Job Opportunity. Many of know people out of work, especially recent college grads. When I come upon opportunities that seem worthwhile, I post them. Please share with everyone you know as they may know someone who can benefit.
I wanted to thank all of my family and supporters. The day is finally here. My book is available for sale.
Christopher R. Whalen
No one discusses the parents of these sociopaths. Why? Predators such as these are not created in a vacuum. They are nurtured in homes by parents. That is the where society needs to cast its scrutiny as soon as possible. College rapists are the same. They did not just become sadistic predators the moment they came to campus. Find the parents and demand answers. Find out what they did to create these sociopaths. Maybe putting pressure on their parents will curb their activities. Bad parenting is so pervasive today. The source of poor behaviors is clear yet so many seem confused how to battle them.
Author's Note: Although the circumstances from which this story was inspired were incredibly sad, this story is one of hope and peace at life’s end. It is meant to give solace to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. Most of the grieving hoped that their lost loved ones did not suffer. This story takes that idea to a much greater place.
Floor 101 (inspired by the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001)
By Christopher R. Whalen
The elevator door opened on Floor 101 of the North Tower. His left foot began his exit from the elevator car of what would soon be called the former site of The World Trade Center, when he heard and felt it.
He was 32 years of age, and a senior engineer for The Port Authority.
His brain instantly processed and filtered all of the stimuli it had just received. He felt the instinctive fear and survival responses that even the lowest level primate would have felt at that moment, but his brain also gave him instructions for survival based on his accumulated experience.
Twelve years prior he had served as an explosive expert within the Navy Seals. He had led covert operations in and around the gulf region. His accomplishments were never made public, but a Navy Seal did not need fame to feel accomplished nor did he do his job for accolades.
His experience told him that most likely a large incendiary device had detonated on a floor below him and that this was not an accident. He knew he needed to evacuate the building. Dormant instincts and military training that he had not used since November, 1990, the month and year of his honorable discharge from the Navy, instantly re-bloomed. They were vibrant and focused, but more importantly, able to help him react correctly to what was happening around him, as if he was still performing his duty for his country.
All of these thoughts, the primal and elevated, took less than a second to fill his mind from the moment he felt the concussive force of the airliner that had struck the building he was in. He would never know what caused what he had felt. Within seconds from the initial sound of the blast and simultaneous rocking of the building, his two-way radio was rendered worthless.
The floor he was standing on was completely vacant and a new tenant had just recently signed a multi-year lease. He was the main engineer assigned to the fit-up of the space. He looked around at what seemed like a war zone; electrical wires hanging, old dry wall, dust, nails, and carpeting strewn on the floor. The demolition team had almost completed their work yesterday. He was here to supervise the finishing of it.
He opened the door of a stairwell and thick black smoke engulfed him. He quickly retreated and closed it. He suddenly realized there was jet fuel burning. This momentarily confused him, but he discarded this as irrelevant almost instantly. He checked all other stairwell doors but each one was impassable. The entire floor began to fill up with smoke and flames began to creep up the walls.
He realized that there would be no escape for him. He dialed his wife of fourteen years on his cellular phone.
His home telephone rang and their answering machine answered his call.
He heard his voice. He smiled as the announcement played as he could recall his wife telling him how stupid it was going to sound.
“You have reached Lisa, Rita, Emily and Jack McCarthy, after the tone, you’re on your own….BEEP”
“Lisa, I love you. I am on 101 in Tower One and there has been a massive explosion of some kind. The floor is filling with smoke. I have no way out. I love you. Tell the kids that I love them and that I am proud of them. Please make sure they go to college and please tell them to be happy. Tell them to stand up for what they believe in and that I will be with them always. Tell Rita I am sorry for yelling at her last night. I apologized this morning when I kissed her goodbye but she was sleeping. The money my father left me is in the shed, in a box, buried underneath a floorboard in the far right corner. Count three from the back. My life insurance is with CNA. Call the lawyer as soon as possible. When winter comes you need to turn the boiler on the right way or you can blow up the house, call the gas company and they will come and do it. And don’t forget…”
BEEP. The message had reached its limit.
He called back. “And don’t forget my mom’s medication. You will have to go over there and make sure she is taking it.” He coughed so hard he saw bright swirling stars. “You are young and beautiful and you should not be alone. If you find someone, someone who you love more than you love me, never let him go. If you don’t meet anyone who truly replaces me in your heart, stay true to me, as I will be waiting for you. Roger will help you with any money or tax issues. Make sure my grandsons get my old baseball stuff. You were the gift God gave me. I will always love you.”
He coughed hard and began to lose his breath.
Countless images and feelings flooded past his conscious mind up to the time that morning at 4am when he kissed his twins in their beds just before leaving for work.
He put a shirt in front of his mouth, in an attempt to delay his blacking out.
For the first time since he was ten years old, Jack McCarthy cried. He was leaning against an outer wall on Floor 101 of the North Tower of what would soon be called the former site of The World Trade Center.
For the first time since his father died, he prayed, but this time he prayed for passage of his soul to the afterlife if one existed.
His mind was quickly shutting down. He attempted to continue thinking as many suffering from smoke inhalation often do, but the blackness caused by his lack of oxygen was now almost complete.
Suddenly, his mind was more awake than it had ever been. Perfectly clear and beyond vivid were the only words that accurately described what he was seeing. He was being shown memories the way many people close to death experience “their lives passing before their eyes.” He was confused as these moments of remembering were supposed to fly by in an instant.
This was different.
He was sitting in the bleachers of what would be his daughters’ high school at their graduation. It was hot and there was a bead of sweat traveling down the nape of his neck. The sun was bright. Rita had just been given the French award for four years of outstanding achievement in language arts. Emily had sung an aria from her father’s favorite opera and had dedicated it to him at the beginning of commencement. The pride he felt was tangible and his heart was so full that he thought it would burst.
