Tuesday, September 10, 2019


I wasn't working the day that it happened.  I had been jobless since January to allow me to concentrate on planning a wedding all by myself.  We both loved the Fall.  Our colors were purple and celadon, picture a red grape and a light green grapes.  We planned it on the same day my mother was taken from this earth.  It felt... right, like either way you think of the day, it was a day of love. 

I didn't want a wedding.  My father had died the February of 1999 and he proposed in December of 99.  Planning a wedding without my mother or my father was too hard for me.  I imagined going to Las Vegas and getting married in a little chapel then hitting up Walt Disney World for a honeymoon extraordinaire.

Santi wanted a wedding.  He wanted the reception and the whole nine.  I had taken almost 3 years to plan this wedding.  It was so close to the date of the wedding when it happened.  Santi had taken the day off because I was having trouble finding just the right centerpiece.  I had bought floating candles and I had trouble finding the right bowls as the centerpiece. I remember getting up that morning late.  There was a strange feeling in the air.  We took the bus to the IHOP by White Plains Road, but it was closed.  I can't remember the store across the street.  Caldor's?  K-Mart? Walmart?  I have no idea.  It was all closed. 

We went to Bay Plaza and the supermarket was closed.  We had taken a bus.  On the bus there were people that looked shell shocked.  There were people who had dust on them and there were hushed conversations.  We didn't put it together.  It was only until we got to Bay Plaza and asked one of the Jamaican gypsy taxi drivers that we realized that the Towers had fallen.  We didn't wait.  We got into one of the taxis and went home. 

I sat in front of the television then and watched, over and over again as I watched the tragedy unfold.  I stayed planted in front of the television as a type of penance for being stupid and self-centered.  I waited by the phone and waited for updates.  WTC was around Pace University and where I had worked.  It was my stomping grounds.  I'm still not in a position to talk about who I have lost and what was lost.  There is a struggle in describing getting my marriage certificate at the court in lower Manhattan and being in the city for the first time after the tragedy.  I cried as I got out of the subway.  My bridal shower was not well attended.  My bachelorette party was very well attended.  There was a pall over the wedding that dealt with love in the midst of tragedy. 

They asked me about that day, the students at my school.  When I look at their birthdays they were all born after that day.  I remember sitting my children down and explaining to them the importance of 9/11.  I explained that we are New Yorkers and as such, we need to remember.  I cried when I told them.  I have only been able to talk about it once in the years that I have worked at the school.  Even now, talking about it with my friend and co-worker, I teared up today.  So... I remember. 

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