My Tarnished Halo

Monday, September 11, 2006

2,996 Honoring the 9/11 Victims

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Graphic courtesy of Ginger at GinMom2TrevTris@aol.com


September 11th, 2001. There was a man across the United States living a life distinctly different than my own. On 9/11, we both woke up to face the day. I probably skipped breakfast that morning. Michael Lepore enjoyed cooking. Perhaps he had scrambled eggs and croissants with fresh coffee. I can picture him sitting with a view of his perfectly manicured garden. I changed a diaper or two and stepped on some Legos to get to the kitchen to pour some Cheerios into melamine bowls and splash them with milk for my children. Michael prepared for a day at work, as a project analyst in the technology division at Marsh & McLennan. His partner may have cleared the table of dishes. It was a typical day in that we were both in the company of loved ones.

I can remember exactly what I was doing during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I was in my pajamas and I'd just sat down at the computer to read the Yahoo headlines that a plane had crashed in the World Trade Center. I remember at that time I wasn't phased. I didn't know the implications until I flipped on the news. I wore my pajamas all day. I cried. I made phone calls. I was glued to the breaking news for days to come, as I'm sure folks all over the nation, all over the world were.

That was five years ago to this day. My children won't remember what happened that day, but I will never forget, and neither will Michael's partner of 18 years, David O'Leary. When I signed up for The 2,996 Project, I cringed at the number. I wondered what God was thinking beckoning 2,996 angels to the gates that day. I sought out every piece of info I could by searching for Michael Lepore on the internet. I wanted to know anything and everything I could so I could pay a special tribute to Mr. Lepore. I craved detail. I wanted to get past the numbers. What I left with was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

I read that Mr. Lepore was very giving- went out of his way for strangers. He might have told me to call him Michael. He was a dedicated family man, taking pride in his relationship with David and making his house a home. He and his partner were restoring a Usonian ranch in Yonkers with a multitude of windows overlooking a terraced garden. He had three cocker spaniels and a collection of mission-style furniture. He adored his mother Jean Lepore-Carlucci and the adoration was mutual. It seemed like many family events centered around Michael, his home, his cooking. He was just 39. Michael and David were just getting settled into their careers, on the brink of enjoying the fruits of their labor together. 39...

My thoughts go out to Michael's family at this time. David, I wonder how five years has treated you; if Michael crosses your mind when you tend to the garden or stroll through the train station. May you always be blessed with thoughts of the best times you and Michael spent together. I am ending with a thank you for the gift that Michael's story has given me, and that is appreciate every day. Surround yourself with loved ones and express your love to them often by doing small things like cooking a homemade Italian meal or sharing the garden's bounty of eggplants. This is a rich, blessed life. R.I.P. Michael Lepore. You will always be missed. To all the families affected by 9/11, we will never forget.

17 Comments:

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Shelly
What a beautiful tribute. Made me cry. thank you.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger web_loafer said...

Shelly, a though provoking tribute. I have a list now of some of the finest people in the world, those that would take the time to research and blog in the 2,996 event. It will be big, and lots of people will be touched, and more importantly, it is a ground swell of honor to those who were murdered, and hopefully comfort to the left behind.
Way to go, the blogosphere now knows a little more about, Michael Lepore, and we miss him and all other victims.
Good tribute.

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger lori said...

Shelly--you did such a great job with this! Doing my tribute made me wish I knew that much information about all of the victims. It seems so sad that so many wonderful people were lost and we know so little about them. Your tribute taught me about one more person, and I feel blessed that you helped me learn about Michael.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Thank you for sharing this story, he will be missed.

I Remember Anna Williams Allison

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Hilemanhouse said...

Just beautiful, the copmare and contrast made it seem all to real

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Max said...

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, heartfelt tribute to Michael. You have truly honored both his life and his memory with your kind words.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

::::tears in eyes::::

Just beautiful.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger RC said...

thanks for posting this tribute and visiting and reading mine.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Tish said...

What a beautiful, touching tribute! Thank you for sharing Michael's story. My thoughts and prayers go out to those he left behind.

Thank you for visiting my tribute to Judson Cavalier.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

A very Beautiful Tribute. So many wonderful people lost that day...So sad.

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Carl said...

Shelly, You did a nice job with Michael.

Thinking back, I wonder now if this is the same Michael Lepore that I knew way back when, so if it is, than ky ou for jogging my memory. So much of that day is a blank, spent (as you read at my blog) trying to wrest some small measure of control over the situation.

Thank you, again.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Ginger said...

Very touching tribute. Thanks for writing it.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Great tribute and we will never forget!!

 
At 5:11 AM, Blogger Mark Base said...

One word: Brilliant.

I hope that David would agree that you did Michael's memory a great service.

I was truly touched.

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Undercover Angel said...

What a beautiful tribute! Such a tragedy and so many beautiful lives lost...

 
At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Kiki said...

That was such a beautiful tribute. I feel as though I have gotten to know each and every one of these people through the tributes, including my own to Teresa Martin

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel, I am David O'Leary 's nephew I was younger when Michael passed away, I've always been reading things people have to say about the victims of 911, this article was beautiful, I'm still crying as I'm typing this, thank you so much for this, the O'Leary family misses him greatly as well as his family and friends.

 

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