The other day a friend asked me a question that I have been asked before, “doesn’t doing tours and speaking to school groups make you relive September 11? Doesn’t being at the WTC make you sad?” I responded “No, it makes me feel blessed. I don’t associate the WTC site with Bruce. It is harder to be at his firehouse because that is where I think of him as being. I am tired after a tour but feel that I have accomplished something but mostly I am hungry.” 🙂 It is strange but I don’t picture Bruce being at the WTC site. I know he was there but I don’t try to imagine him there on the fateful day. I do sometimes think that he may have walked down Liberty Street on his way into the South Tower that thought gives me comfort as I walk that same street telling his story.
In further conversation with my friend I shared what does make me sad or allows memories to seep or rush in is the things I hear on the radio or news. The crash of the Malaysian airliner, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing, a mudslide in Washington, the death of 2 firefighters in Boston or a police officer in New York give me pause and cause me to pray for the families because on some level the events are a “repeat” of what I have experienced. An event that captures the attention of the nation or even world, a loved one lost but no body, an act of terrorism, a line of duty death, I can identify and so I pray. I pray that their families will have peace and know that there is hope. I pray that people will gather around them as people gathered around me and my girls. I pray that in the not so distant future they will have strength to put one foot in front of other and smile. My heart is sad that another family will know the saddest that I know, that they will have to navigate a journey they never expected to be on. 🙁
On another note: when I was in the stall in Ladies Room at the Tribute Center on Monday, the lights suddenly went out and I thought this is not happening, give me a break. Then a voice said “sorry” and lights went back on. Someone had leaned against the light switch. I laughed because I was in fight or flight mode within a split second. No PTSD here. 🙂