I just opened my email to find a “post Labor Day” message from Charlie Baker. While to most people in the real world, the passing of another Labor Day means nothing more than an end to summer, a beginning to another year of school, and perhaps the stowing away of white pants for another winter; to political junkies (state and federal alike) it means that the legislature is coming back. To a Democrat, I suppose, that fact brings a feeling of jubilation. To a Republican, perhaps more of an uneasy dread. But either way, it means things are about to start happening again.
I always read Charlie’s periodic ‘check-in’ emails, because I know that he writes them himself, and he’s a good writer. A lot of words are being typed this week on the topic of the tenth anniversary of September 11. Many of them are poignant, some of them are painful (either in a moving way, or a cringe-inducing one). Charlie’s fall in the former category, and I thought them worth re-publishing here in their entirety:
Hey there –
Welcome Back to post-Labor Day life in Massachusetts. Summer’s over, school is starting up, the commute has suddenly cramped up again, and all that warm weather is fading away. I hope you all enjoyed your summer and are looking forward to the adventure we in New England can legitimately call “fall.”
I’m pleased to say I still bump into many of you when I’m out and about, and you usually stand back, stare, and ask, “Is there life after a campaign? Do you have a job? What’s it like?” The answers are “yes,” “yes,” and “pretty interesting.”
The firm I’m with – General Catalyst – is a venture capital and growth investment firm that was started by four guys who went to high school together. Eventually, they all went off to start their own businesses, succeeded, and decided to start investing in other people’s businesses. Turns out, they’re pretty good at it. As a result, colleges and other non-profits started giving them money to invest, and some 10 years later, they’ve got over $1.5 billion invested in about 60 different companies.
They asked me to help them find, invest in, and work with small and mid-sized companies in the health care space. So far, we’ve looked at a bunch, got very close with several, and continue to have serious chats with a couple. I’m looking forward to closing on some of these, and having a chance to help those teams build great organizations.
So yeah – I have a job, and it’s an interesting one. I’m also working with a couple of start-ups and helping the folks at the Tremont Credit Union turn themselves around.
And before the summer’s gone – Thanks so much to the folks who hosted and attended the “thank you” cook-outs and barbeques we had this summer. It was wonderful to have a chance to thank people face-to-face for all the hard work and enthusiasm they put into our campaign last year.
I also want to let you know that my wonderful wife Lauren will be one of four honorees at this year’s Tribute to Abigail Adams dinner sponsored by the Mass. Women’s Political Caucus. Lauren will be honored for the work she did creating “Women for Baker.” Jeanne Blake has graciously agreed to present her with her award. Needless to say, I’m very proud of her and want you to know that you can buy tickets and/or tables at this web site…http://www.mwpc.org/events/abigail_reg.php. Hope to see some of you there.
Finally, it’s almost the tenth anniversary of 9/11. When I think of that awful day and its aftermath, I always think the same thing: Life Goes On. For the folks who were devastated by the events of that day, their lives went on. They had to. They had to absorb the pain of that day – and every day since – and get on with their lives. They had to bury their brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, children, best friends, co-workers, and drinking buddies – and move on. They had to pay their mortgages, fund their kids’ educations, make their car payments, try to stay employed, and live the rest of their lives.
For those of us who managed to avoid the direct assault that was that dreadful day, 9/11 is always with us – but it’s in the background. We’re not reminded of it every single day – because we don’t see the chair our dad used to sit in after dinner, or the spot on the patio that our mom used to read a book, or the couch that our son used to plop himself down on when he came by to visit us between shifts.
My children were 10, 7 and 4 on 9/11. My wife and I have spent the past ten glorious years watching them grow up. It has been the most magical time of my life. I cannot imagine how much those who died on 9/11 have missed by not being there to share the past ten years with their family and friends. I’m sure the pain for those who were left behind never goes away. It’s a burden to be borne. Every day.
Life goes on. It always does. But for those who lost their lives and their loved ones on 9/11, the past ten years must have been especially difficult. Remember them when you can – not just this weekend, but on all those special days you get to celebrate with the people you love most. Too many others always have an empty chair at their table.
Hope to see you soon.