This is never a good week for me. It's the anniversary of two events that cracked the world apart. One, on September 12, was personal. On that date in 1991, my father died unexpectedly. He was taken by a sudden and devastating illness that not even the CDC could identify.
September 11 was so different in scope, uniting all of us in collective horror and grief. But it was also very personal, because it touched my family.
When my husband woke me with the terrible news, my first thought was of our older son, a college student in New York. I couldn't get through when I tried to call. But he called us a few minutes later. He told us the details, so ordinary and beyond belief. He'd looked out the window--and discovered the first tower had disappeared, in the brief time of his morning shower. Numbly, he watched as the second plane hit the remaining tower. Thank God, I thought, that he'd moved recently into that shabby loft, safely across the river in Brooklyn.
So today, we can watch the towers fall, over and over again. I'm not sure what I think about that. It's important to remember, but the horrifying images--do we need to see them? I worry that their impact will become less over time. Do we become numb in response, as surviviors of a trauma sometimes do? I'm glad I have to head to my office soon, so I don't have the option of staying glued to the television set.
On the positive side: I got mobilized by the Republican convention. I won't make any nasty hair-do cracks (although I did get a haircut, yesterday on impulse.) But I had such a strong emotional reaction to those people. Sorry. That is not the face of my America.
So I've organized an Obama fundraiser for this Sunday. A Cajun-Creole house party. Two-stepping to the White House, I hope. At least I'm doing something.
(If any local Red Room supporters are interested, you are welcome to sign up: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gpg57w
Causes Blair Kilpatrick Supports
Louisiana Folk Roots, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Habitat for Humanity/Musician's Village New Orleans, Doctors Without Borders