The Today They Never Got To Have

Shooting Victims Pic

Today we’ll go about our daily lives as if there is a tomorrow. Same as twenty three other people did. Twenty three people whose only crime was that they were living inside the age of insanity, where lives do not matter as much as rhetoric.

We like to say that tomorrow is not a guarantee, but for some, neither is today. This post is about the today they never got to have.

In Pittsburgh . . .

Irving Younger will grab an umbrella on his way out the door. He’ll leave a few minutes early so he can say how do to the regulars at his favorite coffee shop. He’ll share a funny story or two before making his way to Saturday service, where he’ll be the familiar face that greets Melvin Wax. These two early birds will boast about how they don’t feel a day over fifty, in spirit. Their handshake is warm and grateful; a testament to the extended family they have become.

Ninety seven year old Rose Mallinger will have a word or several for the two younger fellas as she makes her way inside. She’ll tell them the what’s what on raising great grandchildren in the age of social media. Bernice and Sylvan Simon walk inside the synagogue together, same as they did sixty two years earlier when they exchanged wedding vows in the very same place. The couple strikes up a conversation with Jerry Rabinowitz, a primary care physician whose smile brightens the room all by itself. The good doctor has raised families. He’s helped extend and even save the lives of AIDS patients. And he wears the funkiest bow-ties you’ve ever seen.

Joyce Feinberg has to ask the good doctor what in the world he was thinking when he chose his current bow-tie. In all her years as a research specialist, she thought for sure she’d seen it all until this morning. Dr. Richard Gottfried doubles down on this topic of conversation. He wonders if his wife would let him get away with such a fashion statement, seeing as how they work together.

Daniel Stein tells Richard not to push his luck and that his bad jokes are worth two strikes. A funky bow-tie . . well, that might be strike three. This gets the Rosenthal Brothers– Cecil and David- laughing as Joyce, Richard and Daniel greet them with a hug.

Meanwhile in California . . .

Sean Adler shows up to his coffee shop bleary eyed as a result of working at Borderline Bar and Grill the night before. The father of two young boys knows the thankless hours are worth it, because he’s finally living his dream and he doesn’t plan on letting go.

For Cody Coffman, he’s still figuring those dreams out. Every single day is just the beginning for the twenty two year old. This moving company gig is temporary but his desire to enlist in the Army is very real. He’s going to be more than just another kid, he’s going to be somebody.

Blake Dingman and Jake Dunham talk baseball, music and off-roading over breakfast. The two life long friends behave as if they have forever to play with and the world at their fingertips, and that’s because they do.

Sergeant Ron Helus is beginning to understand the value of endings as he nears retirement after twenty nine years at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. He’ll miss the job and he wonders what he’ll do with all the extra time. He figures that traveling with his wife will be a great place to start.

Mark Meza Jr. and Kristina Morisette are working their weekends away at the Borderline, along with twenty three year old Justin Meek. Forty eight hours that will drag, but that’s okay because their lives are going to prosper and bloom in quicksilver fashion before too long and it’s going to be a ride.

The kind of ride Dan Manrique is having. The Marine Corps veteran turned his battle with PTSD into a lifelong passion to help those transitioning from military life. His friend Tim calls him a ‘Saint’, which will make him a fine business partner when they open their brewery.

Telemachus Orfanos simply feels lucky to be alive, having survived the Route 91 Country Music Festival in Las Vegas last year. He wasn’t one of the fifty eight souls taken on that night, and he still struggles with what it all means. He’s thankful for his family and friends.

Which is something Alaina Housley can relate to, being thankful. Because she’s going to spend the weekend with the actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her journalist husband Adam. The Pepperdine freshman just calls them aunt and uncle. Friends, family and a bright future, Alaina has it all.

Noel Sparks is going dancing with friends tonight. She loves to be out there on the dance floor because it feeds her restless soul. Her friends insist she’ll be the first to marry because those beautiful blue eyes are gonna put a spell on someone. But Noel just wants to dance tonight. As far as all that other stuff goes?

She has a lifetime to figure it out.













35 thoughts on “The Today They Never Got To Have

  1. Marco,

    I am typing this with tears in my eyes. Yes, tears for, yet again, another senseless ending of lives. For no good reason. There never is, is there? But also tears for your beautiful heartfelt words. You have given back their humanity, showing us all that everyone counts.
    Hardly a word has been spoken of this latest spree. I’m feeling that quote I shared with you yesterday is sadly applicable…
    If I may repeat it here:

    “Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.”
    ~ G. K. Chesterton – The Speaker, Dec. 15, 1900

    Thanks to people like you, there is no impartiality.

    Lotsa love and hugs and hopes and..,
    Dale (Q to you)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q,

      If not now, when? What really took my breath away was the fact that we’ve done this, 307 times so far in 2018. It’s complete insanity with no end in sight. It’s shameful.

      When you read the stories of these people and you see the lives they touched in so many meaningful ways . . it is akin to thievery. They were not taken from us, they were stolen from us.

      And I wish I felt eloquent about it, but I just feel angry now.

      Love, hugs, hope and today.

