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Monday, September 11, 2006

Just This For Today

Five years ago, I woke, fixed myself a bowl of cereal, sat on the couch and spread the newspaper out in front of me. The phone rang. My mother said immediately, "Your sister's o.k., but you should turn on the television." Some of the moments from that day are evaporating for me, some are vivid:

Crouching down against the wall in the elevator area of my newspaper to hear my sister in Manhattan talking on a bad cell phone connection and to keep people away from me. Listening later to my father's voice waver, then break, as he said that nobody had heard from the man who would become my sister's husband, who worked in one of the World Trade Center buildings facing the towers, since the towers fell. Writing faster than I ever had in order to get an early edition of our paper out. Listening as editors debated where to run a photo of a man jumping from the towers, in disbelief that this conversation was having to happen. Burying my face in my hands in a bathroom stall at work after finally hearing that my brother-in-law had run from his building to safety. Slumping in a booth at the bar our paper's staff hung out in, in near silence with other reporters, while the televisions around us replayed the unimaginable. Coming home and sitting on the couch, staring at the full bowl of cereal still sitting on the coffee table. Not sleeping.

It wasn't even close to a bad day in the scheme of things.
I'm thinking and praying today for the ones who had it bad.


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