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´╗┐For life goes not uncultured nor tarries with yesterday.

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Where were you when on that awful day? Until ten years ago, during my lifetime at least, that problem nearly always pertained to the day the shots rang out and killed Kennedy; his presidency the seeming quantity of refreshed and restored hope to a individuals that had been bruised, bloodied and battered by two succeeding World Wars.

All those lives lost.

All those sons and daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.

Perished.

Some desiccated alive even.

And, then, a happen at rebirth.
Until shots rang out from a grassy barrow and killed it.

On the day that John F.
Kennedy was killed, ironically, I was the exact equivalent age and in the exact alike sort as my son was on the day that the Twin Towers fell ten years ago.
But all those many years earlier I was sitting and playing with Play Doh on a tiny worn and wooden desk.
How do I remember that? I don’t know.
I do, however, remember the Dominican sisters of Saint Aloysius filler us all up, one by one, as some took our hands while others reached for their essence handkerchiefs pulling them out from some puzzle inactive recess unbefitting the belly of their black and white habits.

Never showing outright emotion, those nuns would quickly, partly secretly, wipe the tears away from their own eyes as they called us, one by one, to queue up in the govern of the classroom.
I met my sister as the classes piled out into the hallway and we headed out to the parking heap led by another loner who had no intention of holding her harm back.
Her crying kept us all peace in our concern.

And then I remember my mother silently sobbing the entire point she drove all of us back home.

Back to the accommodation that had oil portraits of all four of her children and one of President Kennedy himself pending in our living room.
As if he were somehow blood of our blood.

John Kennedy took a cranny of honor alongside her young on the living room walls while the portrait of the Pope hung in a less prestigious recess in the dining one.

And so was the pecking direction in my Irish Catholic household.

Where were you when that awful day happened? That invalid inquiry now gains new meaning as I vacillate any one of us consign ever assume to put Kennedy to that debate again.

Terror and transfiguration changed all that.

A seldom over ten years ago we had only fair moved here to Virginia from New York.
I didn’t deprivation to come.

My matrimonial was in a field of devolving disrepair and shambles and I knew it was over.
After twenty body years.

Over.
I knew practically no one in this town either except my then husband’s perfect family.

Who couldn’t exactly ever cotton to the Irish sassy lassy blonde from New York who stole the soul of their homeboy.

Nope, they could barely tolerate me, bless their hearts.

And if you’re from the South you know exactly what the last portion of that sentence means.

I was lonely and scared and had the wonderful ability and opportunity of telling that to my peak fellow Kathleen each and every day as we had fallen into that duplicate sort of daily early morning phone talk routine.

I’d already dropped my son at his kindergarten that September 11 morning and would come home to entitle Kath, as usual, so that we could daydream together and tactic what I would do when I would finally evolve a form of balls and stop and we’d speak of what she would do if she noted to go back to work.
Yup, the usual.
Mostly.

That day though, phenomenon not usual.
Her own husband, Pete, whose posses occupation took him into the Twin Towers daily hadn’t preceding in to the City on that day because he’d had an outside breakfast meeting to attend.

So we talked about that.

And how she hoped he might network there and find a new level at his invalid company.

I can remember that particular phone dub and the ensuing events if it were yesterday.

I was sitting on my son’s bed and had ‘Good Morning America’ on the television in the background.

We were words about nothing, she and I.
Just nothing.
As girlfriends on the phone often do.
And, then, I spied, out of the recess of my eye, an explosion producing plumes of smoke and a vast inflame onslaught to engulf that blessing tower.
I sat transfixed to the television.

I stammered and stumbled off the boy’s bed and shakily told Kath to turn on her tv.
I was pacing and I was POSITIVE that some homely plane commander MUST hold had a nucleus attack and tragically, mistakenly, absent gentle or even his life before slumping in his cockpit and careening into that building.
I mean, what fresh answer could there be? We sat in stunned silence, Kath on her final and I on mine, and all I could hear above Peter Jennings anxious voice was our retain quiet breathing on the phone.

We said nothing to one another.
Nothing.
This circumstance literally.

Until she whispered, “that’s Pete’s building.
” And, then, the unthinkable.

The later plane.

The latter tower.
I don’t remember if we even oral goodbye to one another.
All I could surmise of at that moment was my son.

And as my obtain mother had done decades earlier, I gathered my wits and my keys and striking to go and grab him from his school.
Grab him and hug him familiar as could be.

Our nation was under attack.
The Pentagon had not yet been hit and Todd Beamer and those heros hadn’t yet “rolled” and yet, intuitively, instinctively, I knew I had to be with my boy.

At the moment that I opened my escort door to leave, another fellow whose son attended the twin school, pulled up in escort of my house and motioned to me.

” C’mon El, let’s go!” I jumped in the passenger seat and we didn’t have to chat a item to one another.
The pain was palpable.

I was shaking.
She was smoking.
And then I started to cry.

And, then, so did she.

My gist was breaking as I wondered if my peak friend from rangy school, my heart sister Patty, had perished in her offices in the elite tower.
Patty’s mother is the only ‘grandmother’ my son has ever known.

My own mother had passed well before my boy was born.

His dad’s mother was not involved.

To this day he inert refers to Patty’s mom as ‘Nana,’ and to this day ‘Nana’ still sends him a twenty dollar circular every Christmas.

I wondered if Ava’s husband Michael was in his office in the end tower that morning.
I am the godmother to their youngeset daughter Paige.

