Thought I'd give it a go this Christmas morning. Looks like a December bass will have to wait till next year. Water was off color and there were only surfers out this morning but it was still nice to get out. Between my casts I kind of got in a melancholy mood thinking back to Christmas' past.
I thought of times when I was a child and through my adulthood and to this current year, my how time flies. As my kids get bigger and my family situation changes year to year I can't help but think of all the good, and the not so good, decisions and things I have done over the years.
I remember when I was young and when my kids were young how special and fun waking up on Christmas morning was. It seems things were different, presents were different, I was different. I don't know why but its always easier to look back and think that things were better....but really they are just as good now. My family, well families, are alive and healthy. My kids are growing up faster then I can keep track and are carving their own paths in life. My older kids are well, getting older, and becoming young adults. Luckily I still have my 9 year old to see and experience life through a younger set of eyes.
For some reason as I walked the beach this morning and thought about this day on years past one day stuck out. It was a Friday morning 22 years ago. I was on duty with the Newark Fire Department assigned to Rescue Co. 1. An alarm of fire was dispatched at 840 a.m. as we sat at the kitchen table in the firehouse having coffee. A fire was reported at the O'Brien Co-Generating Plant in the cities Ironbound section.
|35 Blanchard Street Newark, former O'brien Co-Generating plant|
Soon after the alarm was transmitted the first due engine company reported smoke in the area and a working fire. It was a nasty fire fueled by petroleum products inside the steel clad building. As the fire was being extinguished it was noted that cars belonging to the employees that were working were parked outside but no one from the company was located.
During the search the bodies of three men were found in a second floor control room. My company had the task of packaging the victims and lowering them through a wire enforced window that we removed for access. The same window the victims tried unsuccessfully tried to break with chairs from the office. The men were identified as Joseph Eley 41, Hillside, Michael McLoughlin 23, Ridegfield, and Andy Motichhka 25, from Wallington.
As anyone who is in the business we all have stories of those tragic days that occur around the holidays. For some reason memories of that day came into my mind today. I am glad I never forgot, as I am sure the victims families still grieve to this day.
I am grateful and thankful for all that my family and I have. I am beyond lucky and should always remember how blessed I am. It shouldn't take remembering tragedy to remind me how good I have it, as other people in the world have endured and are enduring worse then I ever have.