september eleventh

Jean
June 28, 1977 – September 11, 2001

Today I feel like an adult.  Funny, I know.  Eight years ago, I was living in Portland with Luke and his brother, Matt.  I was getting ready for grad school when they turned on the television at the instant I turned on NPR.  Audio and visual collided.  I was holding a hair dryer and people were jumping out of the towers.  It’s the JFK event for our generation.  We all know what we were doing when we found out.  A second part to all this is when we found out about someone.  I was at my kitchen table when I heard about Jean, recently and randomly assigned to Flight 11, the first plane to hit the towers.  I can still remember my Birkenstock toes in her backyard, all smiles and Longmeadow summer fun.  Corsages pinned to our dresses for a winter formal. She was elegant, super-smart and kind.  Maybe I’ll tell this story and the spider leg events of this webbed day on Betty or Lucy’s couch with white hair when I’m eighty-five.  I’ll show the stack of Hussein’s money a former student’s father gave me after he stormed the Palace as a Naval officer.  And, of course, I’ll talk of a happy fellow, a dear friend’s husband, who was killed in Iraq as a Naval Chief, involved in the important and risky job of IED location and disposal. Full circle, all from Flight 11.

Fragments now, I’ll hug my girls tight.  Thinking of Jean’s big-hearted family on this morning…

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