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Yesterday, we lost a very courageous man. Nelson Mandela passed away at the ripe old age of 95.

In celebration of his life, I am sharing a performance I was part of back in 2009, in which the Queens College Chorus, under the direction of Roz Woll, sings "Kena Le Monna", a South African celebration song for Nelson Mandela.

::Raises glass::


Ten Years

Nov. 11th, 2011 11:53 pm
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Ten years have come and gone like a blink of an eye. I still think about you both every single day. I saw two white doves together, as I do every year on this date. I know it's the both of you letting me know that you're watching over me and keeping me safe.

I was supposed to be in that car with you, but a family thing came up, so I had to cancel. I keep thinking that if only I was there with you, you would have been awake, and therefore safe from veering off the LIE and into that tree. But I don't really know that.

I miss you and love you both.

Billy McLaughlin: October 21, 1983 - November 11, 2001
Cathy McLaughlin: September 24, 1982 - November 11, 2001

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On March 31st, I had posted about my friend's daughter Lexi. I found out this morning that Lexi passed away at 6:45pm on Friday. She was only 4 years old. I'm having very conflicting feelings about this because no parent should ever have to bury their child *especially* not one that young, but she was in a considerable amount of pain and now she is no longer in pain.

A picture from happier times.

December 15, 2006 - April 8th, 2011 Rest in Peace Alexis Lawson.



Mar. 17th, 2011 10:48 am
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It is with great sadness that I present this news. Last night, I found out that Toby ([ profile] gldm) passed away. I wasn't told any details; just that he passed. He was only 34.

This morning I was linked to an entry written by [ profile] kilroyfirelizrd that explains Toby's passing. You can read it here. And like [ profile] kilroyfirelizrd said, I'm just glad he went without suffering.

I'm too distraught for words. I met him through [ profile] kathrishali many, many years ago. And then through a twist of It's a Small World, no really, it is, I found out that he went to school with [ profile] jcholewa. Worlds collided that day.

I think the last time I saw Toby in person was when I was still attending Stony Brook & he and his husband came to visit me. That was in 2005. The last time I spoke to him was this past October.

It's getting really hard for me to type because I cannot see through the tears in my eyes...

Rest in Peace, Toby. August 4th, 1976 - March 15th, 2011.

You were one of the good ones.


My Day

Nov. 11th, 2010 09:41 pm
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As I said in my previous post, today is 9 years since Billy and Cathy were in a tragic car accident that took both of their lives.

Every year on this day, I wake up at 4:45am, not by choice, but it's like clockwork. I went to bed last night knowing that it was going to happen. Thankfully, I was able to get myself to fall back asleep for the remaining hour before my alarm went off at 6am.

I had a breakdown while getting ready this morning. This caused me to run late, so I went to Ronkonkoma instead of Patchogue and caught the 7:32, which is not unusual for me to take. A woman came on the train before we pulled out of the station and sat down a few rows ahead of me. I looked up and noticed that the woman looked exactly like Cathy. No joke. Her red hair, the makeup, facial features... everything! I've never seen this woman on this train before, and I take it quite often, sitting in the exact same spot every time.

I went to my first class and then when I left my class, something else happened. I was walking in the quad and I heard someone call my name from behind me. I turned around and saw no one there. I thought to myself, "That was weird." and then I felt someone tap my shoulder. This time I quickly turned around and caught a split-second glimpse of Billy before he disappeared.

When I got to ACSM (where I spend my breaks between classes), some of the people in the lounge started singing songs from RENT. Without them knowing it, they were honoring Cathy. A little later on, there was a conversation about Tori Amos. Thank you for also honoring Billy, without knowing it. This lifted my spirits a little bit.

On my way home, I was standing on the platform waiting for the train to come and all of a sudden, there were 2 white doves standing on the platform together, looking in my direction. Doves are never at Jamaica station. Backstory: When it was the 1st anniversary of their deaths, Billy and Cathy's mom and dad released 20 white doves. Only 18 returned. So, seeing the doves today was no fluke.

Today was a really tough day for me. It still is, but at least I'm home now, so if I'm going to cry, I can just let it all out.

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It's been 9 years since the accident that claimed the lives of two very special people in my life. My world came crashing down on November 11, 2001.

I had a very bizarre and vivid dream that morning. In the dream, I was sitting in the backseat of a car, but not really... I was kinda just floating there. In the driver's seat was a girl with long hair, and in the passenger seat a guy with spiky hair, but I didn't see either of their faces. All I could tell was that both were asleep. The car veered off the road and struck a tree. When the car went up in flames, I woke up with a start... at 4:45am.

The entire day, I felt really off but yet there was also this presence around me. At 10pm, my friend Craig broke the news to me and told me how it happened and what time it happened. I was in disbelief. My dream and the time I woke up matched reality exactly. It was at that point that the presence made sense.

Billy and Cathy McLaughlin needlessly lost their lives that day. I always wonder what life would be like if they were still alive today. Billy was going to follow in his father's footsteps and be an elevator repairman and Cathy was an aspiring actress, who at the time was performing at Theater Three in Port Jefferson.

