10 years ago. 10 years ago today. I’m not a proud American. I don’t preach love for my country. I believe in peace, universal health care, that money shouldn’t dictate death, NO WAR. There’s so much corruption in this city, and unfortunately I see too often with the police in my neighborhood, it’s everyday life and can make you loose faith in people and your establishment. Conspiracy theories hell yes, the story is not always as clear as we think it is, but today things are different it melts away and I am one with my city, my people. Doesn’t matter, why, or how, or who I am a New Yorker and I am proud.
I’ve never been affected so deeply by this day in the past. Call it ten years of denial, call it the view from our neighborhood of downtown manhattan being a constant reminder after all every single image you see of the towers there or gone are from my neighborhood, my home, call it feeling more attached to this city as I do more and more family history and uncover an amazing story that started here and went full circle to me, call it the trama of thinking my city could be seriously hurt by Irene and the reality of those few days not knowing what we would come home to, call it growing up and truly getting it, call it being a mom and things showing in a different light, call it what you want but it hurts. I’m sure it’s a combination of it all but one thing is for sure I’m feeling it this year unlike ever before the denial is over and the pain after so long is here. It hurts.
Ive been choked up near tears for a few days now surprising even myself, I’m not like this, I’m not emotional like this. The energy in the city today is just pulsing church bells, sirens, memorials, everywhere. No news for me today. Stop checking twitter, it’s just too much Kirby. I held it back, we went on a run like any day. Till we got to the Brooklyn Bridge (where 150 years ago my family was) and caught the march of firefighters and their family’s slowly making their way across the bridge with so many painful thoughts running through their heads all at once, remembering, and I almost lost it, but managed to hold it together because that’s who I am I don’t break I fight.
On our walk back an old lady insulted me because I was in her way I stood shocked at the door of the coffee shop unsure what to even feel. I couldn’t take it, no matter how old she was no matter how in the way I may have been, today is our day all of us, not a day of hate but a day to each other close. I marched my little self into that coffee shop and told her just that, today she doesn’t get to be mean, today she doesn’t get to have the New York attitude, just…TODAY. And that’s how it came trough, it came out, I lost it, the sobs and the tears of ten years to a total stranger. I let myself feel, let myself acknowledge, it feels personal, it is personal, my home is personal, my people are personal, and again it hurts, it finally hurt. And you know what she hugged me. She hugged me long and hard tears also coming to her eyes apologizing. And so I sobbed into a strangers shoulder, comforted each other because today was our day, our day to hold each other close ban together in the toughest, meanest, loud mouthed city in this country. Family in a complete stranger.
So I went on with our day, I’m not necessarily remembering those that were lost, not watching or participating in one second of the memorial but for the first time in my life admitting they are gone, feeling their absence, acknowledging because it was all I could handle.
New York City, I love you as if you were a person in my life, a parent that’s cared for me all these years and I’m sorry you were hurt, I’m sorry we were hurt, and now that I have faced reality I’ll go onto remember. Remember.