He was at mother’s bedside stroking her hair. She had chosen to come home to die. He had brought her here just a few days prior. He could smell the wonderful smells of the home within which he was raised. He climbed the steps of his childhood, this time, carrying his emaciated mother to her deathbed. The dosage of her pain medication was so high that she would occasionally stop breathing. He tended to her constantly in her last days and there were brief moments, where, although a stroke had long since taken her ability to speak, he could see the true mother’s love she had for him in her soul expressed through her beautiful deep blue eyes. It was those eyes that were staring at him in adoration as her heart simply stopped beating.
He was at a hospital and there was a newborn baby in his arms. It was the third grandson his daughter Emily had given him. This son of Emily’s would be named for her father. He could feel his silent tears rolling down his cheeks. He could hear himself saying, “Well hello Jack.” over and over again and hear his wife laughing at him as she sat in the chair by the window which overlooked the river in his daughter’s hospital room.
He was in front of a priest and to his right was his bride. It was their fiftieth wedding anniversary and they were renewing their vows. Lisa was crying, and she looked as stunning in her wedding dress as she had fifty years earlier to this very day. I do… I do….. He was kissing his bride before the priest gave him permission. He hadn’t needed permission to kiss his wife in a very long time.
He saw his wife in the last throws of pancreatic cancer in her ninetieth year. God allowed him to be there cradling her as he saw her heart monitor flat line and his daughters burst into tears. He saw the wedding ring he had given her over seven decades earlier still on her finger. She had never taken it off since the day she had put it on. She was his and he now knew she would always be.
These and a million other vivid memories of the life he would never get to live were given to him as he lie there dying on Floor 101 of the North Tower of what would soon be called the former site of The World Trade Center.
He was allowed to see within the hearts and souls of his daughters throughout their lives and he saw them strong, happy, capable and truly living life. This memory he was most grateful for.
He was shown himself, lying on one of the top floors of one of the world’s tallest buildings. He was holding a cellular phone to his ear, a shirt against his mouth, and he was trying to speak through the thick black smoke and flames that were growing nearer and thicker. As he slipped into unconsciousness, the phone fell to the floor with the line still open and his home answering machine recording until it reached its message length limit.
At this point the first flames began to lick his body.
He felt and saw himself die.
He saw his body consumed in flames and reduced to ash in seconds and then Jack McCarthy, former Navy Seal, proud husband, father of two beautiful twin daughters, a true American son and patriot, ceased to exist.
Was told again today I should stop being so picky!
A few years ago I wrote a piece on this very subject.
On being "Picky"
People have an unrealistic expectation of the number of people they can truly connect with. If we are looking for the right kind of romantic relationship, then all of us might have one or two people during our lifetimes that we can actually LOVE romantically and LIKE as we would a best friend. There aren't twenty, ten or even five.
So many people ask me "Chris, why are you so picky?"... But picky does not exist.....
I prove it this way......
I ask these people a simple question... now just follow me for a minute...
I ask. "In the past five years, how many NEW people have you met that are today your DAILY best friends?"
Think about this... Most people will say 1) that they have met one new person or none... 2) that this person is of the same gender and 3) that their DAILY best friends are from long ago..
Now, this makes perfect sense... and if you answered the question, you probably had a similar answer.....
So I then turn it around and ask them the same question that they just asked me but worded differently...
I ask them “Why are you so picky about best friends ?" They look at me confused, and then they realize my point and it becomes very clear...
If we are looking for the right romantic relationship and not just a one night stand, finding this will be MUCH LESS FREQUENT than even finding a new best friend.... Think about it. If we meet a best friend when we are older it is most times someone of the same gender. So, to find someone of the opposite gender that we can 1) truly be best friends with AND 2) be attracted to physically and romantically is a stroke of luck.
Most people don't think about it this way and they get very frustrated with what seems to be constant failure. But this is not our failure at all. If you have met dozens of people and are still alone, you are on the right track and you are looking for the right thing.
It could take many years to find a true romantic partner to share our lives with or it could happen tomorrow.... BUT it can't be once every month or even twice every year for the rest or our lives.. It simply is not possible...
So, if you are going from lover to lover, realize that there is no way that a true romantic love based on deep friendship can happen that often and that you may be fooling yourself each time.
I just keep the romantic faith everyday that I will find her.
When I do, we will both quickly know that our years of romantic loneliness are gone forever.
All she need do is appear.
Predators and abusers do not just suddenly appear. They are raised in households over many years and then let loose on society.
Discussing the parenting received by violent offenders seems to be a taboo. This is a taboo that needs to end. When I read stories about rape on college campuses I rarely see the spotlight being cast on the family that raised and produced these violent young men. There are calls for society to do something or government. This is part of a trend for the past 50 years. The minimization of the family, especially mothers, and government and institutions thinking they know best.
Parents need to be held accountable and their home lives evaluated to see what type of parenting led to such violent and sociopathic individuals.
This is an amazing article on how fatherhood changes brain chemistry. It is well worth reading. I look forward to your comments.
The Desert Island Question basically asks, “If you were on a desert island and would never see another person again and could never view yourself in a mirror, would you still feel the same urgency to do what you want to do?”
This question is meant to create a teaching moment. In my experience, with my three daughters, when socially pressured requests are asked of me, reframing their request with The Desert Island Question really puts things in proper perspective for them. Then a discussion can begin in which you are teaching your children, not just dictating to them.
My children started using The Desert Island Question in their minds very quickly from a young age. A seven-year-old can understand this, and that is when I started to use it as a parenting tool. This type of parenting makes your children independent thinkers and gives them real tools that they can use their entire lives.
The Desert Island Question is a simple method to teach a child self-observation.