Posts tagged ‘Tim Lombardi First Federal Savings and Loan’

Kinks- Past – hyphenated- Lorain- Loraine Pt 5

hyphenated
Source

Teddy Roosevelt: “No Room in This Country for Hyphenated Americans”
Address to the Knights of Columbus
New York City- October 12th, 1915

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/kink-s-in-fathers-day-best-of-british-pt-one/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/kinks-culture-shock-best-of-british-pt-2/

Part Three

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/kinks-on-being-a-hyphenated-american-part-three/

Part Fourhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/kinks-all-in-a-name-a-carta-and-constitution-a-trojan-horse-part-four/

Therefore, not finding a non- hyphenated group upon which to acclimate into the Americanization of LoraineI chose to use the common denominator of Lorain. I put my focus on Lorain- after all it was going to be HOME- and I would have something in common with others who also chose to make Lorain their home!

11274
We had purchased our “starter” home( in which we still reside) in an old neighborhood; one unfortunately that was in decline. We saw the house in the dark, my husband fell in love it with it and made the offer before I had even seen the basement!

I drove to the house the next morning , I still liked the house but soon realized this was not “upmarket” and the neighborhood was having issues. But then I thought:

well this is America and I don’t know too much about American neighborhoods and post codes ( zip codes)

and there by started the journey of “finding out about Lorain” a mock English Tudor and me.

I soon realized just like the lack of theatre locally , there was a drought of information that could be found about Lorain- there was not at that time a formal Lorain Historical Society , no computers, the library evidenced the most information and yet I knew just by walking around this old neighborhood, the architecture, the layout of the streets, the hodgepodge of different styles there were stories and history.

Palace before restoration 1978 - New Lorain

Palace before restoration 1978 – New Lorain

It was the theatre and saving one that found me getting my “Lorain” feet wet– the preservation of the Lorain Palace Theatre– with the ladies that lunched-
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/ladies-of-lorain/

Barb McGregor , Mary Lou Connone, Ruth Calta Lori Hoke, Barbara McGregor, Corky Bruck, Charlotte Zakowski, Jane Baran, Jane Norton, Lou Kepler, Alice Weston, Phyllis Pfaff, Sally Bobel , Lilly Yuzon, Sally DeLuca , Mirium Schneider , Darlene Brown , Mrs. Robert Bostwick, Mrs. Dave Herzer , Carol Kramer, Frances Cellozzi, Marie Bonaminiooand so many others including Sandy Prudoff ( our first meeting) .

PALACE PLAYERS-
Top row left to right Casey Wolnowski- Loraine Ritchey- John Handyside- Sally Deluca – Dan Deliman – Jean Schaeffer- and I have forgotten- anyone know?

img200res

Jean Schaeffer took me under her wing – I met her at the Chef Henri Dinner Theatre and she decided I needed to be involved in Lorain and you just couldn’t say no to Jean . I have been involved in Lorain ever since.

shirley  valentine

I have made a nuisance of myself to all of the administrations. I started by storming into Mayor Zahorec”s administration ( 9 months pregnant) when Elio Jacabozzi declared no city worker or their families could attend City Council meetings . Incensed when I read the notification given to my husband I ranted on to Mayor Zahorec ( in my best British at the time) about freedom of speech , American Democracy etc. the policy was changed.
ore piles
You see, my husband now worked for the City of Lorain ( Communications) and I was at a meeting speaking against the ore piles- that didn’t go down to well– fresh perspective of ( you don’t put great heaps of ore to mar a beautiful harbor and river) but they didn’t listen and acquired those ore piles; it took decades to get rid of them. I continued to try my best for Lorain no matter the Mayor, no matter the cause- just to bring to do what I could for my “home”.
Key_to_the_City_of_London,_Charles_Lindbergh
Under Mayor Krasienko I was given the “Key to the City in 2010

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/the-key-to-the-city-a-thank-you/
twelth night
Lorain is still hyphenated , now sometimes into the halves and quarters. I have been battered and bruised ,called names as I continued the journey trying my best to preserve, promote and support Lorain. Lorain’s earliest green space and the saving thereof caused such angst.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
St Mary's
I even advocated for the Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary’s 7th street,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/charleston-village-letter-mj/
A church and priest Father Dan Divis who are not thought of with any fondness after their enabling of pain to this family.

