What’s Up in the Neighborhood, February 20, 2021

Before I do this week’s recap of the great blogs on my personal blogroll, there’s a very important and grim personal anniversary today.

51 years ago this very day, my baby brother Allen was involved in a horrific car accident. He was in a car with my other siblings (I was in first grade at the time, so I was in school instead of being in the car), and my grandfather was driving. Due to a combination of poor weather conditions and too many Cutty Sarks, he crashed the car into a tree on Lordstown Road in Nassau. Allen was barely three years old. He was ejected from the car – through the windshield – and was gravely injured. Six months later, God finally brought him home.

I was six years old when it happened, and even today, I still think about the survivor’s guilt of being in school that day and, by fate or by luck, not being in the car when that happened. Emotionally, that put a puncture in my familial concept. I was mourning what had happened to Allen, and nobody could give me any satisfactory answers. Nobody.

It wasn’t until December 2010 when his unmarked grave at St. Agnes Cemetery finally received a marker, and that was only because I personally purchased it. It only bears his name, the years of birth and death, and the marker “Beloved Angel.” Because there’s still a part of me that believes he’s not far in my times of crisis.

His passing has reminded me of the preciousness and finality of life. No one is guaranteed an extra day on this Earth. During your one ride on this merry-go-round, you must make the best of your time. And that merry-go-round can stop in an instant, for a thousand different reasons.

Hold your loved ones close today. Call those who mean the most to you. We’re all going through so much now in 2021. But take a moment and reconnect with those who matter in your life.

All right. Thank you for allowing me to take a personal moment.

Now let’s get to the blogroll.

Have a good weekend, everyone.