Tag Archives: tragedy

We Don’t Prepare For Disaster

"The Falling Man." 9/11/01

“The Falling Man.” 9/11/01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I work in an airport, Thursday didn’t surround me with many reminders of what day it was. Maybe most feel uncomfortable mentioning it while dozens of planes fly down the runway in front of them. Should we go on as if nothing is out of place?

I lay on my couch yesterday evening, watching YouTube videos of live footage from September 11, 2001. It’s strange, how sometimes we want to hurt; we throw ourselves into the carnage and wait for the tears to come. Sometimes it helps to remember, to let our hearts break all over again. So that’s what I did. I watched the most painful videos I could find, and I made myself hurt at an age where I could comprehend. I was only thirteen then, and that day was a blur of 9AM gym class and wondering why we were sent home early.

In the midst of my search I came across The Falling Man. We’re all familiar with one of the most disturbing details of that day – the thought that it was so bad up there, so hopeless, that dozens found another way “out”. I pressed play and watched this stranger tumble from a window. An interview with someone who had seen the video said it wasn’t a serene fall. He rolled several times, he propelled his arms and legs; the wind pulled off his button-up, revealing an orange t-shirt underneath. Someone’s son, someone’s friend, perhaps someone’s father.

When I look at the photograph above I ask myself unexpected questions. The shoes he’s wearing – where did he buy them? Were they new? I wonder what it felt like, suspended in air on a September morning, free falling down the side of the World Trade Center instead of sipping on coffee or watching the news.

When we tuck ourselves into bed at night we don’t prepare for disaster. We lay out our clothes or drink a glass of wine and pray for Friday to come fast. But sometimes we have to choose whether jumping or turning to dust is best for us.

For me, The Falling Man is the purest symbol of one of the most tragic occurrences in American history. This stranger reminds us never to go to sleep angry. Kiss our loved ones. Eat well and drink well. Never take a single day for granted. Tomorrow may hold one of the hardest decisions we’ll ever have to make.

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Dream A Little Dream…

620-buddy-holly-plane-crash.imgcache.rev1342117463500

It’s been a while, but sometimes I have horrid nightmares.

I crawled up to bed early Saturday morning – somewhere around 3 AM – after falling asleep on the couch with a doggie curled up in the bend at my knees. I yawned and stretched out the pain in my neck from drifting off in an awkward position, kissed Joe on the forehead, and went upstairs. I woke – or at least I thought I did – around 7 AM. I was convinced I told Joe about my nightmare. But I think it was just a dream within a dream.

In this nightmare I was standing outside, a clear day, clouds in the sky, blue above me. I was on the pavement in a neighborhood I didn’t know. Surrounded by people I’d never seen before in real life, but as in most dreams you feel you know anyway. It was summer. Someone pointed upward and I looked up to see a thick stream of black smoke covering the pretty blue. Then I saw the rounded nose of the front of an airplane. Then I realized the body wasn’t attached. It was just the front. Where had the back gone? I didn’t have time to wonder as I yelled for everyone to get inside. We ran into a row home belonging to one of those people I was supposed to know. The ground shook as the nose dove deep into the ground somewhere not far from us. I thought we were out of the woods until the house began to sway and suddenly everything was lopsided. I ran for the front door and the steps leading to the pavement were gone. I jumped to the ground.

That’s when I saw it. The rest of the airplane. It looked much further away than the front had been, so I wasn’t as worried. But I held my breath as everyone else screamed and we watched it touch down somewhere we couldn’t see. Somewhere far away. But then it wasn’t so far away, as the impact caused a tidal wave effect and I watched a house buckle, move up then down like a crowd doing the wave in a stadium. I started to breath again once I thought it had finished, but the house had bumped into a large boat like pin balls and the boat bounced from driveway to street. I can’t be sure if it ran over anyone, but I just know that it did. I just know.

I woke up for good around 9 AM, to “breaking news” low on the television. This wasn’t very nice to wake up to. Horrifying, and tragic.

I was pretty traumatized for a few hours after that.

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Romantic Monday (Week #IHaveNoIdea) – Nothing But Grateful

Here's a picture of a happy family lounging on the grass! This is not my family. Where's the beer?

Here’s a picture of a happy family lounging on the grass! This is not my family. Where’s the beer?

After  a weekend of nothing but heartbreaking news flooding our networks, our Twitter accounts, our Facebook,  our everything….this Romantic Monday I’m posting about those nearest and dearest to me. Because let’s face it – we are damn lucky to be surrounded by those we love. Just another horrid reminder of how precious life is.

And after you read mine, please click here for Mr. Marshmallow Hotspur’s lovely post, and all of the other lovely Romantic Monday interpretations. 

As I drifted in and out of sleep this morning, a choir of children sang Amazing Grace on some early morning news show while the faces of every child who lost their lives on Friday flashed across the screen. Blegh.

Oh, my mother and I sent sympathy cards to the elementary school yesterday. It may be a minuscule offering, but it’s something. So if you’d like to do the same, here is all of the information you’ll need:

Sandy Hook Elementary School

12 Dickenson Drive

Sandy Hook, CT 06482

They suggest sympathy cards, postcards, or letters of support. I could barely find words to scribble inside my tiny card. I only let whoever would be reading it that there are thousands standing behind their community.