I have tried to be an American non hyphenated by being a Lorainite, to assimilate, to do what the people who settled this community did to put Lorain ahead of hyphenation.

The older I get (life circumstances and hyphenated people) have found me changed since 2009 . I find myself drifting back into wanting my culture around me – those that think, understand and relate without explanation how I “work”, to be around MY cultural and religious heritage . Only here I am totally outnumbered , those are few and far between.
chrisart collage
When my son was dying, that dreadful, dreadful day – I was surrounded by the grating voices and the “our way ” bullying of the Italian – Polish- German- Hispanic Roman Catholic- American controllers Vyka, Lombardi, Gonzales, Gott, Zaworksi-

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

Your name was RITCHEY , NOT – Lombardi , Vyka , Gonzales, Gott or Zaworski . You were taken to their faith and their closure, denying your family even the “time of your interment in their selfishness.”

As someone said

“it is like Chris’ family didn’t exist”

I desperately reached for my cell phone in those minutes after being told my son was probably brain-dead, whilst Lombardis sat there dry-eyed, stone faced , without a tear – worrying I wouldn’t pull the plug- messing further with their already laid our plans. I left the room to call a cousin as I was surrounded by “self” – ishness, inhumanity and without depth of human feeling as a mother and father lost their son, a sister lost her brother. I thought I would totally melt down if I didn’t hear an English voice- he was a life line in that instant.

chrismeresglow1 With what happened to this family – the might of one hyphenated group trampling all over the culture and religion of another has not sat at all well with me , as longtime readers of this blog can attest. It does not fade but then another English trait long memories for injustice and tenacity.

Our wishes and our beliefs, culture overridden by the “hyphen-aters”. I watched as the “spoils” from a fundraiser were distributed with cloak and dagger secrecy by the mother Sue, of the clan Lombardi, and her banker husband Tim and sisters Zaworski and Gonzales. Nothing done that was technically illegal but in my opinion I found what happened to that money morally reprehensible.It was so against any upbringing I had experienced. Again, this left a bad taste in my mouth morality missing, but not apparently to those of the various “family culture”.
The bad taste in my mouth lingers.


I am still at sea – my caring of Lorain has diminished too – if I could run away I would – but wherever I went in the world I would take my untenable pain of loss with me.

There is no place that would ease and I have so much here to love ( those of my own) and they are now my place of respite and love. THEY ARE MY HOME OF MY HEART-THEY ARE THE ONES WHO “KNOW’ AND UNDERSTAND WITHOUT NEED OF EXPLANATION- THEY ARE MY CREED AND CULTURE NOW- AND IT IS FOR THEM I EXIST.The small group of “true” friends that “know” our pain without being told.

I now let others advocate for Lorain . I SOMETIMES WRITE BUT WITHOUT THE PASSION OF CARING IF THE OUTCOME IS FAVOURABLE TO MY THOUGHTS – IT IS WHAT IT IS-
I will keep my commitment to those projects started and to protect them as I wrap myself up in this little old neighborhood Charleston Village – that is who I am my culture of following through against all odds.

BUT – I WON’T take on anything else – I no longer get to get emotionally involved in Lorain – it is time to find a peace where I can . a hyphenated culture AND PEOPLE totally at odds with my own has won out leaving a bad taste for those cultures and religion who have cased such pain – I TOO, AM NOW HYPHENATED

Me and the Kinks lost to history !

Kinks – The Village Green Preservation Society

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.

Deshttp://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2012/05/desperate-dans-long-road-to-cover.htmlperate  Dan

Deshttp://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2012/05/desperate-dans-long-road-to-cover.htmlperate Dan

God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society.
God save Mrs. Mopp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It’s_That_Man_Again
and good old Mother Riley.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Mother_Riley
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium.
God save the George Cross, and all those who were awarded them.

Oooh…
We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular.
God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity.
God save little shops, china cups, and virginity.
We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates.
God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

God save the village green!

