Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Six years later and there are still aftershocks...

There are all kinds of casualties from that day. My divorce became final this summer. The reasons my marriage broke up are complicated and manifold, but I do believe in some ways it is a casualty of that day.

He was a cop. He worked 23 hours straight that day, mostly at ground zero, saw god knows what, digging out bodies and body parts....in fear of fragile buildings falling apart on top of him, in the middle of the night. He came home and clung to me and I held him.

A few hours later he went back.

My daughter had just started High School. We , mostly I had spent time prepping her on practice subway rides so she could learn the route. It was the first day she tried it by herself. Suddenly the city was in lockdown. There was no way to reach her, no way of knowing all day if there would be other attacks. She had no idea what was happening or if her dad was dead or alive. We spent most of the day out of contact, but she managed to make her way home.

My son had just started 4th grade. He didn't understand why his teachers were crying...I went and got him out of school and explained it to him.

My daughter was terrified to go to school, to be in Manhattan or to ride the subway. I called her school daily...spoke to her teachers or dept heads, wrote many notes. I took her on the subway all over Queens...to keep her in touch, to help her make her way back. For a long while she couldn't travel alone. I would try and find a family member to go with her to and from, or I would go myself, if I could find someone to be there for my son in the morning.

My son was terrified that planes would crash into his school, and scared for his dad. (they both were) . I gave him pins to wear that his dad had brought home. He wanted them pinned to his shirt every day. Sometimes I would be asked if they were "back to normal", and I would say there is no "back to normal", just the new normal, whatever that will be.

My husband worked 16+ hours every day. He would rest at St Paul's Church right across the street. 2 weeks later I went down there with him. And to areas that were forbidden to all but cops and army, reserves, etc. and just talked to these shell shocked workers. Most of them were just standing there staring...all exhausted and in disbelief. He would come home from work, and I would sometimes fix him a stiff drink, something to eat, but mostly just hold him, put my arms strongely around his 6'3 frame, and try to give him strength.

Whatever problems existed exacerbated. There was emotional abuse. There were anger problems that went through the roof. At some point he decided it would be better to screw around, leave me for someone else and start again.

There are all sorts of casualties of that day.