Saturday, February 19, 2011

Remembering Michelle - 20 years later....

Greetings People,

Do you know where you were twenty years ago today?

Some people may not remember. Others were not born. For me, I can remember where I was twenty years ago. I was a sophomore in high school preparing for another day. Little did I know, the event that happened on this day was something I would never forget.

It was early Tuesday morning. I enjoyed a nice President’s day weekend and was putting my books in my backpack. As I was about to head out the door, my mother watched the traffic report on TV and told my dad and I that there was a serious accident on Maryland Parkway and Oakey. She told us to be careful getting to the school.

When we got there, we noticed several police cars and an ambulance in front of Bishop Gorman High School. I remembered telling my dad that this does not look too good. As he dropped me off, I was getting ready to walk towards my locker until Mr. Madsen approached me.

“Jesse,” he said, “Go to the multipurpose room and do not stop for anything.”

I asked him what was going on and he continued to tell me to go straight to that room. When I got there, I saw plenty of my classmates. The emotions on their faces ranged from shock to sadness. Some of them were crying. With reluctance, I asked one person what was going on. They told me the news about Michelle. That same shock the folks were feeling started to hit me too. It was very devastating to hear what happened with one of our own in the Blue & Orange Nation. Then, the official announcement was made about Michelle. In unison, we said the Our Father prayer and walked to our classrooms.

Understandably, not too many people were in the mood to do anything. The teachers and students were completely shocked by this tragic moment. School activities were postponed, an emergency mass was held, counselors were there to talk to students, and many people left school early. When I was picked up from school, my parents told me that they saw what happened on the news and asked if I was okay. I still could not digest what happened that day. I remembered not being able to go to bed until very late.

Throughout the remainder of the week, students and teachers were telling stories of Michelle. Others still could not believe what happened. The mood for that week was incredibly cold and somber. Then we got an announcement that the funeral mass for Michelle was going to take place that Friday. There would be no school that day.

When that mass happened Friday, it was emotional. People were crying when they saw that casket go down the center aisle. When I saw it, I lost it. Others passed out. At this mass, people told stories about Michelle and her father thanked everyone for their support during this difficult time. As soon as mass ended, I knew that what I saw that week will stay with me for a very long time.

It was one of the most difficult weeks I have experienced in my life people. Twenty years has passed and I still can never forget it.

If someone were to ask me if I remembered what happened twenty years ago today, I would say that I did.

It is times like these that make me cherish the people I hold near and dear to my heart. A couple posts ago, I mentioned never forget to tell the ones you love how you feel because you never know. The same message can also be used in this story too. If you have a chance to hold someone, hold them tighter. If you have a chance to love someone, show them your love. And if you have a chance to do anything, do anything because you just never know.

Before I end this post, I would like to send my thoughts, prayers, and well wishes to Michelle’s family. May the heavens bless and keep you and may Michelle always be in the comforting hands of God.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I


Rob Hogenson said...

I'll never forget this day. No only was it my 16th birthday, but Michelle was a truly loving soul. My mother had still kept in touch with Michelle's sister Jennifer and their mother for many years, maybe up until a few years ago. As of then, there were many years Michelle's mother went to the cemetary every day, and still went every week as of a few years ago. Rest in peace Michelle. You are not forgotten and truly missed.

chris c said...

You never would have guessed how I came across your site. I was visiting my girlfriend at palm who passed away recently, and while looking at the other names I noticed michelles. I had to look her up and find out what happened as she was so young, and I felt that like my girlfriend who's is 35, she also didn't belong there. Then I read she went to bishop gorman and this was in 1991. My girlfriend also went to gorman, and graduated in 94-95. He name is Denise R. I now have to wonder if she knew Michelle or even yourself, they had to have been within a grade of eachother. It was very sad to read what happened. I just felt I should post this. I hope you still keep up with this blog and read this comment.

Anonymous said...

I remember your girlfriend, Denise Rolek. May they both rest in peace. BTW Denise being in the class of 1995 probably was not yet at Gorman when this incident happened. I myself started there in 1992 and attended the mass for her the following year, her class remembered her all the way through to graduation. Never forgotten.

Denise isn't forgotten either. Take care all.

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