Friday, September 30, 2011

Tim's Baby Journal March 11, 1996 to June 6, 1998

When Tim was born, I began to write a journal of his life.  As life continued, the written word was exchanged for photographs.  I recently was able to pull it off a damaged disk.  Tim, this is the beginning of your life.  I love you.

3/11/96

Sometimes I just wish you to think of this journal as an open letter to you.  One day you'll be a man, making your own choices in life, maybe falling in love, having children - what ever the future holds for you.  You will learn in religion class that man has free will to choose to do good or bad.  I believe that it also extends to be what you want.  I have my hopes of what you'll become, but I have some say in who you'll become.
I believe in the human spirit having the greatest ability to do the highest achievements.  To grow, and learn.  Why else would God give us the insight to peek at His creations recipe?

3/18/96
I remember my father and mother taking me to a drive-in movie to see Iron-Man One.  It was a movie about what Apollo XIII could have turned out to be.  I remember my mother carrying me, I think to the bathroom or the concession stand, and I looked up and saw the stars.  The whole universe seemed open to me.  I felt as if my life would be there, one day.  So far I was wrong.  I wanted to be a scientist, or a pilot - anything that would allow me to one day see the heavens from an angel's view rather than earthbound.
Thing's didn't turn out the way I wished; the way I thought they should have.  I had a stepfather that couldn't understand my appetite for reading and science.  My parents divorce plagued any wish I had to become, and I had my own share in the sabotage.  Timmy, I'll help you with your dreams but you have to see it through.

Stand on the shoulder of an Angel and see the heavens and the universe.  Why settle for standing on the shoulder of a giant.

3/24/96
Tonight, a new comet will be visible passing through the Big Dipper to the Little Dipper.  The passage will take about a week.  The comet named Hyakutake will be visible for a few months, at least until the end of May.  It was named after an amateur astronomer from Japan who discovered it, like most great discoveries, by accident.

In ancient times, it was believed, by some cultures, that a comet was a harbinger of bad times.  Great disasters would befall mankind, and the coming of an apocalypse would occur.  Of course, this was never the case - it was just coincidence or synchronicity.


4/6/96
Well, I passed the police exam with an 89.2, with a ranking of 1955.  I hope this is the test to get me on the force.  It would be a good thing.  Your mother isn't too crazy about the idea.

4/7/96
Happy Easter, Timmy!
You'll find out that your dad doesn't go to church all that much, and isn't all that religious.  Oh, I do believe in God and the Trinity, but I don't have all the faith that I wish I could.  Your mother is probably closer to God than I am.  I just don't have the strength any more.  The church had been defended by our people for over a thousand years.  We've been persecuted, victimized, and forgotten when it came to the politics of Rome.  It's not God that I'm mad at, it's the people that tell us how to be good Catholics.  When we were dying out all that time, who came to our side?

4/16/96
I really don't know what happened tonight, but all I know is that I hurt inside.  Your mother took you away today, because she and grandpop don't get along.  She wants me to make a decision between her and my side of the family.  I had to call out from work tonight, because I couldn't handle this going on.  Timmy, it was a disgrace.  I don't know what else to write except that I'm embarrassed and deeply hurt.

You see your first birthday is coming up, and your mother doesn't want your grandmother there because of what happened in October after your grandfather died.  Your grandfather wanted everyone from both sides there, but it turned into a game of wills, with the two of us stuck in the middle.  Mommy isn't divorcing me; she just can't live here under grand pop’s roof.  So, I guess I'll have to find a new place for us to live ... it just doesn't seem to end.  I don't know how much I'll be able to take.

No matter what, I will always love you.  Promise.

4/20/96
Today is your mother's birthday.  We're apart right now, but we are not divorcing or any of that nonsense.  Your mom and I need to learn how to be a couple again, and talk and listen to each other.  We're okay as long as we're left alone...

I miss you very much.  I have to sleep at grandpa's right now, but we looked at a house in Port Richmond, around the corner from Uncle Jack.  We kind of like it; but it needs work.

I love you.

4/21/96
I'm tired.  I have to go from your grandfather's to work, from work to you and your mom.  Then back to your grandfather's and to work.  Your mother doesn't understand, it's not the travel or the what ever that I am tired of, it's the hurt.

It may not be something that someone is asking me, it's just something you have to do.
4/23/96
I just found out today that the guy, that replaced me on my shift, when we moved to the shore, died.  He committed suicide.  I thought I was having a bad week.  Timmy, remember this, no matter how bad things may seem; sticking it out and working to resolve the problem is better than quitting.  David Hayes quit life - there may be reason he thought it just to do what he did, but it's the other people that suffer.

Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel and quitting work.  Sometimes I feel like quitting trying to educate myself or not do anything.  But, it's worth more to keep working the problem.  No one at work, except a few of us, knew him.  That's a shame not to be known or remembered.  Doctors and religious people, even ordinary people like me can give all the possible answers or reasons; but no one really knows.  Just know that you mean a lot to me.

5/3/96
Today your mother and I are going to sign for a mortgage.  The address of the house is XXXX.  This will be your first home all to your self.  One day we may move, and get a bigger house; but till then this is it.

6/28/96
I haven't been ignoring you, Timmy.  I've been busy running back and forth.  Work to home to your grandmother's to see you.  We are still waiting to here some good news.  Last month I got sick because of all this nonsense.  But, I think we'll get it.  Mom and I have been fighting; we're under a lot of stress.
Last week, we took you to your first Irish festival.  Get used to it, kiddo.  It's your heritage and your history.  We are descended from rebels and they came here to give us a chance.  Remember that.
I love you.
7/16/96
Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, we will be living in our new house.  I hope that you will like it.  I know that I will grow to like it.  I dream about it some nights, because you and your mom are away from me.  This period of time may be the saddest I've had to live through in a long time.  You won't remember it, but I will.  I have to try not holding it against your mom.  She sees the mistake she made of leaving; instead of putting her foot down and telling everyone that you are our son.

One day, you'll have a child, and I may seem like a pain in the butt.  But, I will respect your wishes, as long as you are not hurting the child.  A lot of my anger is because every time that I think things is starting to go the way they should, someone pulls the rug out from under me.  That's why I don't talk to our relations all that much anymore.

Your great-grandfather gave you fifty dollars, and it is the only gift that you will ever get from him; except for the things that I'll pass on to you.  Your great-grandmother died six years before you were even thought of, but she left a lot to pass on to you.  You are my pride and joy, and I am loving every minute of being with you.

7/19/96
We got the mortgage approved last week, now we have to wait for the state to approve it for a lower rate and some grant money for being a first time home buyer.  I'm glad that we'll all be under one roof again very soon.  Your birthday is coming up.  I want to wait a couple of weeks, so that we're settled in our new home; but your mother is insisting that we have it Sunday.

It's not that I'm denying you your birthday.  It's that things are going to be hectic for the next couple of weeks and I have to work on Sunday night.

7/22/96
I spent a day yesterday looking for a birthday gift for you.  A special one that says your daddy loves you.  I got you a rocking-roller horse.  Flip the wheels up, it's a rocker.  Flip the wheels down, it's a roller.  I love you.

7/26/96
Happy Birthday!            You're 1 year old!

8/3/96
We got the house. We should be moving in about 2 weeks.  The house will need some cleaning and some minor repairs. But all in all, it's ours (and the bank's).

9/12/96
Well, we're moved in.

9/19/96
I just got moved to day shift again, after working midnight to 8 for almost 8 months.  Not only that, but I got a notice to go to orientation at the police department.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll get on the department.  Remember, I love you.

Onto other news.  The big story of your life is that you are taking your first steps and getting into everything.  You're trying to put your blocks into the VCR and turn off the TV.  I'm chasing after you to keep you from getting into trouble.

9/25/96
A few things occurred over the summer.  First it was the year of the 100th anniversary of the International Olympics (remind me one day to rent Chariots of Fire) being held in Atlanta.  After the events one evening in July a bomb exploded in the shopping and entertainment center.  A security guard, was a hero one night saving a number of people from the blast, is then a suspect.  I think because he played "Chicken Little" a couple of times with another job, the media focused him as a suspect.  But, then again I could be wrong.

About a week later an airliner TWA flight 800, exploded of the coast of New York.  Quite a few people think that it was shot down with a missile.  But no one knows for sure, because chemical traces to a bomb were found on the wreckage.

10/4/96
You're walking like a pro now.

Last Saturday, I went to the Philadelphia Police Academy for orientation to take the first steps to becoming a policeman.  Your grandfather was one for twenty years.  I hope I get on the force because that means that we can get by a lot better.

I have to answer a lot of questions about myself and it will be a pain in the butt.   Just keep your little fingers crossed.

11/6/96
This morning I have an interview with the police department disclosing everything that I need to give.  Bill Clinton was re-elected as President of the United States.  I voted for him, but I hope it was the best.  I'm better off because of Clinton. But the question should be will you?

