Friday, January 19, 2007

Andrea Parhamovich

I found out today that a girl I considered a friend in high school died in Iraq. I was at work and picked up a newspaper. I saw Andrea's name and picture and it didn't register right away with me. I think I was in disbelief and shock at what I just read in the headline. No one expects to lift up the paper and see someone they know on the front page, let alone the fact that they were killed in a road side attack. As I said, I went to Pery High School with Andi and was very saddened to hear the news of her passing. I haven't talked to Andi in so long. I remember she was a great girl that always made me laugh. She was "spunky". She was small girl who was really sweet, but if she had to she could kick your ass! :) I remember playing softball with her my sophomore year in high school, she was a freshman. (I had to quit due to terrible tendonitis) I remember how every time we would play, Andi would have a french braid in her hair. I don't know why I always remember her with her hair pulled back like that. I just do. That was the immediate picture that came to my mind when after I read the article. The picture was her with a french braid in her softball uniform. I guess you always keep a picture of people in your life somewhere in your mind and this is how I remembered her. She would always tell me about her family. She loved them very much. SHe would often talk of her little brothers. She loved them a lot.
My heart goes out to her family. I know all too well what sudden loss feels like. It isn't easy, but I know they have a strong, good family that will remember her with love. The world needed more people like Andi, not less! It is a very sad day for our community in Perry. The old song says, "Only the good die young!" I've learned in my life time that this is so true and Andi was no exception. I'm not sure why it has to be that way or seem that way. She was a great girl. Andi, you will be missed and our prayers are with you and your family! I know a lot of people loved her. She touched my life with her spirit as I know she did with everyone else.
I was already upset by the war. After knowing that someone I know and admired has been killed because of it, it gives you a whole new level of frustration with it. I know in my heart that Andi because of who she was, was trying to make the best of a war that has been so tragic. She wanted something positive to come of all of this. That is just who she was. I'm not suprised by anything she has done in her life. She was someone to admire who had a warm spirit, a love of laughter and things positive in the world. I will always remember her as the lovable, spunky girl with the french braid in her hair, who loved life and everyone's life was better with her in it.