June 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm 7 comments

“Burnt out ends of smokey days- Lorain-Memory

memo

I have become a hoarder of memories………..

Memory –
Songwriters
T.s. Eliot;Andrew Lloyd Webber;Trevor Nunn

I sang that particular number, once a upon a time, in my days of theatre. I always identified with the lyrics – even more so now that my son has become a fading memory to the majority . The lines in bold – hold for me – a meaning of my life as morning dawns.

Midnight
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember
The time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Every street lamp
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the street lamp flutters
And soon it will be morning

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
A street lamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with my memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

Some times I wish I had selective Alzheimer’s so that certain people and the cruelty of those days are lost.

lombardivyka clan Lombardi, Vyka Clan …..a wedding of woe…

Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen, I bury them, dismiss them in one of the smaller attics of my mind but every so often they tumble out bringing with them the dust of despair and disbelief.
Kencanscen

As my own memories have become more about my life today, I have discovered I have an affinity with others and how precious their memories are and were.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/lorain-history-changes-kicked-to-the-landfill/

How I wish I could ask my grandmothers more about the stories they used to tell, how I wished I had paid more attention , how I wished I had asked about their mothers, fathers and grandmothers as they “remembered.

mybookI did have my mum write her memories down- but mum being mum wouldn’t write about the scandals of the day and to me the “more interesting” memories of “naughty stuff”. She has stored those way back in her attic memory and refuses to let me in…..

To Be continued …………….

April 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Kicked to the curb and to the landfill of life

chrisart collagePart One
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/ch-ch-ch-changes-herstory-lorain-history/
Part Two
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/ch-ch-ch-changes-herstory-lorain-history-part-2/
Part Three
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/lorain-history-changes-kicked-to-the-landfill/

In my previous posts I have been talking about Lorain’s history , especially the homes and occupants forgotten and sent to the landfill, it is a subject I will continue next week. However, whilst writing the posts on Peggy and seeing her “home’s possessions” piled up each Monday night for trash pick up Tuesday morning I am reminded this will happen to each and everyone of us sooner or later.
imagesCA2NHW2Vres
We are only “alive in memory” as long as someone cares to remember . Our precious artifacts of our lives are usually only ( unless they are worth money of course) as important to others who share those memories.

This was brought home to me when I had to clear out and move my mother into this house. My mum thought she would live out her days in the apartment, belonging to my brother-in-law, for the rest of her days. Because he is , in my opinion, an ingrate – that did not happen.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/what-are-they-thinking-the-thought-process-stops-here/
The first day of that “moving out process” I had mum with us to sort through what was important to her . We had to fit 6 rooms into 2. I realized after the first day this was not going to work, the things she had gathered around her in the 27 years she lived there ” were ALL important”, there were the gifts and memories of her life , some of which she had had through three moves across two continents and had kept safe during the blitz . As the morning wore on, I realized this sorting through her life and what to throw away was much too stressful for her then 92 years.

I had to sort out her things alone and make the decisions for her . But even then, although I knew most of the story behind most of the objects, some that were very important to her still ended up on the tree lawn. To this day she will say:

what did you do with such and such- your Aunt Maudie gave me that?

And I thought I KNEW what would be of greatest importance . It breaks my heart that she had to see her life as trash bags on the tree lawn. And I will never forget her pain or forgive the cretin who caused such angst and sorrow.

My daughter has requested we take pictures of all the walls and things in this house we have accumulated and let her know where we want anything to go, or the story behind each possession. But inevitably, we too, will end up on the back of the garbage truck.
the lombardi collagee
My son’s possession were also given away and dumped by the then”in laws” soon after his death .

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

They are now someone else’s in laws and for that family they have my sincere condolences-
time will tell …….

Much to the amazement of Chris’s family, who did love and cherish him , Lombardis and co dumped him as quickly as they could apparently . After all, he seemingly wasn’t very important in their lives- he was but a nuisance, a bump in the yellow brick road , a bullet of illness to be dodged with a sigh of relief – but they kept the money and took his ashes and any closure from his grieving family!
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/an-open-letter-mama-sue-lombardi/
Ahhh there it is…. money , profit and control. It is that caliber of thinking which is also reflects the historical homes of Lorain- unless there is money, grants and profit “kicked to the curb and on the back of the truck to the landfill”. The stories of “lives ” lost probably to be pondered over in some far off century as archeologists dig in the garbage dump of Lorain and wonder “what is the story behind this object ” ………..

