>Six years after September 11, 2001 and I forgot what day it was; until my friend and the man who published my book, A Mother’s Essays From Ground Zero, called to say he had dropped his kid off at school and made his annual donation to the fire department.
“OOOHHH, is it that time again.” Of course I knew it was September 10th yesterday, I had given it as a deadline to many writers for the October issue of THRIVE, but still sometimes I don’t track linear, but rather in a leap frog fashion. So to me, today was just another day. Until Dave called.
If it wasn’t Dave, it would have been my date-book declaring 911, Remembrance Day, or the news, but today, what would not have jogged my memory was the weather. It is raining today; blessedly gray and rainy and, as my date-book further informs me, we are in the midst of a solar eclipse. So there is no disconcerting bright blue sky, the cloudless brushed azure beauty with a crisp coolness and no humidity that makes me sick to my stomach now, any time this is a September day like that.
Imagine that legacy. AHHH it is gorgeous, clear . . . and UUUUGH, I feel scared, sickened, and full of anxiety. Wait, I know what’s up, it’s 9/11 weather.
But today’s gray drizzle, interspersed with sudden downpours is allowing me to have a different kind of remembrance–one that asks me to recall not only the day six years ago, but to question myself on growth, strides and missteps.
On the first anniversary of 9/11, I vowed this would be my most productive day of the year. I promised to dive into unanswered mail, pay off debt, wash my hair, go to the gym, write, practice my cello, cook a good dinner, return the most dreaded phone calls, do the laundry, change the sheets and have a major positive attitude.
I decided to offer productivity as a legacy to those whose lives were cut short. I would be over-the-top proactive. And so it is not yet noon and I am thru 5 loads of laundry, paid off some school loans, made calls I had put off, deleted all emails save those that need action and I am writing. I am editing. I am helping a friend with a micro-economic project in East Africa. I have to get a document notarized–silly but it takes time. I called an old friend to congratulate him on the design of a building. In fact, he was an Ex and it is often difficult to do those reach outs.
I don’t think anyone in my house knows about my pact with productivity, so for now they just think the rhythm of autumn has finally taken me in its grips and I am on a powerful roll.
But I know it is my way of acknowledging all the potential, all the efforts, the lovely lives cut short.