Friday, February 24, 2012

BE PASSIONATE - BE HONEST - BE FEARLESS

Today I am straying so far away from the theme of this blog.  I promise I'm working my way back to the humor ....  the sarcastic humor about my brain activity or lack thereof .....  I've been distracted.  The deaths of three young women within a short span of time took lots out of me.  Staying (big AHEM) aware (insert eye rolling sarcastic tone using that voice in your head when passing over that word "aware") of what was going on with SGK was challenging thanks to those ADD and OCD chemobrain issues.  I tried very hard to keep my thoughts (in random order): apolitical, non-religious, as factual as I could discern with all of the double talk and the information coming at warp speed ALL while remembering that MOST of those who volunteer are doing so at the local level where 75% of the money stays in the community.  They are still grass roots.  They are dedicated and they ARE our sisters.

While I wanted to make my point that the PP debacle was disgraceful, I was happier that it put the Pink Ribbon under a microscope in one fell swoop.  Organizations like Breast Cancer Action have been at this for years and I'm going to take some poetic license and go for the big dramatic effect.  I think, within hours (quite possibly MOMENTS), social media engaged more people to take action and raise outrage.... "where's the cure and WTF did you do with the money?" .....  than many organizations combined have accomplished over the course of years.  That is not a knock on the organizations.  It is the power of social media and a global outreach where things are in our faces in real time.  And that is a perfect segue.

WTF is going on in Syria?  I don't mean that as an invitation to actually tell me.  Question is definitely rhetorical.  I can go catch up on my worldwide current events.  I simply have to step beyond the breast cancer zone in order to gather information.  While the breast cancer zone may sound one dimensional, you'll have to trust me on this..... My breast cancer zone is more like the twilight zone.  There are more balls in the air and I'm still trying to get it together.  I'm not going to outline all of the irons I have in the fire.  Some of those balls need to land in that fire so I can get my chemobrain to FOCUS.  Break things into those ever necessary "smaller tasks." Or, as I said in a prior post, I'm officially channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw and I'm hiring an assistant along the lines of Jennifer Hudson.

Typically, MY segue took a paragraph detour.  This should surprise no one.  It's who I am, it's what I do but as of this moment, I AM putting the jokes on the shelf because nothing about this story is even remotely funny.  It's so very sad.  The other night on AC360 there was a video that was one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever watched.  A reporter was in the room as a very young baby died from mortar fire that is raining down on the Syrian city of Homs.  Into residences. Where babies are present.  In the name of?

The video is graphic.  You can see the baby take his last breath.  Anderson Cooper was speaking to Marie Colvin, the journalist who was in the room with the distraught grandmother and the grief crippled father as that baby died.  The interview concluded with Anderson saying, "I know it's impossible to stay safe but please try."  Her reply, "Thanks very much, Anderson."

HOURS later, literally, within a couple of hours, Marie Colvin was dead.  She was killed alongside French photographer Remi Ochlik.  Marie grew up on Long Island.  Her mom still resides in the home where she grew up.  She was the oldest of five children.  Two sisters, two brothers.  Pretty much the same age.  Me and Marie.  And the similarities End Right There. She had to have nerves of steel.  Me, not so much.  My God, she lost an eye in a war zone several years ago.  And she continued doing what called her.  Me?  I never say never.  But, No WAY.  We share a similar family structure.  And that's about it.

Oh, and I presently live quite close to her hometown.  It would take me less than five minutes if I hopped in my car for a quick drive.  I'm fairly certain I could locate the home within another five minutes.  It's a small community.  I'm guessing there is some sort of media in the general vicinity.

I am as horrified as the rest of the world at her death, at the death of her young colleague, at the death of that baby, at the thought the attack that killed these reporters may have been a deliberate act in order to stop the world from seeing what is happening in Syria.  I am horrified at what is happening RIGHT NOW in Syria.  Marie put her life on the life to get that last story.  And she paid with her life.  I cannot in any way, shape or form, attempt to offer any sort of solution oriented suggestions.  This is far beyond the scope of my ability.  I just know her death can not be in vain.

Her mom spoke to reporters.  Quite eloquently and poignantly, she stated, "The reason I've been talking to all you guys is that I don't want my daughter's legacy to be 'no comment' ..... because she wasn't a 'no comment' person."  And her mom continued to speak and these are words I will print out to so I can honor the life of one very brave and very determined woman.  I will live by these words in memory of Marie Colvin.  I will live by these words each and every day to honor a "neighbor" whom I will likely never meet, but she is a neighbor nonetheless and she will be burying her child in the coming days.

