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Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 12:00AM PDT)
From: Send an Instant Message "John French" <mosshead7@yahoo.com>
Subject: Drowning in the Ohio
To: friends@foxnews.com

It was 2:30 a.m. in the morning. The phone was ringing loudly and with that uneasy feeling of urgency.  "Hello," I spoke.  "Johnny, it's Alane," my sister pronounced nervously but with the confidence of a big sister addressing her baby brother. "It's Tommy," she said. "He's missing in the Ohio River since 10:30 p.m. tonight," she calmly proceeded to explain.  "What," I exclaimed with sudden sickness! "He was with Eric," she continued "and they where canoeing and it tipped over............"


The eyes of the old women I saw earlier that unsually warm spring evening at the Church Brew Works came into mind as I lay there knowing Tommy was dead although most everyone already had convinced themselves he was just missing and there was a chance he would be found - The eyes of this old woman in a wheel chair puzzled me as I bent down to pick up the change purse she seemed to drop on purpose so I would be eye level with her and she could speak w/ me - For I saw and felt death in them and the strange conversation that followed - Yeah, it was around 9:45 p.m.


I thought the call would be about my father as I did in paranoia for all late night calls. But it was for Tommy @ 17 (Thomas John Taverna) - The nephew that moved in from Boston w/ my oldest sister, Cheryl, when I was fifteen and he two years of age. Remarkably there was no terrible two's w/ Tommy as far as I was concerned - I loved him unconditionally from the start. And when my sisters talk of the picture of he at 4 and me at 17 staring into each others eyes while I hold him above me - face to face - smiling and laughing - Well, they see it. They see and know the unconditional love that exists between us.


Soon thereafter I told my family I forgive Eric and send him healing thoughts and prayers - my light and my love - No matter what people say, think, feel or try and convince me of - It's okay. It's okay.


...."drifting too far from the shore .... drifting too far from the shore .... come to Jesus today and let him show you the way .... you’re drifting too far from the shore"....  (-Jerry Garcia-)


Tommy was found about a month later. My sister was called to view his body - bloated, bruised, his thick luxurious hair out in massive chunks. She had to see her only Son.





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Poetry  By John Alan Conte`, Jr.
Copyright 2005
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