The Restoration of Ancient Inscriptions

Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774), The Citizen of the World, Letter V:
Naples.—”We have lately dug up here a curious Etruscan monument, broken in two in the raising. The characters are scarce visible; but Nugosi, the learned antiquary, supposes it to have been erected in honor of Picus, a Latin king, as one of the lines may be plainly distinguished to begin with a P. It is hoped this discovery will produce something valuable, as the literati of our twelve academies are deeply engaged in the disquisition.”

April 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm 2 comments

The Memorial Project-Results- Chris Ritchey Pt 5

chrisart collage

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/december-3rd-memorial-chris-ritchey/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-memorial-project-why-chris-ritchey-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/the-memorial-project-the-interview-chris-ritchey-pt-3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/the-memorial-project-interview-cont-chris-ritchey-pt-4/

December 19th- As I type this morning, once again watching the sunrise over the twinkling lights of the neighbors Christmas decorations lighting the now bare branches of the cherry tree, I am reminded of another December 19th. The day the Lombardis , your bride Angela http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147 , the Vykas , Gonzales, Zaworskis and Gotts and Father Divas took you my son, to their “family plot” without your kith or kin .

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/something-wicked-our-way-came/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/because-i-was-gutless/

It was an act ( in my view) of pure selfishness,vindictiveness and without pity.
Your name was RITCHEY , NOT – Lombardi , Vyka , Gonzales, Gott or Zaworski . You were taken to their faith and their closure, denying your family even the “time of your interment in their selfishness.”

As someone said


“it is like Chris’ family didn’t exist”

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

That day, just a week before the celebration of Christmas, a day of celebration, where they dress in their finest, attend a church and profess to their God they are worthy of taking Him and His Son into their hearts. They celebrate the “Mother of their Church

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20091221/mary-mother-of-god-begins-anew but have taken– seemingly without a thought to the consequences of such an act, of inflicting further pain to another mother.

The poster accompanying the project

The poster accompanying the project

The Memorialization by Bereaved Parents Project– gave me a chance not only to share my son, his story and to realize I was not alone – there were others who walked the path who needed……….

Memorialization by Bereaved Parents
Kara Thieleman
The death of a child is a devastating loss that has a profound impact on parents and a families . Prior research has found that maintaining /continuing bonds with deceased children is common and can be very beneficial.

This project sought to understand how bereaved parents maintain such bonds through memorializing their children as well as the meaning they find in doing so. Participants were asked to provide photographs that depict how they memorialize and remember their children thus allowing participants to provide the visual images of their choosing that capture unique aspects of their experience……….

Their children died from a variety of causes , including illness, accident , murder and unknown causes. All of the participants are female and are diverse in terms of age ethnicity, religious/spiritual beliefs and sexual orientation.

These mothers , including myself , all have the need to remember “out loud” in their own way; whether it is leaving tokens of love at the last tangible place on this earth that holds their child, a special place to go and reflect or call out to the silence “WHY” ?

The need to have their son or daughter remembered for a life that was lived, no matter how brief . The need to have a repository , if you will, of the love that was for that son or daughter that was theirs alone. A love that still flows from a mothers heart , seeking the child for which it was meant.

When the Lombardis, your bride and the “creatures of control” took you away into that place of deceit and cowardice – for not one had the strength to speak of “pity” for your family. The death of human kindness on that day led to the birth of my own memorial. A place where I revisit your life, your story and I can cry my tears and shout WHY? to the morning sunrise. I can remember you and let your art speak ….

I have only words to describe , it is a terrible thing to live out your life without the laughter of your son , incommunicable to those who have not felt this grief’s slashing ferocity. Words are inadequate………

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore http://www.drjoanne.blogspot.com/ and of the MISS Foundation
http://www.missfoundation.org/

spoke recently of a woman Käthe Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 – April 22, 1945)

“I will never forget the first moment I saw her work. I felt something inside me stir. It was a connection to the abyss, to the darkness of grief- I knew Kollwitz had seen something that I had also seen. I felt she, too, was a keeper of the dark secrets.

