Monday, August 28

Flugtag 88 Memorial 2006

Somebody who wasn’t there at this airfield probably can’t imagine the cruelty of the images, the burning people, their screams and their helpless looks. Only now I have got an inkling of how much a population must endure in any country when there is a war, a terrorist act, or some natural catastrophe.
~~Roland Fuchs

It has been 18 years since Flugtag. It's hard to believe it's been so long.

In the time before I joined the Flugtag Group I had kept my experiences-- what little I could remember of them-- very much to myself. Then I read Rocket Jones and left my story there. I then wrote the story of my experience here. That post has now been included in Wikipedia, yes, that's right, I'm in Wikipedia. Along with others who were there and wrote their stories.

My story led to my being contacted by the father of the little girl I had seen on the gurney. He had been searching for all of those years for someone who had seen his daughter that day, 28 August 1988. You see, Nadine (I finally learned that was her name) was pulled from his arms in the aftermath, both of them very badly burned. She cried for her papa as she was dragged from his arms and that is the last time Roland ever saw her. He was taken away too, and was in hospital in a coma for 6 months.

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Whoever would have believed that our paths would cross; Me here in the States and he in Germany 16 years later? And all from a post on a free blogsite?

We did find one another though. And he sent me a picture of Nadine to confirm if that was the child I had written of in my post. It was most definitely her. My heart soared at the possibilty of finding out what had become of her, only to be broken again when I learned that she had lingered at the German Burn Center before finally succumbing to her extensive injuries. She had just turned 5 a couple of weeks before the airshow disaster. Not only did I learn that Nadine had passed, but that Roland had lost his young wife that day also.

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I shared everything I could remember of that meeting with Nadine with him and had my sisters translate it to German for me also. I then gave that account to Roland and he has added both versions to his website devoted to Nadine. He had created the website in hopes that someone out there might read and have seen Nadine on that day.
Here is the account as best as I could remember. Ramstein 1988

Roland and I have since become friends, sharing photos of our families. He is now married to a wonderful woman who is the light of his life and has children again. He tells me often that he never thought he would be happy again, but his prayers have now been answered and he has new reason to live.
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This time each year I usually take inventory of my spiritual status. It is a time of reckoning for me personally. A time to acknowledge my shortcomings and to try to make restitution for wrongs. A time when I measure my own humanity and come to terms with my failings. I also weigh the impact my death might have on others. I look honestly at what I would have left them with. I try to rectify and cleanse my spirit.

It is a time for soul searching. And a time for setting to rights my own wrongs. After all, I own my sins. No one else may do that for me.

Please visit.
And remember.

Life is too short and death is too long to not weigh our impact on others.
For me this is a time of resolution.

The 1993 Flugtag Video Documentary approx. 16 min.

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Saturday, August 26

Letting Go

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    I don't care who's wrong or right
    I don't really wanna fight no more
    Don't care now who's to blame
    I don't really wanna fight no more
    (This is time for letting go)

    Tina Turner

    Sometimes things happen in life that make you take a long hard look at yourself. Sometimes we are confronted with the evidence of our own flaws.

    I've recently had to take a step back and re-evaluate where I am in life. How close I am to becoming the woman I have always thought I would become.

    I must say that it was difficult, in being truly honest with myself I not only had to see my own flaws, but in this realization I also had to accept that there are things within myself that I must work to change. I realized that I still have a lot to learn, I still have a lot of growing to do as a human being. That I still have a long journey ahead and, in order to continue it with grace and dignity, I still have a lot of work to do.

    I have seen my own words laid out before me. Words that have unfurled from my own tongue have brought me to my knees as I saw the proof of my own hurtful nature. This was wrenching to my soul. To see, as an outside observer, the hurt that I can cause. This power to hurt is not something I have ever wanted.

    As Adrian Mitchell wrote in 'To Whom it May Concern'
    "I was run over by the truth one day.
    Ever since the accident I've walked this way."

    Life is a journey. There is still plenty of time left to fix the things within myself that I see as damaged, there is always enough time to think before I speak, to measure my words a bit more carefully, to ask the questions even though I may fear the honest answers.

    Life is sacred. And every person who passes through mine has some place in it. Whether it be good or bad, every experience is an opportunity to grow. I must learn to appreciate all of the things that touch my life as part of my journey.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave,
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay

    All that will be remembered of me when I have gone to dust will not be how well others have treated me, but how well I have treated others. And that is where my road is forked. A time for new choices to be made. How to continue this journey in a way that brings me peace and serenity within myself.