12/1/96
It's almost time for Christmas.  This will be your second Christmas and Mommy and I don't have much money.  We did get you quite a few things, but I don't want to have you do without in the future.  Another new year will be coming soon.  And there will be events that I will record for you to see what things were like.

Today a man that I only knew because of one song died.  I didn't know him like a friend or any thing like that; it was more like a memory.  Tiny Tim was the stage name of a man that wrote a song in the 1960's called Tip Toe Through The Tulips.

I was maybe two years old or so when the song came out.  If you ever hear the song you may understand why a child would remember it.  I just remember it, on television, on the radio, and other people singing it.  It was a long time ago.

12/3/96
Last month a young couple was arrested for the murder of their recent born son.  In a Delaware motel room the 19 year old girl gave birth to the baby boy, and the father put the baby in a dumpster behind the motel.  The coroner's office pronounced that the baby had been alive when he was put there.  The parents had it all; coming from affluent families, on the fast track in college.  But if they did, why?

When your mother picked your name, we never gave the thought to what the name Timothy or Owen meant.  But after you were born and I held you in that nursery that hot summer night, I understood.  I was never religious, but I will honor God with how I and your mother raise you.  You are well-born because of the richness that life will bless you with, not the size of your bank account. You were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, more likely a coffee stirrer. The point is this; those parents will never know the wealth that you have given your mother and me.

In other news, ice was discovered in a crater in the southern pole of the moon. And the United States launched its third Mars probe; the second disappeared as it approached Phobos.

12/9/96
I hope one day you look up at the sky and wonder if you can touch the stars that you see.  I just about gave up on my dreams and I messed up on some thinking that it would just come my way.  When we had you a lot of those dreams were reborn, not for you to do, but for me to finish for you.

12/16/96
Tonight your mother and I had an argument.  The reason was fairly stupid but the point of it was not.  Your mother is a good person at heart and soul.  She would drop everything she is doing to help someone else.  But sometimes your mom doesn't realize that she's being taken advantage of by that person. Your aunts, your mother's sisters have a bad habit of asking her to baby-sit.  When your mom says no to them because she made other plans, or just isn't up to it, she gets a guilt trip.  And I get tired of it.  I'll flex for your mother and concede to her, but any one else can pog ma thoin.

Your mom is a wonderful person.  Part of our arguments is because she can tell me to go to hell and provide directions and a map to boot.  But she can't always do that to your grandmother and your aunts.  Remember Tim, this is your house and home.  The rules that are set are set by your mother and I; not your grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins.  One aunt is of the opinion that I may hit your mom.  Let it be known to you: no matter how mad your mom and I may be with each other when we have an argument we have never struck the other.  I don't care what their opinion is of me, but if they want nothing to do with your mom or you because of me then fuck them.

I have worked my butt off for your mom and you.  On Friday, December 13, 1996 I had my polygraph for the police department.  This is where another 30% wash out after orientation and the beginning of the background check.  Soon, God willing and your great grandmother, Catherine, watching over us I'll have achieve one dream and goal that I have yearned.

You see I hate arguing with your mom.  We don't argue often, but when she is being taken for a fool by someone I will tell her.  She doesn't like that but you'll understand one day.  Your mother's family, like mine, is opinionated. But when she told she is being foolish because she is setting her ground, I will not flex to any one and stand behind your mother.  So remember that when you go through your adolescence.  I stick by my own.  That means you and your mother.

Your grandmother stated that I have a bizarre sense of family, but guess what: She is wrong!  When your mother and I got married before the judge we left our respective families to form our own--you.  If someone doesn't like you or ignores because of who you care for or are friends with then that person isn't worth caring for or about.  I may sound harsh and out of line but until you have a son and wife you may not understand.  But understand this they are not worth worrying about.  Who knows one day you may read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, even see West Side Story.

12/22/96
Christmas will be here soon.  We put the tree up yesterday and decorated it this afternoon.  It's our first Christmas in our new home.  Your stocking is hung on a fake fire-place with care (so what if it's a cliché).  Right now you’re over in the front left corner of the living room next to the tree tearing the TV Guide apart.

As far as news is concerned, Carl Sagan died on the Friday, 12/20/96.  He was an influence to me when it came to an interest in science.

Your mother and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary yesterday.  Marriage on the Winter Solstice.

