It’s an odd week here at LivingSmall — September 11 rolls around once again and I can’t help but remember calling Patrick, who was in the truck on his way to work. He hadn’t wanted to wake me up before he left, just after the first plane hit. We were on the phone together when the first tower fell. Seeing all the footage makes me miss him. He was the person I knew I could call any time, and we all need that person in our lives, the one we know we can pick up the phone when something happens. But on 9/11, it was my cousin I worried about. Elizabeth and Alan had just been married that spring, and I all I knew was he worked in finance — I didn’t know if he was in the buildings. Terrified she’d been widowed, I finally got through to their apartment where Alan, who had just walked home through the jumpers thought, because our voices are so similar, that I was Elizabeth on the phone. It was not me Alan wanted to talk to that morning, and it made me weep to hear in Alan’s voice how much he loves my cousin. Elizabeth, it turns out, had been on the plane from Bangor to Boston that morning with all the terrorists, and it took her three days to get back to New York — it wasn’t until a few weeks later that she let us all know she was pregnant — a small ray of hope in that dark fall. Change goes on, and now there’s two more redheads, Nina, and her baby sister Lucia in the world with us.
It’s an odd week here at LivingSmall because it’s both my brother Patrick’s birthday, and the MH’s birthday — today for the MH, tomorrow for Patrick. It’s a coincidence that sort of freaked me out when I discovered it. We were having coffee, and I was reading my horoscope and asked the MH when his birthday is. “September 12,” he said. “You’re kidding,” I answered. “No,” he said. “Why?” But then it came to seem like a nice thing –