Ten years and a day later

Yesterday, my husband and I had a Shiva call to pay on the Upper East Side. It was a nice day, so we decided to walk.

We had listened to the reading of the names at the memorial ceremony on the radio as we went about our Sunday morning.

I realized as we were walking that I was walking exactly the same route I had walked ten years before. As soon as the second tower came down, I realized that my youngest starting his first full day at a Jewish Day School housed in a famous synagogue on the Upper East Side was in danger of being the next target.

I rushed out of the house ready to catch the cross town bus. When I got to the bus stop a dispatcher informed me that the buses were no longer running and Central Park was closed to all civilian vehicles.

I began to walk east.  When I reached Columbus Avenue, a downtown avenue,  there were streams of emergency vehiacles going downtown. I was especially struck by the hand drawn signs behind the windshields of three green vans " Yonkers Emergency Blood Services". Sadly, as we all know, none of that blood was needed.

I rushed to my son's school, the open spaces of the park gave me a view of the clouds of smoke coming from downtown. When I arrived at the school, my rabbi was there to pick up his kids. He had his parents ancient Detroit clunker with him.By the time we got on the road, there were four adults and either five or six kids in the car.


My immediate family was all safe. My world was a bit upended.

I usually don't dream. But in the months after 9-11 I kept waking up with the sae nightmare. In my dream I would find myself walking through the concourse under the World Trade Center, walking past the drugstores and the Sbarros and all of the other boring stores that made up the concourse. In my dreams nothing was amiss but inevitably I would wake up with my heart racing.

I no longer have those dreams. I do still get incredibly watchful if I see planes flying low over Manhattan.  I do still get really nervous when I hear more than the usual number of sirens.

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