I sit here and I remember that day.
September 11, 2001.
I think back on this day and I remember waking up to many phone calls telling me to turn on the television. Like so many others, I felt a sense of disbelief as I watched in horror. I began to cry.
Then I felt panic.
I live 3000 miles away from Ground Zero but I had family on their way to work in the city on that fateful day, and some already there. How can I not cry?
I grew up in New York and it is all a very big part of my history.
As a girl, my mother would often take my grandmother, my sister and I into the city to see “a show” and explore.
We always just said “a show” as people back east don’t usually say “we are going to see a Broadway play.”
On these wonderful days we would explore FAO Schwarz, Central Park, and anything else that was of interest. Back then I would cry out with joy.
I remember when at FAO my grandmother wanted me to have a gift. It was important to her but I did not want her to spend the money. I looked for something that was of a more reasonable cost and picked out bubble bath in a fancy car container. Eventually the container was empty, dried out and cracked but I still kept it for many years more.
I remember The Plaza for the beautiful lobby and how grown up I felt drinking tea and eating croissants with fancy jams. At the Tea Room I remember my grandmother getting excited at seeing the actors of her time. I ate a bowl of sour cream with cucumbers because I did not recognize anything else on the menu. I loved Tavern on The Green for it’s location but have no clue what I ate.
We would see famous people in the streets and soap operas being taped. I remember a scene on The Plaza steps with Bo Buchanan and one of his many love interests. This was part of our life. It was what we did and it was wonderful. We did all of this with my grandmother. Later, I did all of this, and more, alone with my grandmother. The Rockettes were her favorite.
My grandmother worked in The World Trade Center.
I loved to go to work with her. Sitting in the window of her office and looking out at the city is a fond memory. I admired all of the activity that would happen 80 plus stories below. I would imagine wonderful stories for all of the people on the streets of one of the most wonderful cities in the world.
My grandmother was afraid to go to work.
She was a strong woman who was afraid to take the elevator to such a high floor. She hated that I sat all day in that window. My grandmother was afraid that I would fall out. I loved that thrill of looking down even though it scared me, as well. More than that I loved watching my grandmother be a woman of the world.
I loved to watch her in her office. I admired her and I always looked at that building with love of my grandmother in my heart.
That building is gone.
I visited Ground Zero many years after the attack. As I walked I got more and more nervous about what I would see and how I would feel.As I got closer I got more emotional. As I looked at the street, that used to hold the people that I daydreamed about, I was overwhelmed.
It is so sad to think of all that was destroyed that day. 1600 people that lost their spouses. 3,000 kids lost their parent. I cry for them.
My family survived. I was lucky. They were lucky.
I cry because I am grateful.
We all cry.
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