Kollwitz birthed art of the soul, from the depths of traumatic grief so frightening that few dare allow themselves to really see it. During WWII, her art (perceived accurately as anti-war) was banned by Hitler. She witnessed, first hand, the horrors of war and lost far too much because of it: Her grandson, named Peter after her dead son, lost his life in war too.

Look at her work. I mean, really look at it. ”

Woman with  dead child  1903 Kathe Kollwitz

Woman with dead child 1903 Kathe Kollwitz


ED NOTE: Kollwitz’s work can be raw and full of truths it can scream the most primordial scream and does

She wrote of her son:

darkness of grief  Kathe Kollwitz

darkness of grief Kathe Kollwitz

[I] made a drawing: the mother letting her dead son
slide into her arms.

I might make a hundred such drawings
and yet I do not get any closer to him.

I am seeking him.
As if I had to find him in my work.

And yet everything I do is so childishly foolish and inadequate…

I am shattered, weakened, drained by tears…
Yet new flowers have grown up which would not have grown
without the tears shed this year.

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

Men do not know the souls of one another.
Only the galley slaves know one another,
who side by side are chained, and gasp for breath
.

December 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

The Memorial Project – Why ? Chris Ritchey Pt 2

nochriph6

A few days ago, on December 3rd, I published another “remembering” of my son Chris.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/december-3rd-memorial-chris-ritchey/
I have, as long- time readers know, used the 3rd of every month to write about Chris, his life, the story of our journey, our pain and yes, anger .

I mentioned in the December 3rd post how I had been contacted to be part of a project on how grieving parent memorialize their children. I am now, since the project has been presented, going to share some of the interview questions put to me and the answers as to ‘WHY “THIS WAY” TO MEMORIALIZE’?

The project asked for a photo of how we, as parents “memorialized ” our son or daughter. I submitted a collage I put together of Chris and some of his work that has special meaning to me.
chrisart collage
Question :

Please describe the photograph and any special meaning the objects in it may have (such as a headstone inscription, meaning of items placed in a space dedicated to a child, or anything else you feel is important).

The photograph is of my son and some of his art work. I have made a collage of a few that have meanings for him and me.

For example, the baseball hat with the flag and the word freedom was the slide that appeared behind him as he crossed the stage at his graduation from Cleveland Institute of Art. Each graduate was required to put together a slide which told who they were- this was who Chris decided he was.

The “Hands” artwork in the background was homework, sketches of different hands – my son was throwing it out after his first year and I loved it so much I wanted to frame it – it didn’t fit in the frame so he folded the one edge. After he died I had it professionally framed they informed me they could take out the crease but, he had put in the fold and I wanted it left. It was significant to leave it for me.

photo Angela  by  Chris Ritchey

photo Angela by Chris Ritchey

The reason for the collage of his artwork[ as our memorial] is due to the fact his bride[ Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey]
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147 took from us his cremains and buried them without our knowledge or input.
Therefore we haven’t a place or memorial in the traditional sense.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/an-open-letter-mama-sue-lombardi/

I have had a blog for many years which covers many, many subjects. After Chris’s death and the terrible cruelty that followed including the statement[ a letter sent 4 months after Chris death by Angela Ritchey DO ] “I didn’t know my son”
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/i-didnt-know-my-son-chris-ritchey/

I then started writing about what we were going through and going on a journey “In search of my son”
Part 19 of the series and links to the other posts are part of our journey.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/birthday-chris-ritchey-august-21st-2013/

using his work to illustrate my thoughts.
I, then wrote to “him”[Chris} my thoughts on the 3rd of every month for a year, and have continued to do so for the past 3 years and 10 months [the time when I was contacted for the project] although my blog covers other subjects, I continue to use his art work to illustrate my thoughts and reporting on various subjects

a self-portrait Chris Ritchey

a self-portrait Chris Ritchey

Question

When did you first begin memorializing/remembering your child in this way?

