Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forever Remembered.

It is hard to believe that this day, ten years ago, loss happened over and over and over again. I did little in commemoration today, but I can't say it takes a day like this to remember and honor every life that was so senselessly taken. I doubt anyone that lived in this city or it's boroughs will ever forget the all consuming grief, shock and despair. The spontaneous comraderie and the feeling of helplessness. It all resonates with me. I have wondered how all of the children, unborn at the time, are faring - having lost a beloved parent they never met. It's my greatest point of reference, a tragic source of kids who are living and learning about the parent they never knew.
Eight years ahead of Lily.

I think they must be shining.
And they must know that they carry beautiful spirits within them.

I remember during one of Alan's hospital stays, he had a roommate that was either a policeman or a firefighter and we were fairly confident from visitors and overheard conversations he had been a 9/11 responder. He was married with kids and he'd be angry if his wife was home with them or working. There was a moment when he really needed something and I went to the other side of the curtain to help. When his wife showed up he was angry, vulnerable and scared.
You just lost your man, he said.
I'll never forget it.
Nor will she.
But what do you do when you're financially tapped and you're torn between watching over your kids or your husband? She was tormented and I could hear the desperation in both of their voices. I prayed that wouldn't be us. And to hear tonight that still, cancer patients that were there, working amid such toxic dust are not yet compensated for their treatment disgusts me. The selflessness of everyone that put their lives on the line and are now, consequently losing their own, was remarkable. Healthcare coverage in this country, or lack thereof, is discriminating enough and the torment of wondering if you can afford to try to save a life as you struggle to save it is torture enough. So to see this country we live in, deny its greatest heros of well earned assistance, is ... is... shameful.

They deserve more than thanks.

Lily and I visited a fire station and I'm sure many firefighters today have survivor guilt.
Not fun.
But they were quietly kind, inviting and gracious and it was sweet to hear my girl, prompted, say
Thank you for helping to keep us safe.
Too early for a lesson about 9/11 but never too young to understand the kindness and generosity of New York's Finest.

Yesterday, flitting in the sprinklers with her closest buddy, he asked her where her daddy was. Without skipping a beat, wiping water from her face she said, "He died".

They went on playing.

She is learning to cope, and comprehending in her own way what she can. When I saw some of the 9/11 in utero babes (now pre-teens) today, standing courageously and proudly next to their surviving parent - honoring those who cannot be with them, I felt sure that Lily will be OK.

There will be a life long void. But she has Alan's strength, our combined resilience,a thoughtful soul, and role models in these surviving kids.

I hope from them she will draw strength and inspiration.

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