That day, this day, lives in my mind.
The past echoes forward and troubles the present.
This echo is the long wave from a seismic event that cuts through my life.
There was before. And then, suddenly, irrevocably there was after.
Still, years later, I can form a vision in my mind. Each picture is a single frame of disaster and heartbreak that is engraved into my memory.
And here, on the other side of that divide, I can see the vast and terrible cost.
Even the cerulean blue sky of a crystal clear September day is no longer innocent.
My family was lucky, while on that day so many families were not. Two members of my family, and scores of my friends were in the city that morning. One friend didn’t go to work that day. Her office was in Tower 2. My sister-in-law missed her train from her apartment to her work. My brother-in-law walked the length of Manhattan, from Alphabet city, through the zone of destruction, to Washington Park. I’ve never asked what he saw on that pilgrimage. They joined my husband and me in Ithaca as soon as they could leave the city. We provided a refuge of autumn leaves and waterfalls, a quiet place without military planes flying low overhead. And every year, on that day, my family stops and we hold one another, making time to remember those we lost, and to support one another, thankful that we can.