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  xWednesday, September 11, 2002

guest post of the day

I asked my lovely wife, Crystal, to set down what she remembered about a year ago, and she generously agreed. Here are her recollections:

Gregory asked me to write some of my thoughts and memories of 9-11-02.

It was Tuesday and the second week Cecilia was in preschool. She was 2 years and one month old. Naomi was 2 and a half months old. It was also the second week of the fall semester at Martin where I teach voice. I was scheduled to go into work that afternoon. We had spent the morning around the house, playing, watching public broadcast TV The first I knew about the towers was when Gregory called me from work and told me. We just continued what we were doing. I am not one of those people that sat all day in front of the TV I did not have the image of the towers collapsing drilled into my brain from watching it over and over. Gregory called a little later and said that work was sending him home. Since he had ridden the bus to work, the girls and I went downtown to pick him up. I remember feeling angry and knowing I was angry because I was driving a little recklessly. We also took another employee home since he lived on the way. I got my first look at the footage of the towers collapsing once Gregory was home and could watch the girls, then I went on to work.

I donít remember much about the rest of the day. I canít remember if it was at choir rehearsal that day at Martin or the next Tuesday, but I remember the women (our choir is mostly women, mostly African American, and all middle aged or older) talking about it and what I remember most about the conversations was their response that America hasnít always been good. They had the shock, the compassion for the loss of life, yet there was a ďbutĒ to their response also.

I also remember a conversation with Father Bonaface Hardin, who is the president of Martin, that occurred the Saturday after. He is an old civil rights fighter, and founded Martin as a continuation of that fight. But he is also a monk, Benedictine, I think. He felt we should not retaliate in any way. At the time I really felt we needed to hold those who committed this act of terror responsible. But Father Hardin felt that to do so would put us in the place of God. I have always respected him, and even though I disagreed with him, I kept what he had said in my heart. I feel that he foresaw some of the results of the USís actions. I think we presented an example that Israel is following, to the detriment of peace in that region. I think this Iraq vendetta is an outgrowth of the war we started on terrorism, and I feel like it is almost a case of Bush senior didnít get Hussein so Bush junior is going to do the job.

Anyway, I donít feel that my life has changed much from before the attack to after. I didnít miss any work. I have not stopped flying. I did not have any nightmares. I do not feel any less secure than I did a year ago. I have made an effort in the past ten years to look at life, particularly my own, directly, intentionally. There is no promise of tomorrow and anyone that tried to give you one is selling something. Iíve come to believe we should rejoice in this day, hope for tomorrow, cry for our losses, but recognize that life is a gift to be celebrated even more knowing that we could lose it in a heartbeat, by our own mistake or someone elseís or by the evil that dwells in the world that chooses to take it by force for terror.