The day I read his obituary in the local paper written by his “in-laws” – my son was so much more than the paltry self-serving piece written in the paper.
I could not let those words be the last words written about my son.
So I used my blog (which is well read) not only for him but it has become cathartic for me.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/my-only-son-chris-ritchey/

It doesn’t matter if thousands read about his life or just one – his story is there and in some sense his art still speaks for him.

to be continued……………

NOTE: all my posts, the reactions to what happened to this family is backed up with written documentation by the parties involved as well as witnesses to the events of what I consider to be despicable, cruel and selfish behaviours by ” those that controlled” – they are in fact the “enablers’ of this memorial for without the decisions made by The Lombardis, Vykas , Gotts, Zaworski and Gonzales https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/

If things had been handled by them -with humanity, kindness, respect and thought for Chris’s family at the lowest point in any parents life instead of putting us in a realm where we “didn’t exist” – this aspect of my blog would not exist.……..

They have themselves to thank their behaviours are here!

December 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm 2 comments

Symbols- Lost and Never to be found -Chris Ritchey

A symbol ( by definition) is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. Numerals are symbols for numbers (amounts). All language consists of symbols. Personal names are symbols representing individuals

I never gave much thought to symbols before. I knew they existed flashy cars and great houses- symbols of success – derelict homes, crumbling infrastructure, graffiti symbols of decay – statuary gracing community gathering places – symbols of religion-
necklaces symbols of ones faith or beliefs or wealth on display.

Everything around us becomes a symbol of something – November once a month of joy –
Guy Fawkes, children laughing in the garden as we burned a Guy- roasted potatoes , drank hot chocolate and danced in the dark with sparklers- clinging to a little piece of their heritage in Lorain, a symbol of home.

Thanksgiving past where decorations of Christmas were hung before they could eat the symbol of an American Thanksgiving

A book , whose title ironically enough called the ” The Lost symbol” has taken on for me a different symbolic meaning.

It has become the symbol of a last conflict, love and apology. The book sits upon a portfolio case crafted by my son in his old bedroom- I move it to dust and like some precious treasure it is cherished- this novel of fiction ……

How did this book become so important-
In the post “I didn’t know my son” ( written in response to a contemptible letter)- I told of an argument

But in the hours before that argument came to a head he and I had gone to get his prescriptions- he was tired and in a lot of pain- I said maybe I could pop into Borders ( which was across the way)

I would like to buy the new Dan Brown novel-

I could see he was impatient to get back so I didn’t push it. His mood was dour and his eyes narrowed and lips ( always a sign of anger) were tight. He had been on his cell phone to his wife, Angela, as we waited for his prescriptions. He drove back to the apartment in utter silence . He immediately went out by the pool in the apartment – I could see him sitting not moving. I decided he needed space then Nikki called and said that Chris had hung up on her and was very angry.

“but leave him alone mum” he doesn’t want to talk.

I knew my son ( contrary to at least one persons belief-) I knew whatever it was would fester until he exploded – he was so much like me.

I went to the pool- he said

“I don’t want to talk”

“You don’t have to -you can listen- I need to talk to you”

I was never a crier before Hodgkin’s I was a fighter, a do-er – this blubbering fool that I have become is down to the helplessness and hopelessness that took away happiness. Chris never knew me as a “crier” before his illness – so as the tears fell splashing onto the table he sat silently as I told him

Chris, being a mother of a son is so much harder than you can imagine – I have tried so hard to give you and Angela the space you both need in this terrible time. I KNOW Chris, that you are feeling that you have no control over what is happening to your body and your life- I know you need some control , another reason why I have tried so hard to stand aside- you didn’t need me in the mix as well -But I am going to honestly tell you now -if this had been Nikki and not you I would have handled things so much differently – just as Nikki is my child I would not have sat back and taken a back seat to decisions as I have with you and Angela.

You see when a son marries he brings into his life another woman- it is very difficult in the best of circumstances for a mother to sit back and watch decisions being made that in some cases I did not agree with in a normal situation- this terrible situation we find ourselves all thrust into makes it doubly hard. But I have deferred to you both and to her “medical expertise” with this obscenity of Hodgkin’s that has engulfed us. It has been one of the hardest things in the world for me not to interfere or to put in my two cents. There have been times Chris when I have doubted my own abilities and lost confidence in myself – I have gone against my own gut feelings and yet there is a voice that tells me to still be protective of you .

