My mother's sister is Michele McBride. Michele wrote a book titled The Fire That Will Not Die. She was severely burned and suffered broken bones on that day. I was born about a year and a half after the fire. As a boy 5 or 6, I remember she would be in her bedroom whenever we visited. My mother would explain to me that she was embarrassed by her scars. But as I had never seen her before the fire, her looks were all I had ever known her by. I remember being confused. I just knew that I enjoyed being in her presence as she always made me feel special. Because isnít that what good aunts do, make their nephews and nieces feel special?
As a side story, I was baptized by Fr Joe Ognibene. In the late 90s, I flew in to Chicago from Washington DC for luncheon in honor of certain patrons of the O'hare Airport chapel. Fr. Joe was seated between my youngest brother and my mother. When I stopped by the table to greet the good father and my mother, she insisted that my brother give up his seat for me, which he did. Fr. Joe, my mother and I, along with my dad, shared stories and good cheer. My brother found a table with some young women who were employees of the Airport. My brother eventually married one of those women. They have been married since about 2003.