12/25/96
Merry Christmas, Timmy.  Over the weekend, we went to a Christmas party with your Grandfather.  Today, you visited your grandmother for the first time in over a year.  Overall it wasn't a bad Christmas this year.  Of course you made out like a bandit as far as gifts are concerned.  Your mother's family, as far as I'm concerned, some need to learn that Christmas is a time to put away grudges and misgivings.  I'm not one to speak but since you came along, I may as well make sure that you are raised right.

It isn't right to isolate yourself from your family, but of course there is time to break away and live your life.  Just don't burn your bridges.

1/8/97
Well, Tim-Tim, a year ago I was writing in this journal, of sorts, about the snow storm.  So far we've had a mild winter.  So far.

You just got over the chicken pox a few weeks ago, and now you’re given your mother hell taking medicine for a cough that you have.  It's good that you got it now rather than later or never have it at all.  You're climbing all over the furniture, thinking you're hot stuff.  One day you're going to give me a heart attack.

1/19/97
Tomorrow, President Clinton will be inaugurated for the second time. Perhaps, maybe things will even be better.

2/8/97
Your mother bought you a dog last week. A female shepherd mix named "Bandit".  For all intents and purposes she's not a very good dog just yet.  She's about 8 months old and you love her.  You’re learning a few new tricks yourself.  Climbing on top of the table and causing havoc.  I can tell you didn't fall that far from the tree.  When you get old enough to appreciate this journal, I hope that you use my mistakes to prevent your own, when you have your own little boy.

2/9/97
Last August TWA Flight 800 fell from the skies off the coast of New York.  Two times this week, a passenger liner was chased by National Guard fighters, when each jet flew into their restricted air space.  When Flight 800 went down, there were reports of a missile sighting in the direction of the airliner's course.

Maybe that was what happened?

The official report is that the Flight 800 had a faulty fuel line and it ignited, causing the jetliner to explode.

4/17/97
Well, monk, it's been a little while since I wrote to you in this virtual journal.  In the past couple of months things seem to be going okay.  Last month my background investigator did his neighborhood check, your mother was excited, even though sometimes she wants me to give up this obsession that I seem to have.  Maybe it is an obsession, but I want you to have the best, and if that means becoming a police officer then so be it.  It's something that I have wanted all my life, sometimes I feel I don't but I find myself gravitated to taking the test and going through the wait.

I got my certification as a dispatcher for EMS in the mail.  So that makes things brighter.  I called Officer Briggs, my background investigator.  He suggested that I bring it with me when he calls me. He said I may be in the June class. Keep hoping.

Your mother got you a dog from the SPCA and she could only stay with us for a month or so.  Bandit was just a little too rough for you.  She was a good dog and you loved her, but we had to make a choice and the SPCA just wouldn't take your cousins, so Bandit had to go back.  I'm sure she's with a good family.

5/20/97
About 2 weeks ago I got you another dog, a spaniel mix...I like to tease your mom that it's an Irish Springer Spaniel...Well I won't be in the June police academy class, but my investigator said that I'm in good shape.  I passed my polygraph and my background has checked out so far. Not that I did anything. I just want to get on the force so I can give you and your mom everything.  His name is Shadow.

6/28/97
The other day my background investigator called wanting to confirm a couple of things in my life.  1) An apartment I had in the Northeast, and 2) everything was finished up with it.
He wanted me to write a narrative concerning it and bring it to his office at the 39th District.  He told me I am lined up for the October class.  Let's hope.

8/11/97
Well, I got through the final phase and now just waiting.  Let's continue to hope.  You just turn 2 years old last week.  Like Christmas, you made out like a bandit.  Mostly Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels.  We just got the kitchen redone...it's almost complete.  Mommy seems to be happy with it.

9/11/97
In a couple of weeks we'll find out if I get in to the police academy.  I love you.

10/2/97

Well I won't be in the October class that starts on the 6th.  It's beginning to look more like the December class.  I hurt a little, but either way it will still be cold in December.

12/6/97
Good News!!!!!!! I made the Philadelphia Police Department.  I am to go to the Police Academy on December 15, 1997.  Timmy, my dreams have come true!  Remember that dreams do come true, and not just because Jiminy Cricket said so.

The day that I heard was very exciting.  The strangest thing is that December 2, 1997, the day I heard I was to enter the academy; there was an alignment of the outer 5 planets.  The Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus were in a line.  Surrounding the moon, that night the other four wrapped the moon like a necklace. The five bodies hung over our street, right down the middle.

3/10/98
Well, Monkey; I'm half way through the Police Academy.  So far my grades are good.  But of course my grade for my Haz-Mat exam was thrown out along with the rest of the class.  This was because some idiot decided to cheat.  Let me tell you something, if you decide to become a cop I will be very proud of you. But please don't cheat!

