Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Friends and Family Entrance

I always refer to my Perforation Family, a very extended family at this point, as members of The Club That No One Wants To Join. 

Like any club, though, there are perks to the membership.  In my case, it's access to a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate.  He called, we were thrilled, offered all the help we could imagine, and then Gmail brought me the news that I could bypass the long lines at his Kick Off Event by going to the Friends and Family Entrance on 5th Street. 

So, to 5th Street we went, TBG and I  We parked in the underground garage and rode up in the elevator with Ruben Moreno, the mariachi maestro who serenaded us as we toured the outdoor memorial at the hospital. There was much hugging, as there always is when we see one another around town. 

 Eight years.... yesterday.....the Friends and Family part was starting early.

We passed through a gate keeper or two and found ourselves wandering around the fairly empty patio of the Hotel Congress.  Forewarned that it was a Standing Room Only event, we quickly staked out spots on the most comfortable bench in the back. 

That lasted about 30 seconds.  It was cold.

We strolled over to the sunshine and found another Family Member.  Again, there was much hugging and catching up as she guided us to front row folding chairs.  Getting shot has its privileges, I suppose.

My State Representative's wife;, my MoC; this one's husband and that one's wife; Nurse Nancy who saved my life and Pat Maisch who fights the good fight, both wearing embroidered Moms Demand Action shirts... there was so much hugging and so much joy and so much hope and promise that it was easy to forget that the genesis of our friendships was the worst day of our lives.

I refused to get maudlin, though CTG was never far from my thoughts.  How could she not be, when everyone who looked at me that day saw her, as well.  Or thought of her, and that's good since her dad just wanted to be sure that she was not forgotten.

No, she's not forgotten.  She was well represented on the stage by another girl who was there that morning.  Emma McMahon was Gabby's Page one summer; the next January her mom was shot three times while protecting Emma with her body.  They were both at Mark's event, her mom madly taking pictures behind a very proud smile, as Emma introduced her hero, Gabby Giffords, to the crowd.

There's a future for that kid, that's for sure.  Just as there is a future for Mark Kelly and the members of the Friends and Family Club That No One Wants To Join.  We're the ones left behind to do the work, to raise our voices, to create the change so that nobody else need apply for membership.

Sadly, we're always here when you need us, right through The Friends and Family Entrance. 


  1. I don't get to vote in AZ unless we move here more of the year, but he'd have our vote if he was. Not because of gun control but my feeling he's been an honorable man all the way. He'd represent AZ well, I think regardless of the issues. He was also cute as heck in the SuperBowl ad, which I had to look up to see if it was really him (the one with Harrrison Ford if you missed it-- Mark and Scott Kelly

    1. Yes, to all of that! He is adorable (is that in bad taste? certainly if I called a woman candidate that I'd be excoriated, but he and Scott were just round bald smiley faces as Mark watched his brother escort Gabby down the ramp from the stage. He is honorable. That's a good word for him. Also, EVERY statement includes a reference to science or facts. Those lines and climate change got the biggest cheers at his (somewhat forgettable but certainly heartfelt) stump speech.
      And YES, I love that ad!

  2. Bring about a change or even stepping up after realizing that a change is needed is a really hard undertaking.
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