My extended families.

And, then, there were the friends.

I knew almost the absolute Cantor promise trading floor.
After having spent twenty years trading commodities on Wall Street, I knew a lot of connections posting buy/sells in that building.
Did they survive? Were they alive? Were their families watching these horrific scenes artifice out the same method I had been watching? I partly couldn’t fathom the worry.

The panic.
The terror.
I couldn’t plumb terrorists.

Driving nearly too slowly to the school, we sat, Dina and I stunned, sniffling, reveling, remembering (she’s from New York as well) until we took a left off the principal drag and drove up in govern of Broad Bay Manor.
I don’t notice why, but we hadn’t expected what we saw.
There, in the parking mass was a throng of parents waiting for their tiny family too.
Waiting in a car sequence that snaked around the full building.
Twice.

All these parents coming to regain their precious ones.

We were all doing the equivalent entity that my posses mother had done all those many years ago when innocence shattered shook this country.

I look around for my son.

I directive the marked sorrowful of the sky.

The sun illuminated so open it harm my eyes.

The melody so elliptical and clean, not yet filled with the coming dread.

It didn’t match up, the events I’d moderate witnessed and the almost Divine perfection of the day.

It didn’t go together.
Maybe it wasn’t real? Maybe it didn’t materialize after all? Maybe I would wake up and quiescent be in a crappy marriage but wouldn’t have to wonder if connections I knew and loved had died without warning.
And it was then, waiting in what seemed to be an interminable car line, that all of a sudden a song from Grayson’s infancy began to play, over and over and over again in my head.

See, my son was not a interest sleeper as a bitty baby.

I was forced to flourish some superiority of soothing and nightly ritual and means to be able to lull him into any grade of slumber, a ritual that once worked through besides worked well into his toddler years.

A allocation of that ritual was playing the identical orchestration cassette to and for him night after night after night.

For years and years and years.

His emotion was Pavlovian.

Apparently mine was imprinted.

Because on that melodic cassette was a poem put to song, the lyrics or lines written by the peaceful, incomprehensible and otherworldly poet Kahlil Gibran.

The conversation of that song now stuck singing out in my head as if they were being piped in by a Mothership sailing somewhere far, far in the heavens above.

I couldn’t shake them.
I couldn’t stop them.
Louder and louder.
Competing with my very gist trying to earn my full attention.

‘Your descendants are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s hunger for itself.
They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
” We inch up a crumb closer to the exit door of the school.
I suppose I hear Dina say something about the radio recounting people jumping from the upper floors of the towers.

They are jumping to their deaths, election that sliver of hope of survival as opposed to surely perishing by fire.

People are jumping.
They are forming choices about the means in which they will, in all likelihood, die.

Others on the streets under watch unimaginable horror.
I picture these images in my mind’s eye but can’t concentrate because that music, those poetic words from Kibran hold competing.
They effectively drown the outer din.

“You may bestow them your passion but not your thoughts, For they have their hold thoughts.

You may abode their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the quarters of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

” I see him.
I finally see him.
My boy.

His minor blonde commander pops up every once in awhile bobbing between the two taller boys that are sandwiching him.
He looks so happy.

He looks so little.

He looks around.

And he sees me.

And he waves.

Like hardly boys who see their mother’s in bob of them often do.
And I signal back.
Although I can’t really make him out now supplementary than a wavy rundown since the tears in my eyes, tears of gratitude, tears of exaltation at seeing him, tears of heartbreaking sadness and grief all converge and well up and discourage me from really seeing anything, at all, clearly.

I fondle like I might not be able to see anything decidedly ever again.

The car continues to creep a mouthful further and the epiphany occurs.

And it sounds reasonable like the last lines of that Kibran poem: “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the course of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go speedy and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s menial be for gladness; For even as He loves the thorn that flies, so He loves also the fawn that is stable.

” Only heart survives.

And Patty did too.
After the birth of her third adolescent and unable to shamble that maturation weight, she’d been attending a Weight Watchers meeting in diminish Manhattan when the tragedies took place.

She remembers leaving the weigh in to run back to her office because she’d left her purse there.

A few feet out that Weight Watcher’s door some stranger rotten her around and told her to “run for her life.

” She did.

And was safe.

Only affection survives.

And Michael did too.
He, like Kathleen’s husband Peter, had a meeting face his office that morning and although he’d foregone back to the towers, he’d been able to obtain out of Manhattan and eventually make it home safely as well.
Only heart survives.

The Cantor Fitzgerald traders did not.

Thousands of responders did not.

All those different angle passengers did not.

“For even as He loves the indicator that flies, so He loves further the bow that is stable.

” Because, only affection survives.

Because our spirits are inextinguishable.

The sadness, the loss, the craving for calmness cede wilt and die.

Love and our spirits survive.

That is not a prayer.
It is a promise.

Where were you on that dreadful day? Where was I? No, I wasn’t words to Kathleen on the phone or watching Peter Jennings on tv.
I wasn’t with Dina driving down Great Neck Road or ballot up my oblivious son from school.
I wasn’t worrying and wondering about Patty, Peter, Michael or all the many others I knew working inside those two towers.

I was scholarship firsthand that only passion survives and that our spirits are inextinguishable.

I can only hope that many, many, many others hold wise that equivalent same lecture since that same day as well.
Because armed with that knowledge, rebirth can never ever be shot and killed again.

Ever.
Again.

Amen.




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