I found this excerpt from a notebook.  It was from April, 1995 about 3 months before you were born.


4-20-95

In January, 1993 I while I was deciding where to study to be an EMT, Islamic terrorists set a bomb off in the basement garage of the World Trade Center.  The method was to use a van with explosives.  Now, it happens again.

Yesterday, a car bomb exploded outside a Federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 40 people as of 10:30 this morning-17 of them children.  17 babies that had done no one any harm or ill will.  17 babies that hadn't come to know the riches of life.  17 babies that will never grow up and have babies of their own.

I looked at my wife last night.  During breaks in the news, I glanced over her belly-our baby unaware of his outside world growing inside.  What will I tell my baby when he/she asks questions about the world? How will I explain who is evil and who is good?
A year ago, Gigi and I argued over her finding a daycare job in Philadelphia's Federal Building.  A year later, I'm relieved she didn't listen to me.  The "what ifs" played in my mind as I watched rescue personnel (EMTs, medics, Fire, Police, and Federal) pull bodies from the wreckage of the Oklahoma City Federal Building.  17 babies!

Our children murdered buy a group of fanatics!

I could feel tears well up in my eyes.  I could feel anger drip into my blood like a toxic IV

The photograph of a Firefighter cradling an injured, bloody child in his arms, adorns the front page of the morning news.  President Clinton called for swift justice - the bastards should not get a trial; it would be a waste a American tax dollars.  Swift justice?  A democracy such as ours calls for a trial for the accused - a Star Chamber trial would be more fitting.  (I need to find that photograph)

America has paid the price of freedom with her children's blood before - but never with her most precious.  When I will be holding my baby will I have to protect him/she at all times?  My baby's not born yet, and I'm afraid for its life.

17 babies equaling 17 mothers and 17 fathers grieving over their loss.  My God, who will pay for this atrocity?  Will justice be so swift to satisfy the blood lust of vengeance?  Vengeance so cold future terrorists will change their minds?

Questions.  Questions.

Death.  Carnage.  Pain.

Oklahoma City.

300 people are still missing...I should not forget the babies that were hurt from the explosion.  These animals hurt our most precious and innocent.

4-21-95

The news had shown sketches of two men wanted in connection to the bombing.  A third man was detained in London after through x-rays inspection of  his bags shown wire, metal clippers, and some other tools.  150 people are still missing - body count still rises and may still.  Congress now pushes forth a bill to deal with the terrorists - Death Penalty!

I believe that when the authorities catch these evil men; take them to a deserted area.  Take the handcuffs off; give them to the count of 3 to make a run for it.

1-2-3 BOOM!  Right in the head.  Treat them as rabid dogs.

Its five minutes before 11 in the morning.  CNN reports that the FBI has made positive ID Arrests are forthcoming.  Please dear God, let them be the ones!

Were they Islamic fanatics?

Were they members of the Branch Davidians?

Was it revenge for the death of David Koresch, on the second anniversary?

Gigi doesn't want me to watch the news.  She doesn't want me to get depressed.  I'm not - I'm angry!

CNN just announced the man taken into custody in London, and returned to the US, had been released.  He's still a potential witness.

There still is a connection to Kansas - a hot bed of white supremacists.  Six people were killed in New York 2 years ago and 2 months ago, when Islamic fundamentalists exploded a bomb in the sub-basement garage of the World Trade Center.  Over 1,000 people were injured. 

50 confirmed dead in Oklahoma.

50 human beings obliterated.  A quarter of them children.

When Val and I had first seen the news, we thought it was Center City.  What if it was?

4/2/98

I have 10 more weeks left at the academy, my boy!  I'm running just about everyday, and don't get me started about the sit-ups.  MY GOD!   My class lost another recruit because he failed 2 areas, Law 3 and First Aid.  Now we're studying Communications (BORING!), I feel like I'm back in 8th grade, maybe even 9th grade. You gave us two scares, a couple of weeks ago.  First, you fell down the stairs and split your lip open and you needed a stitch at Northeastern ER.  Second, we went to Me-Mom for her birthday, where you were bit by her dog.  This was very scary for your mother and me.  The dog bit you around the neck...Yes I was VERY ANGRY.  But, of course, you were very lucky both times.  I really don't want to see what you will be like when you reach your teens.

6/7/98

Guess what, Monkey?  I'm graduating this Wednesday, 6-10-98.  I made it!!!
I've been annoyed or so it seems...I'm just nervous about what might happen.  I LOVE YOU!!