Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Man They Called MacGyver


FF Robert McMahon - Ladder 20

I may very well be the least handy person I know and have ever met.  While there are certain household chores that I am capable of performing with at modicum of competency, such as painting, my only real talent lies in demolition work.  A lawyer whose gift lies in the tearing apart of something as opposed to the creation of it?  Perhaps I should have specialized in "family law", which is, if nothing else, my favorite euphemism. 

FF Robert McMahon, 35 years of age at the time of his death on September 11, 2001, had avocational talents that were beyond my limited ability to comprehend.   He was regarded as Ladder Company 20's most exceptional chef - so much so that someone in the house sent his lasagna recipe to GQ - and was the one in charge of putting up the house's Christmas tree and Christmas lights each year.  In his spare time, he built a haunted house for children who were battling cancer and, also, shaped pieces of wood into hand-crafted pieces of furniture.  

He grew up in Queens.  After he married his wife, Julie, a nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital who he met while he was doing some volunteer work with sick children, the couple purchased McMahon's childhood home.  He proceeded to gut it and essentially replace it with an updated, improved version where he and Julie intended to raise their family.  

At the time of his death in September, 2001, Robert McMahon was the proud father of one little boy, Matthew, who was but two years old.  Julie McMahon was pregnant with the couple's second child, Patrick, who arrived in early 2002.     

FF McMahon has been memorialized in a most beautiful manner, through the painting of a portrait, which portrait you can see here.  The beauty of the image, as great as it is, pales in comparison to the words his wife, Julie, wrote that serve as the portrait's caption.  They are a tribute to a man whose love for his family and their love for him serve to remind us that there are certain things that neither time nor memory can fade away.  

-AK 

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