Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering those 9/11 losses...

My heart is with all those who lost so much on this day - but no terrorist will hijack my heart.

Last year I watched a public TV documentary, a tribute to this day, and it remains the most moving one I've ever seen. One person interviewed was a rabbi who thought and thought about how to remember the dead. He found some records of the messages the WTC people had sent out from their cell phones to their loved ones. Saying *goodbye.* He wrote the messages down, word for word, so carefully, and set the words to a chant. He chanted some for the interviewer. Simple words - I don't think we're going to make it, I love you mommy...

I honor his careful and thoughtful and loving way of honoring the dead and the bereaved. It speaks for me, in its haunting and eerie beauty, when I can't find a way to express it myself.

A friend of many years' standing lives out in California now. We met working together at a post office in the Chicago area. I was 19 and married to my first husband, and he was around 26 and fresh out of the Marines. An MP, he was, a sergeant. We were an *item,* briefly, a few years after my divorce, but had the good sense to realize right quick that *it wasn't meant to be.*

We'd already developed the sort of friendship where you know that person has your back, always, forever. As sometimes happens, that friendship only got stronger after we realized any other relationship wasn't in the cards. We may not talk for months or longer at a time - but then pick back up in the middle of the last conversation we had.

He moved to Hollywood. I moved to Florida. I went on to marry Walter, and my friend was one of the 10 guests at our tiny wedding. He went on to marry Little Miss Attila, and LMA later became my blogmom. We bought our houses around the same time, not knowing the other couple was even shopping. We do those parallels pretty often.

From way early on, the Attila Hub and I fell into this habit of calling each other with news of our local natural disasters. Then we added man-made ones to the list. Riots and such.

So as I watched the towers get hit and fall - I'd been watching Good Morning America at the time - I called him. I hated to call there so early, I hate to wake people up, especially with such terrible news. My overriding feeling was that anyone in a major city like LA might be in danger's path, and ought to be warned what was happening.

The answering machine picked up. I had the sense someone might be awake and listening to my message (which never bothers me a bit) - but how all that unfolded at the House of Attila was something I never found out. We were all, of course, paying more attention to other news at hand.

Last year, LMA wrote a post about that day in her life, including the phone call. It surprised me how much it meant to hear how that little piece of the story line ended. No reason for it that I can see. Human nature, I guess.

So thanks, LMA, for filling in the blanks.

The rest of this day I devote to Walter. It's his birthday, and I love him, and I want him to have a happy day. A birthday that didn't get hijacked by terrorists.


Jean said...

hope Walter had a beautiful birthday.

k said...

He had a nice enough one in the end. He's out on the road, so I couldn't do it up for him. He was going to get a nice dinner for himself, but was too tired and fell asleep. Later, he got himself some ice cream, at least.

That was a great improvement on some of the birthdays he had the last few years.