Calamity Jennye

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

Everyone else seems to be interrupting their regular schedule for 9/11 remembrances so I figured I would join suit.
I hate 9/11 remembrances. I say this with all apologies to those who lost loved ones and with the utmost respect and gratitude for those who sacrificed to save others on that day. I lost nothing on that day. In fact I gained a ton because of that day and I’ve always been extremely grateful. But just now, remembering it, is the last thing I want to do.
My husband was in seminary in 2001, in New Haven, CT. Back before he was my husband, we were dating and I lived in Boston. He and some seminary friends, one of whom had done an internship with the New Orleans Police Dept. dressed in that friend’s chaplain garb and headed down to ground zero late afternoon on 9/11.
They spent 24 hours digging through rubble, sorting parts, bagging things up and talking with the rescue personnel. It was a life changing experience for all three. One became an alcoholic (I believe), one took up healthy forms of release like sky diving and deep sea diving. My husband came straight to my house, shared a little bit about his experience, slept, then told me he was leaving seminary and he thought we should get married.
We talked a lot about things before he made an ultimate decision but what was clear to me on that day was that he had experienced something that profoundly impacted him. I knew him well enough by this point to know that those things are rare for him. In the coming year, as the choices his friends made became clear I felt thankful mine had chosen the path he did. So glad that this experience caused him to realize the value of life rather than choosing to throw it away.
In retrospect, who knows. The decisions he made that day were potentially as reckless for him as skydiving was for his friend. At the time I felt thankful he came to his senses and realized how good I was for him.
Now, I have to spend days like this thinking about the aftermath in my life. Thinking of that changed man that I remember from the days just after. Remembering how different that man is from the one I lived with for the last few years. Hoping it doesn’t take another tragedy the magnitude of 9/11 for him to remember the things he once decided were important.

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