Tomorrow, I will hang our flag out on my new front porch. It is six feet long and four feet tall. We bought it on September 11, 2001, around 4 pm. We bought it online, taking advantage of a rare open phone line to dial into AOL, and paid for next day shipping. It was the last one in stock - besides the twenty by ten foot model for which my husband lobbied. I warned him that it would cover our neighbor's window when we flew it out of our own.
Little did we realize was that, in Manhattan, we wouldn't be receiving any packages for quite some time. When it finally arrived, maybe two weeks later, we hung it from the top of our six-story apartment building on First Avenue.
As time goes by, it is more difficult for me to watch. I used to need to see the footage and photographs, to convince myself that this was true. I used to have panic attacks and nightmares. But now? I can't watch. It is more painful now, in my head, to hear the panic in my father's voice tell me over the phone line that I needed to leave the city right away, than it was then.
I've told my story here before. I was pregnant with my first child, like Julie. I didn't know her then, but I wish I could have spent the evening celebrating a birthday with Liz. I agree with Nancy, that Oshee offers a fitting reminder in her own story of loss of how to conduct ourselves with our loved ones. I've told Binky that I watch the skies, still. I've told Kurt that I don't agree that we could have done this to ourselves. I can't wrap my mind around the possibility. It is true. As I told T'pon, there is nothing so real, or true, as loss.