    The first step for me is letting go.

    What will survive of us is love.
    -- Philip Larkin

    Thursday, August 24

    HNT - Gathering Girls

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    We laughed, we indulged in the most delectable carnivorous and chocolate delights. We slept together. The girls had one room with a king sized bed to ourselves. Yes, I know. It sounds kinky, but I swear it was just a normal slumber party - complete with manicures and drinking. Two things that should never mix!

    Happy HNT everyone!
    See the man who started it all.

    Monday, August 21

    Musical Monday - Sisterhood

    The sisterhood trip.
    We mixed the past and present and set it to the music from the trip.
    Here we have our family and friends. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

    Happy Musical Monday!

    Thursday, August 17

    Gathering HNT - 1

    This is the first picture from my trip.
    On my way to the gathering.
    Had to go shopping first!

    Then Cheyenne had to flirt with the boys.

    I think she found a new boyfriend.

    And I got caught feeling Cleopatra up. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    How embarrassing!
    Guess I have a new girlfriend.

    Leg two of the journey coming up soon.



    Tuesday, August 15

    Home at last!

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    The trip was wonderful.
    Four hotels in 7 days.

    We went to the Cherry Hill Mall and I took Cheyenne school shopping. Four pairs of incredible jeans for $60. You can't beat that!

    I was also able to see Andy play at the sweetest little pub on the Hudson. I didn't get to see Sing Sing (some of my biggest fans are there) because it was late and raining, but I am working on a post on what a great bridge that was! Unfortunately I had to get right back, so we didn't have much time to hang out but I did get to hear him play and it was definitely worth the trip. I begged Andy to come to the gathering with me, it was only a train ticket away! But he had to work and couldn't make it.

    The gathering was wonderful, although my feet are blistered on both sides. Ugh!
    We'll all post and link so you can take the tour of Philly with us.

    I'll have to wait a bit though. I am worn out and work is calling. But we'll tell you all about our adventure soon. It was a wonderful time. Lots of laughter and fun. Who would think that you could get that many strangers together and it would be so friendly? We all agreed that it felt more like a reunion rather than a first meeting. I swear I went to high school with those guys! It was just that kind of easy-going comraderie. We're already talking about the next one-- we decided that for the next one we'll bring our families with us. That was the only thing missing. Talking about our kids and our spouses made us all realize how much more fun it would have been if they had been there too. I jumped in with wanting to see New Orleans and the guys thought that would be great fun. Apparently davis' wife wants to see the big N.O. too. It's a shame that they're still cleaning up from katrina. That kind of knocked the wind out of the sails, but we will definitely come up with a cool place I'm sure.

    The best part of this journey was realizing that these are people that I really like. So much! I wish we lived closer together. I wish we could have Superbowl parties and go school shopping together. I do hope we all get to meet on a fairly regular basis. Like that movie 'The Four Seasons'. Where the four couples meet for vacation a couple of times a year. Tagline: Here's to our friends... and the strength to put up with them. I hope we are friends for a very long time. I miss them all already.

    So... pictures soon?
    How about for HNT?

    On a side note.
    Menage a Trois has shut down and won't be coming back. A shame really, we never quite got settled in there. But there is nothing I was writing there that I can't write here. I do want to thank everyone for their support though. We'll move onto new adventures soon. My love to my sisters, Nina and Salacious Desires for allowing me to be a part of something that helped me to grow, both as a woman and as a writer.

    Friday, August 4

    A Special Time

    My grandmother turned 82 today. It was a day of incredible celebration. She is as beautiful today as I can ever remember from my childhood. She is a woman of grace and soft voice. I lived with her when I was growing up. She was as much an influence on me as my own mother. I once wrote a short story about her titled 'While Rocking' when I was in college. I'll try to dig it up to share it, to celebrate the life of an incredible woman.

    My daughter and I are also planning a YaYa Sisterhood trip with the women of my family this week. A time to travel together and share with my daughter the stories of our family history. We plan to open up the past, both dark and light, and pass on those stories that have been handed down through the generations.

    Then I'm off to Philadelphia for the blogger gathering. A chance to see the historical sights and drink a lot of beer with people who have been my blogging family. Hopefully we'll be bringing back lots of pictures!

    Until I return,
    Much love to you all!

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    In other news...
    Cheyenne has done a piece on her favorite movie star, Marilyn Monroe.
    Yes, my baby has started her blog back up!
    Unfortunately we messed up her links and sidebar when we made a new template, but she wants everyone to know that she will be re-linking after our trip.

    See you there!