Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Real Pizza, Real Bagels and Real Life

I had two delicious authentic New York bagels for breakfast yesterday morning. Shortly afterwards my brother Ricky took me into the city. We took the B train to Times Square with it’s new building sized TV screens. We went to the ESPN Zone where he kicked my butt in two sports games. We followed that up with some real N Y pizza from famous Rays. I had a regular slice, a slice of Sicilian and chased it down with an ice cold beer. Ricky had the same. We could have gone home then and the day would have been perfect, but then Ricky asked me if I wanted to go to Ground Zero.

I left New York more than 13 years ago and hadn’t been to ground zero since. We were a block away on the corner of Trinity & Rector and I could feel the heaviness in my spirit before I could see it. Even though the site looks much like a construction zone instead of a destruction zone it was undeniable that life altering, world altering events took place there.

Around the corner we discovered an impressive bronze monument dedicated to the memory to the brave men of the NYPD & NYFD who lost their lives on that fateful day. Captain Tim Stackpole’s name was engraved along with all the others. Timmy was a childhood friend. Right now I can see the back of his childhood house from my window. With a huge lump in my throat I fought back the tears, bent down and allowed my fingers to trace over the letters of his name. I prayed for his soul and peace for his family. Ricky & I walked away quiet for a long time.

The night ended with dinner at Dad’s, the whole family showed up. It’s the first time all four kids and Dad have been together in many years. We ate, told old stories, ate some more and brought each other up to date with new stories. I felt loved to the extreme. I even had a cannoli for desert!

Father, thank you for brining me back, thank you for family, for love and for sacrifice. May we never forget. Have your way today, give me eyes to see what you are doing and faith to follow your lead, amen.

© Tom Zawacki 2006


  1. Ground zero is sobering. I'm glad you're having such a good time, but it seems you've done all you can do and have eaten everything there is to eat, and seen everyone you could see . . . come home early! Love ya

  2. Can you smuggle canolis home on the plane? Just one little cardboard box with the string around it... OK??

    See you soon!