of my name. 

And another good thing that came from this is that my parents didn't name me Sandra. "Plum Sandy" doesn't have the same ring as "Plum Jo." 

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