11 September 2008


Today is a day of up and down emotions for me. I knew no one who died in the tragic circumstances of seven years ago. I knew no one who made it out alive. I do know that whenever I hear a low-flying, large commercial plane all the way down here in suburban Atlanta, I look up and wonder. High rises, even with my life-long acrophobia, are doubly scary now. Any time I see a woman wearing a hijab or a man with Muslim prayer beads, I wonder how they felt on that day and how they see me as an American. And whenever I pass through the ridiculous security at an airport, I'm torn between complaining about my civil liberties being violated or announcing my thankfulness that another September 11, 2001 hasn't happened. Yet.

I guess today is all about waving our American flags and hugging our loved ones a little more tightly because who knows if today is the day they'll leave for work and never come home.

I sent the pictures. I scanned them, uploaded them to Shutterfly, and sent them directly to his house. No middle-man, no flowery Hallmark card with an empty "Here you go! Hope you're well! Love, Me!" message. I'm absolutely empty when I think about Uncle R. I think I said good-bye to him nine years ago, the last time he acted like a normal, loving human being. And that's so sad. So very sad to have this man, who knew my father as a child and who is the last remaining link to his Y-chromosome DNA, slip from this Earth without me truly caring.

I'm sorry Uncle R. I'm sorry I don't know you. I'm sorry I don't understand you. I'm sorry that I'll not weep at your passing, not because I don't care, but because I don't get you. I never understood why one child was your apple and the other two were the rotten cores. I can't get why one grandson rises and sets the sun each day and the other two practically don't exist in your conversation. I'm sorry that you're holding on to memories, in the form of old black and white photos, that are many, many years past, rather than holding tight to your three children and three grandchildren while you still have time, while they still have you. Because those families, friends, and loved ones of the 2,974 people who died on September 11th, 2001? I'm pretty sure they would burn those 4x6 glossies in exchange for one more kiss. One more hug. One more "I love you."

I'm just... sorry.


HEATHER said...

Looking at it all in the context of the 9/11 anniversary, you are so right.

Willie G said...

Great insight. It's nice to see that we can use this date as a tragic marker to reflect on how to set our lives right with the world as best we can, instead of just an opportunity to snark some blog points. You have a sensitive heart. Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

Good job sending the pictures.

And well said. You make a lot of great points, especially today.

Expat No. 3699 said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post.

Molly's Mom said...

Up and down emotions, indeed.

You said it all well, per usual. Watch a funny movie tonight and get some laughs in...

Unknown said...

Beautifully put!!!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

You make a very excellent point. What is anything material if you can have just one more hug? Not just today but on any day?

I am get you on your feelings towards your Uncle. My aunt may or may not have died by now, and she was my grampa's last living sibling. I am sure you remember my post on it.

I hope you feel better in the next few days. If it helps I will be checking out all the Starbucks locations I pass in Stockholm to see if they have a special Scandinavian blend just for you. It's already on our shopping list.