No...Armand did not die. He is alive and well. But, I have heard it asked, if somebody wrote your eulogy, and you were able to read it, would you be happy with what it said? It is rumored that when Alfred Nobel read an erroneous obituary that, among other things, condemned him for the invention of dynamite, he devoted his life to peace because he was ashamed of his legacy. So, what would people say about you?
I am here today to talk about Armand Rosamilia. Many people debate whether you can build a friendship with somebody that you have never met in person. I happen to have a number of very dear friends who fall in to that category. Armand is chief among them, and after April 29, 2013, he means more to me than I will ever be able to verbalize.
Many of you know that I just reunited with my daughter Ronni this past December. This story can not be told without mentioning her. While the details are personal, and hers to share with who she will, I can say this much. She was in a bad relationship involving abuse. A tear-filled call from her on Wednesday came where she needed to escape her situation. The problem was that she was in Florida and I am in Oregon. Any move on my part to go to Florida would end with me being locked up (for several reasons, none of which would be helpful to my daughter). Because she was being monitored, we only had a specific time she could call me. That meant I had to have everything in place in 24 hours so that when she called next, I could tell her what she needed to do, and then wait.
Long story short, a one-way flight was booked (we can talk about airline prices at another date), and the only person that we knew was asked to pick up my daughter and deliver her to the airport. It was a snatch and grab where she would walk out the door at a specific time with what she could carry and leave her old life behind while her abuser was away. The person who would pick up the most precious person in my life? Armand Rosamilia.
At a moment's notice, he set aside his life and made a two hour trip to pick up the daughter of a friend who he never met in person. He took her to breakfast and then to the airport where he stayed with her until she walked through security. Then he drove home and checked in throughout the day on her progress. You see, not only did he drop everything to help, but then followed up on her progress until she arrived safe in my arms last night.
What can you say about my friend Armand? Yes, I tease and call him gruff., but anybody who knows him knows that Armand is one of the nicest, most spectacular human beings in the world. Lay aside all the quips and jokes about his fascination with the female tookus, Armand is kind and has the heart of a saint. I am proud and honored to be considered his friend. In a time where so many people seem to be locked in to themselves at the expense of others, Armand shows that there is still hope for us.
For some acts, there are no words of thanks that suffice. What Armand did is one such act. The only people who would be surprised are the people who don't know him. However, it needs to be said...again and again.
Thank you, Armand Rosamilia. Thank you, my friend.