Friday, June 11, 2010

Memory Lane Fridays

This week's theme at Memory Lane Fridays is: A Time You Were Scared. Brace yourselves, bloggy-peeps, this is an interesting reflection.

I barely even remember exactly how old I was. It was probably high school. My mom was dropping me off at my uncle's pharmacy in Brooklyn so I could spend time with my cousin and her family as we went *somewhere* (no idea where we were supposed to be going) to see her participate in some kind of pageant (yes, beauty, again, not truly recollecting this all!) that weekend.

Mom pulled up to the corner, I popped out and left her and my brother inside. Went in, started talking to my uncle behind the counter, and in a flash there was a gunman present. I wish I was kidding, but I'm totally not. I don't even have to close my eyes to remember what he looked like. Crazy how the mind works.

Anyway, he came in with some large automatic weapon of sorts. I have a memory of being corralled behind the counter, and I also remember taking a small wallet-type item (almost like an ID holder) that was stuffed with my ca$h for the weekend and shoving it into my boot. What the he!! was I thinking? Honestly, I didn't want him to take my money!

He lined us up and checked us for jewelry. I had on a small, silver (probably not even real) Chai on a black rope necklace. And I'm not talking about Chai tea here. But if you don't know what this is, let me educate you in Jewish culture.

That's a Chai. You don't say the CH like in CHEW. It's more like the word "high," but with that Jewish "chchch" sound. Don't know many Jewish people? I'll have to do a recording for you. ;)

Chai means life. And don't think I didn't think of that as this man flipped my necklace on my neck and shrugged it off. To him it was worthless, to me, it meant WAY more than the definition of life.

Was I scared? For myself, honestly, no. The only thing I feared was that my mother or my little brother would come through that door. Seriously. I thought my brother would walk through the front door and all I did was pray, send mental notes and vibes to my mother and brother, asking them to PLEASE stay in their car.

It was a crazy rush, but eventually the man went towards the front, and many of us ran out the back door and down the streets behind the store. We wound up at someone's home (a neighborhood woman took us in) and I didn't want to call my dad, my mom did not have a cell phone and so I called my best friend's boyfriend. He was a pharmacist, as was my uncle. He was also older, and so I didn't know who else to call. So I called him. And he came. And eventually I was back at the store, my mom terrified when they couldn't find me. My uncle had been grazed by a bullet, and the man was eventually caught - at least I think he was. Or maybe I just like to think so.

Anyway, that's my scared moment. It truly sucked. I'll never forget it. It definitely took some time to adjust to hearing a car backfiring back then, because I do remember the sound of gunshots. I think the reason I called my friend's boyfriend was that I was terrified myself that something might have happened to my mom or brother. Fortunately they were still in the car, safe and waiting. I like to think my brother heard me bitching at him in my head and stayed put because of it.

I also like to think that a little symbol of life saved mine.


  1. My gosh, Andrea, what a story! Scared indeed. I love that your symbol for life saved yours. It really seems like it speaks - you're supposed to be here, living life!

  2. My gosh, Andrea, what a story! Scared indeed. I love that your symbol for life saved yours. It really seems like it speaks - you're supposed to be here, living life!

  3. whoa! That's so intense. I popped over here from NYC Girl at heart because I saw the chai. I just feel so much better when I wear my chai earrings. I bought them because I was terrified of flying and I felt like if I wore "life" I would be ok!

  4. OMG, how terrifying! So glad that you all were OK.

  5. how awful! I can't even imagine how i would react in a situation like that.

  6. Oh My God! I can't believe you went through that. Im so relieved your family got through this. I definitely believe your medal saved you. Big hug xoxo

  7. That is an amazing story. How scary that had to be!! I am so glad that no one was seriously hurt in that situation and that your mom and brother didn't come in.
    Like to think your necklace did help you out!

  8. Wow! That is horrifying! Thanks for sharing that scary experience. I love that you had a chai pendant - and how it symbolizes what is really important.

  9. Andrea... that was quite a story.. thanks for stopping by today.. have not heard from you in quite some time.. hope your daughter is well and your enjoying the heat!
    take care!


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