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Opinion

It is a fact that a 44-year-old male resident of Port Washington was murdered on Oct. 9, 2002. Cold-blooded murder. A man named Ramon Jarpa. Perhaps his passing has had little or no effect upon your life. That is understandable if you did not know him. I believe you should know about him, though.

Remember those times when you were exhausted, but your kids wanted to play? There probably were times that you balked at their incessant whining and pulled up lame with the convenient "I am too stressed out" response. At that point you may have resorted to blackmailing your spouse or flexed whatever manipulation-skill necessary to avoid the conflict. I know I have.

Then there were those times that you entered a zone. All systems driven involuntarily in a realm dictated by a life force other than your own. You became the third musketeer. All-for-one-and-one-for-all. The parts added together were somehow greater than the sum. A gestalt epiphany, if you will. The conscious realization that the life-bond that you share with your offspring means more to you than anything! That was Ramon's perspective. His children were his life.

I remember Ramon. I knew about his routine. Where do you start? "Wake up at 7 a.m." Or how about "finish work at 5 a.m.?" No matter how you cut it, it was rough. The man would sleep two hours and then wake the two kids for breakfast. His wife had to get ready to go clean somebody else's house. So Ramon would take his 5-year-old son to Pre-K and stay home with his 18-month-old son till Mom came back. Sleep a few more hours and then go to work for 12 hours in a leased cab. A routine that he performed with a smile. Even on a slow night. When the bills would not wait.

I remember seeing him with other young families (the parents which were of Chilean descent) at the Manorhaven Pool. They would gather early and stay late every weekend of the summer. I remember seeing him with his two boys at an unofficial fireworks display on Cambridge Ave. on the Fourth of July. That night I informed him that my Alexis had decided she was going to marry his Nikolas. They were classmates in Mrs. Ziegel's Pre-K class at Sousa. Ramon and I shared a laugh as the kids squealed nervously. Alexis tugged at my shirt and begged me to be quiet.

Jackie, his wife, is devastated. Thursday night I went to the house to offer support. The pain emanating from his trembling widow produced a surreal effect when contrasted by the carefree presence of his children. Ramon's children cannot possibly comprehend what Jackie knows in her soul. He is gone. The immediate future looks bleak. Unfortunately there is no life insurance. There is no policy in force from Delux for a death payment.

Ramon's family is a part of this community. It is my sincere desire that people will recognize this man for being a good human being. I know I have. Please take the time to send a check.

Michael T. Meehan

Contributions can be made for the Jarpa family at Washington Mutual Fund

Account # 483-642907-0

Jacqueline Jarpa

There is a Washington Mutual branch on Main Street, Port Washington, NY 11050


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