16 September 2016
A few weeks ago I noticed this plaque on a bench at Olson Park in Ann Arbor. I had vague memories of at least 1 person with an Ann Arbor connection who died in the World Trade Center attacks, so I took a picture to prompt me to look it up, but forgot when back at home.
This week I saw a flower next to the bench. I moved it to the top so it would be more prominent, so others would also notice.
Today I looked her up. Darya Lin grew up in Iran to a Persian mother and Burmese father and moved to Ann Arbor when she was 11. She was 32 years old when she died in the World Trade Center. Darya was a senior manager with Keane Consulting Group; she stayed on the 78th floor to help a pregnant client while others in her group ran downstairs to safety. God bless your spirit indeed, Darya Lin.
(Her father was a physicist at UMich; prototype 9/11 memorial sculptures by Jens Zorn mention Darya and her father here.)
13 March 2007
When responding to those password security questions, in particular, “what is the name of your pet?”, don’t use the name of a pet fish. Because you know what? Your fish will probably die long before you need the security hint, and you’re sure to forget what you gave as a response!
“Pet name. Hmmm, we don’t have any pets! Was it that dog we had when I was little? Nope, that didn’t work. Wait, maybe I misspelled it. Nope, that wasn’t it either. That puppy that I got to name? Nope, that wasn’t it. I probably didn’t use any of my sister’s cats. And I can’t remember what I named that hamster or those turtles. I give up, good thing they have this ‘click to have security hint mailed to you’ link!”
30 September 2006
I present a “sling and swathe” (manufactured by Zimmer or other medical device companies)
and a stuffed three-toed sloth (manufactured by Hansa). Which would you rather wear wrapped around your middle? I’d pick the Hansa, but I’m stuck with the Zimmer for now (albeit in an attractive dark blue – gray really isn’t my color!).
Here’s a company bragging about the ultimate (in comfort) arm sling, and this “deluxe” model at an Irish medical supply web site mentions a terry cloth lining. Terry cloth or a soft fleece would be nice (even more so if the weather warms up again!). But a truly deluxe sling would come with integrated clothing! And a stuffed sloth to keep you company…
Friday morning I got a call from the urgent care facility. A radiologist had reviewed my x-rays and found a fracture. The doctor I had seen on Wednesday told me this might happen – they don’t have a radiologist in the building so everything gets reviewed. They told me to come back in to get a different sling – a “sling and swathe” – and to make an appointment with orthopedics.
Due to bad timing (why can’t we schedule all accidents for first thing Monday morning?), I still don’t know when I’ll see the specialist, but I do have my sloth (as i will now call it, having initially misheard “swathe”). Because the urgent care is affiliated with a different hospital than my primary care, I spent much of Friday afternoon calling around trying to get a referral and an appointment. To further compound the hassle, the two systems seem to use different terminology for this particular injury, so I feel like I’m in the middle of a particularly bad (parlor) game of telephone. (And yes, i had the urgent care folks spell it for me, so I can’t blame this on my ears!)
From what I understand, my shoulder fracture is in the top of the upper arm bone near the shoulder joint (proximal humerus). Based on a little reading I’ve done, I might be in this contraption for a month. The prospect of surgery is worse, though, so I won’t complain (yet – I reserve the right to start whining in a few weeks!) – especially since my arm immobilized feels much better than my arm trying to move to avoid frozen shoulder.
There are some pretty cool videos of the shoulder carriage in motion at this site (Christopher Evans 3D).
Meanwhile, I’m thinking of changing my halloween costume (from panda) to “one armed bandit”! :*)
27 September 2006
This afternoon, while biking home from campus, I did something really stupid. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I think I was signaling a turn with my right hand when somebody stepped into the crosswalk, so I applied the brake – the left brake only. That’s the one that stops your front wheel – the one that you’re not supposed to use alone, because when you do, you fly over the front handlebars. (And as Jonski Papa told me, “that’s why you’re always supposed to signal with your left hand.” Oh! Is that the reason? Who knew?)
I ended up crashing onto my left side, primarily on my shoulder. I immediately screamed in pain, then started yelling “someone please come help me!” Since I was right at a bus stop on a busy corner, there were plenty of someones to help, and they did. Good thing, because I could see busses approaching! (I was about even with the stop sign and have a bright yellow helmet so was probably safe, but seeing a bus bear down on you while lying in the street is no fun thing.)
It took 3 people to get me up – someone to remove the bike (it was on top of me), and one for each arm. My left shoulder already hurt incredibly, and I’m sure my face was contorted in pain. One woman offered me her cell phone to place a call, and I thought 1 millisecond about getting home (2+ miles) on my own (“I could put my bike on the rack in the bus… Nah!”), then accepted her offer and called home for a ride. Another woman offered to stay with me, then walked me and my bike over to a bench where I was to be picked up.
As we were walking, she told me a story of how her father was mountain biking, hit a branch and flipped over twice, and landed with his bike up on another branch. I think this was intended to make me smile, but I was too much in shock for it to really help. When they first retrieved me from the street, this same woman did some ‘range of motion’ kinds of tests with my arm, and told me that if it still hurt in a couple of hours I should have it looked at. I meant to ask what kind of medical training she had, but was too absorbed in my pain.