I think about them every single day. It doesn't get any easier. :(

Billy McLaughlin: October 21, 1983 - November 11, 2001
Cathy McLaughlin: September 24, 1982 - November 11, 2001



Oct. 21st, 2010 01:07 pm
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I just found out, by way of Facebook statuses, that a friend of mine from High School passed away this morning. She went into cardiac arrest and they were unable to revive her.

RIP Tifanee Bell.

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Five years ago, at the time I started writing this (7:30am), I was waiting for the morning meeting of Specialists before getting out there to direct traffic and walk campers to their groups. Bob walked down from the office and met us near the tennis courts. He told us he had very grave news, and then preceeded to tell us about an accident that happened after work the previous day. Christina Poggoli was driving home from work with his brother in the passenger seat, when they were sideswiped. And even though she was wearing her seat belt, she was flung from the car via the open sunroof. Both she and her brother were airlifted to Stony Brook. She was pronounced dead at 6am. We were collectively a wreck.

We were the first of the staff to find out about it and were told that the Counselors were going to have a huge meeting about it during morning arrival, although they already knew. Bob assigned a portion of Specialists to go onto the tennis court to watch the children when they arrived. Bob assignmed me to watch Tuscarora B (8 and 9 year olds going into 4th grade), Christina's group. I'm really glad I chose to wear sunglasses that day, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do it. So, I walked onto the tennis court with a huge smile on my face and watched and played with them as if nothing had happened. A few of them asked what the meeting was about, so I told them "Cups, and how the counselors have to make sure everyone throws out their cups." I couldn't tell them what it was really about, I wasn't allowed one was.

After the counselors had their debriefing, a large portion of them couldn't handle the news and went home. Others came back on the tennis courts and went to their groups. I was asked by a few of the campers why the other counselors were crying. This killed me. Keeping with the cup story, I said that it was also because they were told they could never have water fights. I knew they didn't believe me, but they laughed along with me anyway.

When it was time for the groups to go to their first activities, I walked with Tusc B to theirs and stayed a while until Bob came by to tell me to go set up my Music area. After I did that, I didn't have a group for a while, so I went into the Rinx and found a corner where no child could see me, and just bawled. It was awful.

Toward the end of the day, Tuscarora B was brought to a location nearby Go Carts, where they could all sit together. They were then joined by their parents. Rich (the director), Bob, the Junior Girls division head, and a Grief counselor met with them and talked about the passing of their counselor Christina and how she wasn't going to be coming back.

It was the hardest day I ever had while working at Hidden Pond Day Camp. Now those girls are CITs and I wonder if they remember that day. There is never a day that goes by that I don't think about that day, or you Christina. My last memory of you alive was the day before. It was Hawaiian Day, and your group had Music. One of your campers took a picture of me that day and you are in the background. I still have that picture.

Christina Marie Poggoli "Live, Love, Laugh" - 3/7/88 - 7/27/05

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I just found out that Rue McClanahan has died from a stroke. She was 76. :'(

Betty White is now the only surviving major cast member from The Golden Girls.



Jun. 25th, 2009 06:53 pm
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Holy shit!! Why does death always come in threes? First, two days ago, we lost Ed McMahon. Early this afternoon, we lost Farrah Fawcett. And now, Michael Jackson is dead. Shit.



Nov. 11th, 2008 08:35 pm
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7 Years.




Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:22 pm
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Estelle Getty, most famous for her portrayal of Sophia Petrillo on "The Golden Girls", passed away this morning at 5:30am. She was 84.

Click for story

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Today marks 6 years since the passing of Billy and Cathy McLaughlin. They were two really great people whose lives were snatched away too soon. There are days when I wish they were still alive. I write this as I'm looking at the last picture taken of them together. I miss them dearly.

I saw 2 white doves this morning when I woke up, right outside my patio door. They always greet me on this day. In my mind I believe that those two doves are Billy and Cathy and that they come to visit me to see if I'm ok.

Billy and Cathy: I miss you and I love you.



Nov. 11th, 2006 03:07 pm
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I can't believe it's been 5 years already.

Five.Tear filled.Years!! :'(

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For those of you who went to Coram Elementary school, or who know Aaron Factor, his mom Carla Factor (My 2nd grade teacher) Passed away on Monday morning. I found this out from my mom who left me a note on my desk about it. She had apparently been in the hospital for a while. ::Sigh::


Xposted Everywhere


Jul. 27th, 2005 07:05 pm
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Christina Poggioli was in a car accident that occured on Townline Road in Hauppauge yesterday, on her way home from work. We found out this morning that she died at 6am. She was only 17.

For those of you who do not know who she is, she was a Camp Counselor for Tuscarora B this summer at Hidden Pond Day Camp. Last year, she was a Runner for the office. The year before, a CIT. She's been a part of the Hidden Pond family since she was a little camper. She also went to Smithtown High School and this coming year was to be her Senior year.

Her brother, Nick, a CIT, was also in the car when the accident happend. He only had a concussion.

From what I know, she was side swiped on Townline Road and flung out of the car via her open sunroof. She was wearing her seatbelt. They flew both her and her brother by helicopter, to Stony Brook University Hospital.

For Christina: You are now with your mom. You will be greatly missed by me and everyone else at Hidden Pond. You will always be in my thoughts. I love you.

Christina Marie Rose Poggioli - 3/7/88 - 7/27/05


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