I have tried to give you both your space – to be there when needed and to shut up for your sake when I was totally against some decisions. I have tried for your sake because I love you so much I would do anything and sacrifice anything for your health and happiness.

I don’t know the reason why you are so angry with Nikki and I but you have to know neither of us would intentionally do anything to hurt you . We have tried to put you first in all our thinking – We love you always have and always will. “

Angela (Lombardi) ritchey MURPHY by Chris Ritchey

With that I left the poolside and went back into the apartment. Chris followed a few minutes later and then it all came out ( as I knew it would) an argument and accusations the finding out of lies that were told

“we had excluded Angela in decision-making as to driving the truck back to Texas.”


After Chris had called Nikki back and they spoke and she confirmed Jim would drive back with him with the truck and that he wasn’t really mad at her just the hopelessness and helplessness he was feeling – he left – I wasn’t sure where and I was worried- he was in so much pain and on so many pills –

A little while later he walked in patted me on the head as a I sat in the chair and handed me a book as he walked to the bedroom – The Lost Symbol

Chris, too has become a symbol of Loss the loss of complete happiness never to be found again . But there will always be a special place for the book “The Lost Symbol” as it is now a symbol to me of a son’s love and understanding as no other book in my life’s vast library.

November 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm 5 comments

An open letter – “Mama Sue” Lombardi


I won’t start this letter with a salutation – I am not sure how to address you .

The days, weeks and months continue to pass after the death of my son, Chris – he was MY SON until the day he died and he still continues to be MY SON. In another time another place You, Sue, and I would not have shared any sort of relationship of that I am sure!

The only things we had in common was “motherhood” , being a “woman “and our childrens’ love of each other .

Now, as the months have passed since my child died , people have become more comfortable in telling me of what exactly happened at the “visitation” at the funeral home and elsewhere.I have come to the conclusion that we don’t even have what it means to be a woman and a mother in common.

There are a couple reasons I did not attend the “funeral home visitation”- planned by YOU and yours.
I couldn’t be part of that , not only because it was not of my culture or creed
( A fact of which both you and your husband were already aware!) Someone needed to be with my grandchild- I saw it as no fit place for an 8 month old.

And to be honest I needed to be with “life” not death in the hours after I watched my son die just hours before.

I needed to hold a child of my blood close in my arms
to stop my heart from breaking altogether.

I could no more have walked up those steps into that room of despair than I could fly- it was not to be borne! I was not strong enough to be on show and also to accept the love of well -wishers – I was and am still too raw.

I still, after all these months, have to get my self geared to meet with people whom I haven’t seen since Chris’ death but you don’t want to hear that or care and I am not making excuses..

Apparently , you took it upon yourself to assail some of the people who came to pay their condolences at the “visitation” planned by you and yours as to MY reasoning for not being there – Sue you said:

“Can you believe it, his own mother isn’t even here! She boycotted the funeral because it wasn’t done her way!”

“You cannot believe what we have had to put up with”

AND

“Yes, she’s an UNNATURAL mother.”

I am perplexed as to your apparent lack humanity and feelings toward those that grieve especially another mother.

You see YOU and yours stood by my son’s bed in his final moments, leaving no room for his own father …. it wasn’t even given to me to look at the face of my husband as our child died but that of YOUR husband.

And HOW he could have looked into my eyes as my son drew his last breath and see what I KNOW he saw in those eyes as I looked up into “HIS face” and then HE enabled YOU and his daughter to take from us our closure sickens and makes me question even his humanity– certainly compassion was and is absent!

My husband , who tried so hard, three times to stay in that place of mourning at YOUR visitation . The prancing about and smiling by your other daughter in front of his son’s photo and no tears shed drove him away , the fact YOU had complained

“what are we going to decorate”


when you found out there would be no casket, sickened him as he gazed on the receiving line of grief as he thought of your concern for decorating as being paramount.