And now, onto those people who yet another tragedy reminded me I am so lucky to have in my life. 

1.) My Joseph/Charlie 

josef

This man treats me like a princess. There isn’t too much I can say, since I’ve already dedicated an entire Romantic Monday post to him. He is my rock. He would do anything for me. And I’ve never, ever doubted that. And now we get to share a home for the rest of our lives. He has so much faith in me and he has given me wings. I love this man. I am so lucky to have someone who thinks I am capable of anything. (Except making pancakes. I really suck at that for some reason.)

2.) My mother, Kelly

mom

Oh, you know, just the woman who gave me life. The woman who raised me right. The woman who calmed me down during a series of panic attacks during the darkest time of my life. The one who scratched my head until I fell asleep at night. Who would kick someone’s ass to protect me. (Not joking here people.) Who likes all of the same things as me and is SO easy to Christmas shop for. Who is so much like me, we sometimes butt heads but we get over it. My mommy. I’m lucky to have been raised by such an amazing woman.

3.) The most bad-ass Italian around, my father, Nick
dad

He used to hold me down and tickle me to death, even though I hated it. (But really, who enjoys that?) To me he is strong, he is invincible, the smell of cold and Polo Cologne is strictly a “dad” scent, he falls asleep on the couch with his hands folded in prayer position, he always has his hair slicked back and always wears high white socks in the summer time, leaving that tan line I make fun of. If you accidentally “ding” a glass, he’ll go into boxing stance. And an unspoken rule: if he looks at me, I have to look away and back again, only for him to turn away. This could go on for minutes at a time until I giggle and beg him to knock it off. I am lucky to have a father who was always more like a best friend.

4.) Nikki V.

color run - nicole & i

My Wino Soul-mate. She knows what I’m thinking. I know what she’s thinking. Sometimes we’ll say those things at the same time, in the same way, the same mannerisms, the same laugh when we both realize how silly we sound. If I think something is awesome I know she’ll feel exactly the same. This post sums up our love for each other. I am so lucky to have this girl, who wants to know how I’m doing every day because she really cares, and she knows I feel the same. If she needed me at 3AM, I’d be driving to her place in my pajamas. She is my family.

5. Phylis & Joseph, the future in-laws (hopefully very soon, if we ever get things going on this damn wedding planning)

The Floridians!

The Floridians!

Phylis, the woman who hand-makes everything and makes the best Thanksgiving stuffing and Christmas cookies ever, who, when Joe or I answer the phone, greets us with a huge, “IT’S ME!!!!!”. She is truly a hilarious, loving, straight-from-the-heart character. And I am so grateful to call her family. The silly bickering between her and Joseph is so reminiscent of my Joe and I, I always say he is an image of his father. I like to think I’ve found a spot in my future father-in-law’s heart as well. I can only thank the both of them: Phylis for raising a son who knows how to respect women, and Joseph, for teaching his son how to be a man. I love you both.

6.) Sarah, Whomz, Bubby

sarah lynn

This woman is the original founder of my heart. The one who knows some of my darkest secrets. The one who no matter the distance, no matter the amount of time that has passed, we’d be there for one another in seconds. Late night, aimless driving, our first parties, the worst times, the best times; we’ve broken each other’s hearts and just as quickly mended them. Our relationship is filled with ups and downs and scars and that’s what makes us so special, because through it all, we love each other just the same. And while I may not see her as much anymore, it’s all of these tests, the trials followed by amazing memories, that prove we were meant to be somehow connected. Forever. And I am so lucky to have her, no matter what the circumstances. (And on a side note, this little lady gave birth almost a year ago to the most precious, handsome little man in the world. Also named Joseph!)

7. Michele, bee-dee-bong (don’t ask).

michele

Who else shares my love for High School Musical? Yeah, that’s right….no one. Whatever! Thank you for always making me laugh, always supporting me, listening to me, talking in strange nasally voices with me, being so very happy for me, and being one of those I can always rely on when it comes to grownup things. You work your behind off, and you still  find time to share mimosas and stories with me and bring me wonderful goodies. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Another one I am so lucky to have in my life. ❤

There are several more people who I am so grateful to have, whether their roles in my life be large or small. It all counts. It all matters to me. I love you all.

And I am so, so very lucky. Counting my blessings.

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what words for this?

sandy hook

 

I’m shocked. I’m appalled. I’m all of those things that every other person who caught the news this morning is feeling.

I turned down the Christmas music I had blaring, put down my cup of herbal tea, and scrambled for the remote. And I cried. A lot. Every shooting in my life time has made me sick, but this one…twenty children? Twenty children… dozens of Christmas presents probably wrapped, under the tree, or hidden away in closets until Christmas Eve because most of them probably still believed in Santa

Like Edward Hotspur said – yeah, sometimes life sucks, sometimes it really fucking sucks, maybe sometimes you even feel like giving up altogether. But what is accomplished in murdering a group of our innocents just before taking your own pussy life? I’m just sorry no one had the pleasure of taking it for you after what you’ve done. 

My stomach is in knots, still. My heart shatters for those families. Happy Holidays? This world really sucks sometimes.

Not feeling very Christmas-y today.

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