I cried and shook and tried to do relaxation breathing while waiting for my ride, but it didn’t help much. (I must have sobbed for at least half an hour before finally calming down.) Jonski Papa and I discussed what to do – wait, go to the ER, go to urgent care. He seemed to be thinking something was broken, because he didn’t want me eating or drinking (in case I needed sedation), and was leaning towards the ER. Yet from previous experience, we knew that the urgent care place is less impersonal than the ER, and when they can’t handle the problem they call ahead to the ER and send you over. So I decided to take that approach.
After more arm manipulations and a series of x-rays, the doctor determined that nothing is broken. The pain is probably from the impact and “contusions” (does that just mean bruising or something else?). She predicts I will be sore for some time (and will have giant bruises on my knee and elbow – the knee was scraped more deeply, but the elbow had asphalt and other road gunk in it!).
I’m glad nothing was broken, but feel pretty stupid (on top of the pain). But I guess that’s how many accidents happen, through some momentary lapse of attention or judgment.
On the bright side, I was able to prevail on the kidness of strangers. It was heartening to see that in a moment of need, people sprang to my assistance rather than continuing on their way. I was thanking people profusely through my tears, but I never thought to ask anyone their name. So whoever you are, and wherever you are tonight, I hope you have a warm glow inside, for having helped a stranger. (And if you missed your bus, I’m sorry!)
11 September 2006
Nearly 3000 people died as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Every single one of them had family and friends and neighbors, all affected by a life that was cut short. Every one of those victims had a name.
One of those people was Patricia A. Cimaroli Massari. On September 11th, 2001, she was 25 years old and working as a capital analyst for Marsh & McLennan on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center, Tower One. As mentioned in her New York Times Portraits of Grief profile, she had two important tests that day. In the evening, she was going to take a test in world civilization at Berkeley College where she was studying for Bachelors in Business Administration degree. And in the morning before work, she took a home pregnancy test, and got to inform her husband Louis that they were expecting their first child (read more in this profile at the MMC employee memorial). Surprised by the positive result, she stopped to get another test on her way to work, and was talking to her husband about it on the phone when the tower was hit. Her husband not only lost his wife that day, he lost his first chance at fatherhood. Her parents, Richard and Anna Cimaroli (who appeared on Larry King in 2002, transcript here) lost a daughter and a potential grandchild. The tribute page at MMC features a poem from her husband, along with this heart-wrenching quote:
“I would switch spots with her tomorrow,” he said. “Because then our family could go on.”
Because of the circumstances – that unborn child growing in her womb – she has been featured in many stories and TV shows and at least one book. Her story is memorable and tugs at your heart strings. But even beyond this memorable aspect, there is more to Patricia Massari, more we should remember.
I found two more pictures of her on various web sites.
As her dad said, she had a million-dollar smile. You can certainly see that smile in the pictures. When I look at these pictures, I see a happy, vivacious woman. And vivacious she was, it seems. Glendale, NY, renamed part of a street in her honor (search Google Maps for “Catalpa Ave & 64th St, Queens, NY 11385″ to see it – but note that the map still shows the old name). According to this Times News Weekly news story about the event:
“The unselfish, always happy Cimaroli-Massari, 25, was known for her beautiful smile, infectious laugh and the twinkle in her eye. Friends and family used to call her ‘The Mayor’ because this extreme cat lover had so many friends in her neighborhood.”
She already had an associate’s degree from Berkeley College, and had returned to pursue a BBA. Earlier that year, in May 2001, she had been named the College’s Alumna of the Year. Because of her connection to the school, her family set up a scholarship in her name, as described in this news story. Her parents and husband are shown here with the first recipient and the 2005 recipient is shown in this press release from the college. I don’t know if the scholarship is still accepting donations, but the first two articles have an address for the fund.
Although I never knew Patricia Cimaroli Massari, I feel honored to remember her life by participating in the 2996 project. When I first learned about the project, I started looking at the 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt (my mom is a quilter, and I’ve made blocks for a couple quilts honoring friends and family). I suppose you could say I was doing ‘vanity surfing’, by searching for names I know (including my own first name). This one in particular caught my eye. The woman’s first name is Patricia, and I noticed that it mentioned “and unborn child”. (I noticed later that the number for her block is 1997, the year my first child was born.) I wanted to know her story, so I asked to be assigned this person. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this woman – Patricia Massari, Trish to friends and family – had been profiled on TV shows and a book (titled 102 Minutes) and numerous newspaper articles. As I did research and her story unfolded, I felt humbled. I worried that I couldn’t do her story justice. But how can those of us who never met these people really do them justice? How can we know of the passion that moved them through life, the things that brought them joy, the things that made them laugh? We can’t. We can’t tell their entire story. We can’t capture the essence of the person. We can direct you to other sources as I have done here, each capturing a tiny bit. But what we can do is help keep alive their memory by knowing their names.
28 August 2006
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.
Visit the 2,996 project to sign up.
As of this writing, 2754 (91.9%) of 2,996 victims have been assigned to honor. Almost there!