      Love you Dale

      Liked by 2 people

      • B,

        It has to be now. I read that statistic and my heart dropped. I knew it was high but 307? What in the name of hell?

        These people all meant something – to the world, to other people, to life. It is grand theft.

        Your anger is justified. And the day you lose it, is the day you lose just who you are. So stay angry.

        Love, hugs, hope, today and tomorrow, with change.

        Love you Marco,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There are no words for…well violence in general. We must look for ways to change the acceptance of this. I know a lot of people begin to shout gun control at moments like this. But, I personally think it goes beyond gun control. Let’s give hugs instead of hate. Show tolerance instead of prejudice. Put humanity back into the human race.

    Thank you for sharing a personal side and letting us get to know these people outside of the tragedy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ella,

      You are talking about the things that count for the most, and I know you’re right. It’s not ONE thing, it’s all the things we have become as a society. We lost that humanity somewhere along the line, when life began to speed up and it took us with it.

      Yes, to slowing down. Yes, to understanding. Yes, to love. Yes, to compassion. Yes, to hope that can change everything.

      Blessings my friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on A Dalectable Life and commented:
    Ray V. from Mitigating Chaos shared the following quote:

    “Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.”
    G. K. Chesterton– The Speaker, Dec. 15, 1900

    Marc has shown us his own loving-kindness by not only putting names to the victims but by showing their lives and potentials. Too beautiful not to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thoughts and prayers don’t furniture anymore. Humanzing the victims as well as you have and carrying that into our interactions but also the public sphere. But I must disagree we can’t have a national conversation about gun control. We already are. The students of Parkland started it because somebody had to be the adults. I learned to shoot, and respect guns, but don’t have, want or need one. More guns in a country awash with millions of them is not the answer. The usual common sense laws are: good loophole, keep mentally ill people away from them, education, licensing, waiting periods, etc. And I’m not having any more of that 2nd Amendment NRA bullshit argument anymore, do you know why? Because WE DON’T HAVE WELL REGULATED MILITIAS!!! Politicians, yes, mostly GOP but also Dems, have sold us out for far too long. More love, sure, but less guns. Not holding my breath on either, but hope reigns eternal. We owe it to the victims to DO SOMETHING. What that is will vary person to person. –A Texan who is against unstable, criminal, or otherwise I qualified people from having guns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude,

      The Parkland students did indeed start a discussion. Unfortunately, their attempts at furthering a dialogue with common sense applications was struck down by those who just do not want to listen to any talk of regulation. But they continue on, and I wish them well because they are really up against it.
      That’s a great point as per the militia. And you’re right, none of this exists in a vacuum; times have changed, drastically.

      I appreciate this comment and your views very much. From Texas to Pa to every other place, may we all be a part of the solution in some small way.

      Peace and blessings to you, brother


    • Merril,

      Many years ago, I wrote a piece in which I talked about the “new normal”. It was regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, but the theme is the same. The division, the disconnect. We are tether-less inside a wicked age. It really hit me when I was reading about Dan Manrique. This young man did SO much for his fellow veterans and the horrible irony is that he helped veterans such as the shooter.
      This is madness.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, it means so much.

      Peace and blessings

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are quite welcome. Before this one–and how horrible that we have so many–I had visited a Holocaust Memorial in Philadelphia and written about it. Then Friday was Kristallnacht. It doesn’t matter that I’m not religious–the hate is still there.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I totally get you. These horrible events transcend all the many differences. Why is it that we can come together in tragedy but exist in chasm-like fashion the rest of the time?
          There has to be a way to re-connect and to learn each other better. History is not an isolationist exercise.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Marco,

    It’s hard to put what I’m feeling into words at this very moment. Tears? Definitely. It’s so easy to watch the events on the news and see mere statistics. “How horrible,” we say as we change the channel to watch “Jeopardy.” I’ll take “insensitive” for $100, Alex.
    You have given a face to these strangers and suddenly we know them. We mourn for the loss of dreams, hopes and aspirations. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘I’. I could go on but it would be more of the same. Stunning story. Bravo! Applause!



    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,

      First of all, tears flow as I reply to you. Deep breath, pause, gather myself and let the tears take me as they will.
      A day after the Thousand Oaks shooting, the front page headline of a NY paper read “307 in 311”. It was a reference to the fact that there had been three hundred and seven mass shootings in three hundred and eleven calendar days. It’s wickedly impossible to imagine such a thing. But yes, you’re so right. These are not statistics we’re talking here, these are people with stories that ended suddenly and senselessly.
      These twenty three victims, and all the countless more . . they become our better angels now. And we gotta be better than this.

      Much love, appreciation and thanks to you!



      Liked by 1 person

  6. Although being far away (Swiss living in France and yearning to return to her home country in the hope to maybe find a bit more peace as everywhere else seems to fall apart at an appalling speed), I read that article too and I cried bitter tears for the horrible senselessness of it all. Your (imagined, I couldn’t tell) profiles of this last horror brings it home – formerly happy or content lifes being taken, the unimaginable suddenness of everything changing in a split moment…. it’s an impressive, sad and deeply moving piece of writing and I only wish it wouldn’t have been necessary to be written! Peace, Kiki

    Liked by 1 person

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