Saturday, September 11, 2004


As we drove out to the football field today, we were listening to talk radio. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil were the only topic of conversation. As the time drew near, marking the moment of the first attack, there was a moment of silence, followed by our national anthem, and then the reading of the names of those lost that day. Tears rolled down both mine and Jay's cheeks, silent tears, not the sobbing of three years ago, but salty tears of rememberance. As I glanced at Will, sleeping in his carseat, I couldn't help but feel I had so much to tell him about the significance of this date, so I decided to write him this letter.....

Dear Will,

3 years ago today America was attacked on her own soil. I will never forget the phone ringing and Michelle telling me that I needed to go and turn on the television, our first glimpse of what I thought at the time was just an horrific accident, but just minutes later realized must be an attack as we watched a second plane fly into the second tower. We watched for a while longer and then the older kids wandered back downstairs, were they worked on worksheets and watched the small tv that sat on the basement shelf. I sat on the phone, first with your dad and then with your grandfather, trying to absorb the magnitude of what has happened. I will never forget Brett walking up the basement steps, calling out to me.

"Mom, is the penta building important?"
"Penta, Brett" I replied as I tried to process what he was saying
"Yeah, mom, some penta building. P-E-N-T-A..."
"The pentagon?"
"Yeah, mom"
"Why do you ask Brett?"Figuring maybe that they were giving a speech for the symbol of our nation's defense.
"A plane just hit it."

The rest of the day is really a blur. The tv was on nonstop, we managed to pray the rosary at lunchtime. Not much else was accomplished that day. Lots of tears were shed. I was just so greatful that everyone was home with me, that I didn't have to worry about anyone being "locked in" to their schools like so many of my friends' children were. I didn't have to worry about someone else telling them the news, because they were there with me, watching it unfold.

Today, the headline of the paper asked, "How have things changed since 9-11?" and another headline asked "How did 9-11 affect you?". Ironically, I knew the answer without even putting any thought into my response. In the hours after those towers fell, the pentagon burned and the plane crashed in that field in Pennsylvania, I felt an overwhelming need, an almost primal desire, to do something. All around me, people started doing things to show they believed things would get better. Your grandmother planted flower bulbs, a friend of mine started composting and I made a decision that we would grow our family once again. The legacy I could leave to my family from this tragedy, was my belief that life was worth living, that things would be OK and that I had faith in the future would be another child. 9 months and 9 days after those towers fell, we welcomed Sophia Zevin into our family!

As I look at you today, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of all the changes in my life in just 3 short years and almost can not comprehend that but for that horrific day, you and your sister might not be here. Just weeks before 9-11-2001, I was almost certain our family was complete and was contemplating moving out of the baby phase of my life. How ironic that I have our nation's tragedy to that for two of my greatest blessings, you, my dear William and your sister Sophia. Add to tragedy my odd belief that even numbers work better for family dynamics and you have the recipe for your existance!


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