It was more than he could do to stay but he tried – he felt there was no honor in your attitude toward his son.

Your stoney face and holier than thou stance finally took its toll on him – he was brought back home for good. And it seems he was right, as you had other things more important than honoring his son, criticizing and insulting me was first and foremost apparently.

“CAN YOU BELIEVE ……”

E. Munch- 1895


“Death Bed scene”

YOU were there three days earlier as my son’s heart stopped and he drew a last breath.

YOU stood watching ( with what in your heart????) a mother ( whom even your own daughter states had an “intense love” for her son in her notes of destruction) trying to reach through the curtain of death as it drew closed – trying to give a mother’s last comfort to her child – trying to hold back death, almost crazy in her pain of having to say goodbye to her son .

YOU were witness to the most private , personal, poignant and heartbreaking moments between a mother and her dying child.

YOU stood there with your relief ( because it was relief I saw in your face )- a mother’s relief that your daughter wouldn’t have to be dealing with an invalid) waiting and hovering like some black crow over its carrion .

How COULD YOU ? as a mother who watched as another mother saw her child die – the most emotionally terrifying moment any mother can face – the unbearable pain that comes with those final moments as your child slips from this realm. HOW COULD YOU?

After witnessing that moment then HOW COULD YOU? decide 3 days later it is appropriate later to tell anyone who would listen “your thoughts of her as they came to grieve for the child she brought into this world and watched leave –

Of course I now know why your daughter, Angela (Lombardi) ritchey, felt that it was acceptable behaviour for her to send notes with a dead son’s clothes her interpretation of Chris’ thoughts of his family – a vicious trait shared between a mother and daughter perhaps?

If YOU are the epitome of a “natural “ mother, then I thank whom ever made me I was not made in your image.

For all the wrongs I have ever done , all the hurts I may have caused in the lowest of my low moments I would never have sunk as low as to the depths of coldness , cruelty that apparently YOU find acceptable.

Three days after watching a young beautiful son die and his mother’s pain YOUR thoughts were of tearing that mother apart whilst her daughter and mother mourned Chris’ loss -steps away from your vindictive mouthing. .

I am not sure I want to be a “natural mother” if that is what is the definition of your faith and culture .

You can take our closure Sue, your thoughts of appearances , the money and your opinions and lock them in a place where your heart should be because I think it is empty , cold and dark place , both from the stand point of being a woman, a human and a mother.

We are desolate that our son’s earthly remains are locked in a box beneath a ground that heaves with decay and toxicity – surrounded by those not of his kin, but used as a decoration for tacky balloons, plastic flowers and the odd slice of cake, which attracts the earths vermin to this place of supposed repose. This is what the memory of my son has become a platform for balloons and store-bought cake… it disgusts and appalls me – that you and yours celebrate the birth of my son at that place in such a manner and it causes the bile of my stomach to rise in my throat.

NONE of you have a right to desecrate and belittle his memory in such a sickening fashion. You were not part of his birth and I find it abhorrent and insulting to him that you had any rights after his death.

I do not visit this “place” you have deemed worthy of my beautiful child as I find what you and yours have done reprehensible in this world and the next. YOUR need for control outweighs any human compassion – some christian values seem missing in your clan .

May the “Holy Mother ” you worship forgive you for the anguish, pain, and anger you and your child have caused for I will not . If there was such a thing as a “mothers curse” I would lay it at your door for I have found no soul as worthy of execration as you and your fellow cretins of the cemetery.

MY SON– who found your “cemetery carrying ons” sickening and irreverent who is now subjected to them in death when he refused to be part of them in life only has HIS MOTHER to speak for him and I WILL- THAT IS MY RIGHT!!!!

“Nothing should be hidden or untouchable , if it is your truth and you stand behind it – no one should be able to silence you “

Quote Chris Ritchey 2005

Disclaimer :All opinions and perspectives are entirely my own . The story told is what happened to us as a family as a direct result of the actions of the people mentioned here and in previous posts. All posts referencing the events leading up to my son’s death through the current posting have all copies of documentation of statement and witnesses to events on file.

October 14, 2010 at 12:05 am 37 comments


Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 230 other followers

January 2022
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31