Sharing my mourning journey as my family learns to live a new normal after the death of my 19 y.o. son in an auto accident on 10/12/08.

Posts tagged ‘PIRG’


When the doorbell rang this afternoon, my first thought was, “solicitors” and I was right. Through the door I saw the telltale id tag on the lanyard. I sighed as I opened the door. As the volunteer introduced himself, I looked down at his clipboard and saw, “PIRG” stamped on the front. Tears welled in my eyes as he started his well-rehearsed speech. He of course had no idea that PIRG was the organization where Jordan interned the summer before he died; or that I would start to cry when he mentioned the credit card reform legislation recently passed by Congress. Jordan worked on that legislation. The group he was assigned at PIRG drafted key wording and lobbied Congress for passage of the bill that affected the marketing of credit cards to college students (Think about all of those banks readily handing out credit cards to eager college students.)

Jordan loved working in Washington DC, in particular on Capitol Hill. He would call me during the week to tell me about the “drops” he did of information packets to key lawmakers. He was also very fond of the cafeteria on Capitol Hill. Seeing the PIRG volunteer today brought back some wonderful memories and compelled me to reread emails Jordan sent me that summer. When I have encounters like the one today with the unsuspecting volunteer, I feel Jordan’s presence and get a reminder that he’s not too far away.

Another Reminder

Jordan typically wrote his first name and then instead of writing his hyphenated last name, he would write his initials: M.-F. He always complained about having a hyphenated last name and said that when he got married he would probably take the surname of his wife. I would tease him saying, “No, don’t do that. Be sexist, keep our name(s) going.”

Recently through one of Jordan’s friends, Jordan’s use of his initials took on more meaning. Jordan remained connected until his death to a group of friends that he met the summer before his junior year of high school at a program called Telluride Association of Sophomore Seminars (TASS). Even after that summer, the TASS kids maintained their friendships through texting and FaceBook. They also saw each other at a reunion hosted by TASS before they were off to college.  The program had such an impact on Jordan that he planned to apply to be a counselor. This summer might have been the one where he fulfilled that goal. Jordan’s TASS friends continue to keep in touch with each other and got together in NY this past summer for a reunion. Several of them remain close to my family and check-in with us, always reminding us how Jordan always spoke of his family especially his siblings.

DeAntwann, a friend of Jordan’s from TASS, wasn’t able to attend the “Express Yourself” event. He wanted to be a part of the evening though, and emailed me a poem expressing his memories of Jordan. Through his poem my world of Jordan expanded. I am so gratified to keep learning new things about my son. His friends are a gift.  I am so happy to share what DeAntwann wrote about Jordan:


You were supposed to be the next Black President,

When I met you winds howling outside calmed down to a stand still,

Your demeanor so calm, so collective, so smooth,

I instantly thought to myself “man this guy is cool”,

And cool you were,

Delicately touching our hearts with your words,

You were wise beyond your years,

I picked up pounds of knowledge from you and I thank you,

I knew you for six weeks but it felt like eternity,

It was like we grew up together,

Childhood friends,

That knew everything about each other,

Favorite color,

Favorite song,

Things friends should know about each other,

I remember distinctively you coming to TASS with a knowledge of Hip Hop,

Pure Hip Hop,

Common, Lupe, Talib, and others I haven’t heard of until our encounter,

Easing that Chi-Town State of Mind on us,

You enlightened me without even trying,

You were the mediator,

Counseling any dispute that we had,

We went to you for our problems,

We went to you for answers,

When you passed away, my world started moving in slow motion,

I began to see it unfold,

Life was moving so fast and losing a friend held it to a stand still like rush hour traffic,

I still have a hard time knowing that you are gone,

But I know you are in a better place,

With every breath I know you watch over us,

We use to call you Jordan Monday-Friday,

Because everyday of the week we can count on you for anything,

Monday-Friday your heart was open to us,

Monday-Friday your friendship spoke volumes to us,

We miss Jordan Monday-Friday,

Even on the weekends…