From time to time, I am asked what the AIMH DSJ means on theAbout Page and Home Page of Wifcon.com. I've never told anyone.
Her name was Deborah and we worked together in the late 1980s. In bureaucratese, I was her direct supervisor. Deborah was "larger than life." She was about 5' 11" tall and she always wore high heels. You could hear her voice and laugh from a great distance. She loved her job, she loved her daughter, and she loved her family.
Unfortunately, Deborah was given a less than healthy body. Often she was riddled with pain. On her worst days, she had to stay home. On other days, she would come to work and take "pain breaks." When she took a "pain break" she lowered her head on her desk and cried. She would remain in that position until she could control the pain.
On her good days, she wanted to do everything well. One day, January 28, 1986, we drove to Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. One of our goals was to visit the Fort's supply store and identify any defective goods that were supplied by the General Services Administration. If we did, we then checked the date of delivery to the Fort, whether the warranty expired, and whether the Fort reported the defective product. While at the Fort, we hit pay dirt. Deborah was ecstatic. We took an image of the product and the image appears onpage 16 of our report (pdf, 3.8MB).
Not long after our little trip to Maryland, I caught some sort of flu and was out of work for 2 days. At that time, I lived in Crystal City, Virginia, and our "work space" was at the General Services Administration in Crystal City. I was a short underground walk from our work space.
While I was out, Deborah collapsed at work and was taken, by ambulance, to a hospital. I didn't know about it until I arrived at work a day later. Some months after Deborah collapsed at work, she died.
For some time, I blamed myself for not being at work to save her when she collapsed. But that wore off as I grew older. Over the years, if someone asked me about Deborah, I would just sit there silently and go to a different place in my mind. This was personal and it was between Deborah and I. I wasn't going to share it with anyone. However, today I will.
Deborah died in 1987. Wifcon.com was born in 1998. For years, I had planned to write a book about an aspect of the U. S. Civil War, or if you prefer, The War Between The States. Of course, the book would have been dedicated to Deborah. I never wrote the book. Instead, I built Wifcon.com. Since its birth in 1998, Wifcon.com has been quietly dedicated to Deborah with the simple notation "AIMH DSJ."
"Always in My Heart ― Deborah S. James"
Merry Christmas Deborah.
Merry Christmas to all of you.
Bob Antonio, December 25, 2009