Tag Archives: anniversary

I miss him

Tomorrow is Monday. For most people, it will be just another work week starting. But for me, it is the worst anniversary: two years since we lost Dad.

July 17 used to be just another summer day, but now it looms like an exam I didn’t study for or a long, painful dental appointment.

As this summer approached, I didn’t think about lounging by the pool or trips to the beach. Instead I thought “was Dad in the hospital by now two years ago?” Anxiety festered inside me as I tried to decide how I should observe the day. I worried “what if I missed the anniversary completely? What if I forgot?”

Maybe someday I won’t dread July 17, but I doubt I will ever forget what happened on that terrible day. Continue reading

All these terrible anniversaries

I knew to dread Christmas. Because obviously, Mom and my first Christmas without Dad would be hard. My body created a buffer of sorts: I was sick in bed with bronchitis for three days beginning Christmas Eve, leaving Mom to fend for herself. I was so ill I couldn’t even feel guilty until later.

Christmas circa 1978 20150909_203232

I anticipated that the month of February would be painful between Valentine’s Day and Mom’s birthday. Dad was a romantic who enjoyed planning surprises for his wife and took pride in his gift giving.

I had no idea how painful my birthday would be. The first October 16 without Dad in this world, how it hurt. I was heartbroken all over again. Continue reading

10th anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2001 dawned clear, sunny and seemingly perfect. A new chapter in my life had started just the day before: on 9/10 I accepted a job that would require me to leave New York for Washington, DC. Truthfully, I was crushed, but I really wanted – and needed – the job so I made what I thought of as the “grown-up decision” to move.

I had just twenty days to pack up my belongings and find an apartment in DC, a city I barely knew. Little did I know how physically and emotionally challenging the move process would be.

On September 11, I lived with a roommate in a cute old tenement on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village. I recall getting out of bed, and going into the living room as she got ready to leave for work.

“I think I heard a plane crash,” I told Kelly as I rubbed sleep from my eyes.

“Go back to bed,” Kelly said with an eyeroll.

[OK what she really said was “go back to bed crackhead.” I don’t think Kelly liked me that much and while I was going out pretty much every night that summer, cocktails and beer were my inebriants of choice, thank you very much.]

I tried to go back to sleep but failed. Some time passed and I decided to go to Grey Dog, my local coffee shop. And that’s when the world started falling apart. I had been right, in a way, about a plane, but instead of crashing to the ground, it had been flown into one of America’s most recognizable edifices, the World Trade Center. Later I learned that the first jet’s path had, in fact, been right over my apartment, down Sixth Avenue.

The sequence of my memories has blurred. I remember calling my mother who asked me to stay home and avoid the subways. I also called my former roommate Kristen who had been staffed on projects based in the WTC for Andersen Consulting previously, but was now based in Chicago, leaving a message of gratitude that she no longer worked there.

And then I got coffee. The shop was abuzz with the news. Was it an accident? How did pilots avoid the tall buildings every other day, but not today? I was immediately suspicious.

I believe the second plane hit as I walked home from Grey Dog. I went home for my camera, feeling strange about doing so I only took three photos.

Days of horror followed. Lots of CNN. Trouble making or receiving calls to tell people I was safe and OK. And packing for the move to DC, feeling even worse about leaving.

Several days immediately following 9/11, I walked up to Union Square (no buses or subways ran for a while) and saw movies, as much for the air free of concrete dust as for the distraction.  On 9/18 I took a few photos at the make-shift memorial there.

Union Square

And suddenly it’s ten years later. I’m ten years older, but as happy as a kid to be back in my beloved New York. Now I live in Brooklyn. For as great as Manhattan is, I think I needed a fresh experience and as the sad anniversary arrives, I feel even more confident of my decision to try somewhere new.

I like to think that I don’t waste time thinking or worrying about events beyond my control, but today I have a single request:

Please let September 11, 2011 pass without incident.