Article taken from The News Heald

The family of Andrea Parhamovich, a Perry Township native killed in Iraq Wednesday, expressed overwhelming grief and deep sadness at their loss and asked for patience from the public as they deal with her death.National and international attention has focused on Parhamovich, 28, and her family, friends, fiance and employer since her death. She died alongside three bodyguards of Croatian, Hungarian and Iraqi nationality, in an ambush attack by an al-Qaida linked coalition of Sunni insurgents in Yarmouk, reportedly an increasingly violent neighborhood in western Baghdad.Her brother-in-law Joe Zampini read from a prepared statement Friday at his brother's business, Lake County Nursery in Perry Township. Her parents and brothers did not attend the news conference, but her sister Marci Zampini watched unobtrusively as television news crews, reporters and photographers focused on Joe."We wish to briefly share how wonderful and special a person Andi was," he said. "Andi was a confident, motivated, intelligent and loving young woman. She was a wonderful daughter, cherished sister, loving aunt and devoted friend who also put those around her first. "She embraced challenges which allowed her to achieve so much in a relatively short period of time. Andi always sought out great experiences that also allowed her to make a difference. It was that commitment to making a difference which led her to Iraq."Zampini and David Rolfes, an associate of Parhamovich's with National Democratic Institute of Washington, D.C., declined to respond to most media inquiries, saying family members had no real information to add to the statement and weren't likely to address the public again until sometime next week.Various reports about Parhamovich's life and tragic death were published Friday in papers across the nation. Zampini said Parhamovich was engaged to Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings, who worked at the publication's Baghdad bureau, and they planned to make arrangements sometime this winter to be married. Hastings will accompany Parhamovich's body back to the United States when arrangements can be made through the U.S. military for her transport home from Baghdad.Although the couple rarely had the time or freedom to get together while in Baghdad, they were planning to spend Valentine's Day together in Paris, according to various reports.Hastings was planning to ask her to marry him at that time, he told the New York Times. He characterized Parhamovich as tough and brave, yet lovable and charming. She had dreams of working on a presidential campaign and possibly running for Congress."She didn't agree with the war, but she felt that now that we're here, she wanted to do what she could to help the Iraqis. She wasn't afraid of taking risks," Hastings told the Associated Press.Zampini said Andi never spoke with family members of the details of the environment in which she worked while in Iraq. "She was really strong. I think she shielded us from that," he said."Andi's desire to help strangers in such a dangerous environment thousands of miles away might be difficult for others to understand, but to us, it epitomized Andi's natural curiosity and unwavering commitment. She was passionate, bold and caring, as exemplified by her work to improve the lives of all Iraqis.""We also want to extend our own heartfelt condolences to the families of those who gave their lives while protecting Andi. They, too, are in our thoughts and prayers," Zampini said.U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad condemned the attack. "The young American who was killed in this attack, along with her security team, exemplified a commitment by all those who have never wavered in their resolve to build a stable, united and democratic Iraq," he said in a statement.Parhamovich was a program officer with the National Democratic Institute, providing training programs in democracy to the emerging government. She was not a member of the military.A statement posted on an Islamic Web site Thursday claimed the attack destroyed two sport-utility vehicles of the Zionist Mossad and a third was severely damaged. It was signed by a spokesman of the "Islamic state in Iraq," the so-called Islamic government claimed last year by al-Qaida and other Sunni Arab-linked groups. Mossad is the name given by al-Qaida to foreigners of unknown nationality and refers to the Israeli spy agency, wrote Maamoun Youssef, Associated Press writer in Cairo.Al Franken, who worked with Parhamovich at the liberal radio company Air America for about 18 months, said he's devastated by her death."She was a thoroughly charming intelligent, funny, idealistic, dedicated young woman," he said. "It was just great being in her presence because you felt like you were in the presence of a really good person, a real American. She was lovely in every way, just beautiful."Franken said Parhamovich was not the kind of person to criticize without doing something to help fix it."She was against the war but nevertheless saw that what Iraq needs is the growth of democratic institutions," he said.Matthew Hiltzik, president of Freud Communications Inc. in New York, was Parhamovich's boss when she worked for film company Miramax about four years ago. The two remained close friends and later, she was supposed to help him start his company, but then he recommended she go to Air America.In Iraq, she wanted to work on spreading democracy there for about a year, then use that experience to perhaps work with a presidential candidate on foreign affairs, Hiltzik said.A run for Congress also was in her dreams, he said.Parhamovich, a liberal who had worked for a Republican Massachusetts governor, was an avid Cleveland Indians and Browns fan who had a fondness for the underdog. "She always felt for Marty Schottenheimer," Hiltzik said.She named the fantasy football team the two had after the San Diego Chargers coach who is the most successful one never to have reached the Super Bowl.There have been no public services set at this time, but arrangements will be made through Johnson Funeral Home of Painesville.The Associated Press and New York Times contributed to this article.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Brian's 30th birthday is tomorrow. I'm so excited to celebrate it this weekend! Happy Birthday baby-doll!

My heartbreak

OSU lost to the Gators 41-14. What the hell happened? I think it was the fact that the Bucks didn't play a game for 50 days prior to that game. I don't think it was the Heisman curse. Screw that idea. I was so sad. What makes it more sad now is that I owe my cousin 1 million dollars or 1 million jr cheeseburgers! :) She is a Gator. How do I face her this summer when she comes to visit, especially after all my trash talking? I'll be a woman about it and just egg her car!

I'm cold

For some reason the only warm place in our apartment is in our bedroom or up in the loft upstairs. My bedroom is actually too warm, more like a suana. It is lightly snowing outside right now. I was just thinking about the fact that tomorrow I go back to work for the first time in over 2 months. I think I'm ready. The time off was more than great though! I needed it.
I walked the dogs outside yesterday. Not very far though. I noticed that the tulips I planted last spring are coming up through the ground again. I can't believe that the ground is that warm and the weather has been so wonderful that the tulips are starting to grow. I never bought my calla lillies in the pot in. I went over to them and noticed that they are growing also. This is crazy! But it made me smile. Spring isn't too far away. Yeah I know that winter's offical start was only 3 weeks ago, but still, spring is coming soon! I can't wait!