Praying Hands

The Synchronicities of My Beloved Aunt Dorothy, The Senseless Tragedy of the Virginia Tech Massacre and the Message Provided Me In Which I Am Compelled To Share With You! As Another Tragedy Brought Many Of Us To Our Knees Once Again!


In Remembrance of My Beloved Aunt Dorothy

Today I had learned that our beloved Aunt Dorothy had passed away, breathing her last breath quietly and peacefully in her hospital bed. My entire family is grieving the loss of a very remarkable woman and whoever had a chance to meet “Dor” during their lifetime would readily agree that she was a truly special person – so caring, so giving, so nurturing.

She was always the calm amidst the storm; the steady hand that guided many a wayward ship lost in a sea of darkness. My beloved Auntie Dorothy has been such an inspiration, not only to her own family, but also to anyone who had the great privilege of knowing her. A lot of people referred to her as “Dor” and now, more than ever, I understand why.

A large part of why I had become a writer is due to Aunt Dorothy’s belief in me – her soft, encouraging words, the simple pat on the back. She saw in me what I wasn’t able to see in myself and for that I am most grateful. When I fell down, a lot of times, she was there to pick me up. As she did for the rest of us. In the simplest of ways, she once again, provided us with direction.

Her unyielding calmness always had a way of saying to us: “It’s not that bad.” She carried this same calmness throughout her entire illness, saying to the rest of us “I’m okay.” Throughout the surgeries, the chemo, the radiation treatments, the pain and agony, she retained the same strength and calm that she always possessed. It’s amazing to me but then again, that’s to be expected. Aunt Dorothy was nothing less than an extraordinarily amazing person.

With tears gently caressing the skin of my cheeks, I look back at my childhood – the broken home, the tumultuous fallouts, the uncertainty, the sadness – and then, Aunt Dorothy would be there to take us (me, my two sisters and brother) away – to Santa’s Village, Adventureland, Lake Wauconda – it didn’t matter where but to places where she assured us that we were loved and cared about. After all, we were still children, but because of rapid changes in our home environment we were forced to forget who we were. Although Aunt Dorothy had her own three kids to take care of she did her best to help bring some stability into our ever-changing world and for this, I’ll forever be grateful.

Dor” – yes, she was the door to many things – the door to “believing in oneself,” the door to “forgiveness,” the door to “stability,” the door to “accomplishing,” the door to “strength,” the door to a “better world.” A large part of what I have become and the foundation I am building upon is because of my beloved Aunt Dorothy. She never stopped believing in me even before September 11, 1992 when I was a drug abusing, hard-drinking alcoholic outcast whose world was about to end.

Aunt Dorothy, we will all miss you deeply and all remember that because of your strength, your guidance, your compassion and your caring our lives have become much, much more enriched and today I promise you that I will continue to bequeath to others what you had bequeathed to me.

Love Eternally, Your Nephew

Continued After Video 

Virginia Tech


Note: On April 16th 2007, Aunt Dorothy’s first birthday after her passing, I was resigned to celebrating her life. And then I turn on the television: Being reported is sad, sad news. Being reported is another senseless Tragedy in this world. The hard, hard News that is being reported: Thirty-three people are killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in what appears to be the deadliest shooting rampage in American history

But why? I ask. And why on this day – the Day I am to celebrate the goodness in this world – as was exemplified in the Godly Goodness of my dear Aunt Dorothy? Today is her birthday, for this is supposed to be what makes April 16 most significant to me. April 16 is the day to remember what’s truly Good in this world, not what is so terribly Bad, so terribly Wrong.

Why, I ask?

Later, I learn that the deranged gunman who was responsible for this tragedy was living in Dorm Room# 2121;

No, please, can’t be…. This must be a mistake. My Aunt Dor’s home address is 2121 (Street Name)

And then, I also realize… my Grandmother (mother to both my Aunt Dorothy and my mother) has the first name of Virginia (nicknamed Nee) and this tragedy happened at Virginia Tech.

What does this all mean? Why these coincidences? Are these coincidences? Or something deeper?

Did this needless tragedy help to further our awareness? Perhaps to look deeper within ourselves? Perhaps to be more considerate of others, no matter how different they may appear. Perhaps to be kinder, gentler, more neighborly?

The tragedy at Virginia Tech, quite possibly could have been prevented. The tragedy at Columbine could have been prevented.

Soberly, I say to you:: “I cannot cure the ills of the world but I will do all that I can not to contribute to them.”

Now, what if you feel the same? As does your neighbor. Just think of the possibilities.

Tell Me, Please Tell Me!

You stood there alone; against the wind
cowering to every whim…
From what genesis did your world begin
 . . .was it one you found so grim?

Who were the detractors
you so vociferously chided behind closed door
And tell me, what were the factors…
that led you to broadcast this declaration of war

Tell me, please tell me what led you
down this shady path
And what world do we hold responsible
for your battlement of wrath?

What can we do to better understand
your genesis that met with such a horrific end
Tell me, oh please tell me, I beg to know
your world amiss . . . one missing a friend

I am but a man, who too, cares about the fate
of my sisters and brothers
Tell me, please tell me why you chose to create
portraits of weeping mothers

Ricky J. Fico

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