For Rosemarie Colvin who will live with a heavy heart and for Marie Colvin whose courage is indescribable, I will follow the beautiful words of a heartbroken mother:

  "Her legacy is: Be passionate and be involved in what you believe in.  And do it as thoroughly and honestly and fearlessly as you can."

The words of a grieving mother.  The words I will carry with me in my heart as I continue to step from the life that IS to the life that IS waiting.  It's time for me to catch up to my own life.

12 comments:

  1. AnneMarie - I posted the quote from Marie's mother right in front of me on my desk. As I move out of my "comfort zone" to stand up for what I believe in, I will carry this with me. Thank you and prayers to the Colvin family.

    Barb

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    1. Hi You....
      My jaw dropped when I read her words. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone, too. Those words are powerful.... and swear I may end up in a tattoo parlor today. I'm in an impulsive and completely out of my mind kind of place. The only question is WHERE to have the words put... "time to step from the life that IS to the life that is WAITING" .......
      xoxox

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  2. Am so glad you did stray from your usual theme AnneMarie - this was powerful stuff to read today! I was really upset to hear of the death of Marie Colvin - it really bothered me all week so much so that I couldn't bear to read or watch anything about it - so I am really glad that I got to read your post and learn what her Mom said is her legacy - how amazing!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I saw her name hit a tweet stream and then, I saw the whole "story" and how it was within hours of an international interview with AC that she was likely the intended and deliberate target. Realizing her mom and the family home is literally in my backyard is likely what prompted me to write this. Seeing the similarities between our two families was another thing.... As I made clear.... those similarities begin and end with, "Oldest of five, two sisters, two brothers, graduated from a Long Island high school" .....

      I may be passionate in the way I want to advocate on behalf of breast cancer and I want to be a "rebel tweep" .... and, for Rach, I want to be a **Fearless** Friend.

      Clearly..... all passion and all fearlessness is NOT created equal..... Marie Colvin is the epitome of the power of ONE person .... willing to step into ANY situation to Tell The Story. And oh, the power of the internet.... to tell that story in real time..... and to have a video streaming that should be sending WAVES of outrage to all corners of the globe.

      They say with war comes collateral damage. That baby is not "collateral damage" ..... he was an innocent infant. Marie Colvin & Remi Ochlik are not collateral damage, either. They, along with all of the other journalists who put themselves in harms way and pay the ultimate price are REAL HEROES. She set out to make sure the world knows the truth. Pictures don't lie and she was a woman of passion & integrity.

      I love the fact that her mom was brave enough to set her own emotions aside in what surely is a horrific time for her to share her thoughts about Marie's legacy. And I especially admire her ability to step outside of her own grief to say: "I don't want my daughter's legacy to be 'no comment' ...... because she wasn't a 'no comment' person."

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  3. Wow, very powerful, Marie. I hate war as much as I hate cancder. Too many lives lost. I love that quote - it's how I live my life these days, or at least try.

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    1. I'm trying, too. And I was so upset to see that video only to awaken to see Marie was killed. Now I see there is a big push to evacuate. What is wrong with this picture. People are fighting for their lives battling illness and others are dropping bombs killing innocent people. I'm in a rant, today....

      Stay well, Tami. You inspire me....

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  4. Wow, just wow. Incredible!

    Ps I linked your blog on my blog. I wanted to share it with my readers.

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  5. Thank you for linking my blog to yours....I just did the same here..... I'm probably unplugging tomorrow morning to join "the street people" .... will be around Sunday night for the return of Billy Crystal. I'll expect a full critique from someone who understands!

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  6. AnneMarie, beautifully spoken, as usual. I wish I had known Marie Colvin. What an exceptionally brave and effective human being. Thank you for writing about her with so much heart.

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    1. I wish I had known her too. I am so saddened to read that the next part of this mess for this poor mom is the inability for anyone to safely transport her body out of Syria. As of the last thing I saw, she will likely be buried in Syria. If they couldn't get her out by yesterday, "the window was closing" .... that sickens me even further....

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  7. What wise advice from a mother who shares from her heart. Too many deaths to bear. My heart grieves with yours. And I will carry on as thoroughly and honestly and fearlessly as I can to keep her legacy alive. XOXO

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    1. Me too.... FEARLESSLY.... it speaks to so many of us, especially since it was a word used by Rachel in the very last tweet chat in which she participated. There was a whole conversation about fearless friends..... This just hit me on so many levels.

      xoxoxox

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