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Monday, September 11, 2006

I have not met her

She is a girl that I have not met. But I feel inexplicably linked to her. I don't know why, because what binds me to her is nothing that I have ever experienced. Nothing that I have ever known. The things she has gone through are things I pray will never touch me. She has seen the face of evil and been to the depths of a true hell that although I imagine, I can not ever really understand.

I have not met her, but I cry for her. And though I feel for her, feel with her, I never reach out to her. She will never know me, never know the nights I have thought of her, prayed for her. Never know the pain I feel for her. It would be hard to introduce myself, let alone tell her I somehow understand. Because maybe I don't understand. It would seem impossible to know what she feels, what she goes through, but I can't help thinking that I do know, I do understand, in some small way.

We are, in so many ways, alike. She is my age, she has dreamt my dreams, and hoped my hopes. We were on the same path a few years ago. But today, my life is a reminder of what could have been for her. She should be where I sit today. But she is so far from where I am, her life so drastically different.

She is a bride whose groom was taken from her on 9/11...a few months before the church doors would have swung open and she would have made that long walk down the aisle to the man that would take her as his wife with tears in his eyes. They would have danced, like we danced. They would have opened presents like we opened presents. They would have honeymooned, like we honeymooned. And she might have kept a blog of all the insignificant moments that make her marriage wonderful.

But she has no insignificant moments. She has one moment. A moment in time that changed not her life, but her very being. And while write a blog about things I don't want to forget, insignificant things he says or does, she struggles to remember his smell, the sound of his voice, the feel of his hand on the small of her back.

I have not met her. She is a friend of my husband's from college and she is my September 11th. She is my touch stone of how bad it can get, how much hurt there was. But she is also a reminder of resiliance, how strong you could be if you had to. She is a reminder of what my life could have been but for the grace of God. And in a strange way, she is what I imagine the grace of God to be.

I think about her more than I would admit to anyone, even my husband. It sounds too crazy, I know. I thought of her when we were shopping in Williams Sonoma for the wedding, and again when we picked out halloween costumes last year. And each time she floats through my thoughts, it hurts deep inside me...a fleeting sadness that is deeper than anything I have known. And I am acutely aware that while it is fleeting for me, that pain is never gone for her.

I thought of her when I stood alone, in a side room waiting for my Dad to come tell me it was time to walk down the aisle. I haven't ever met her, but I know her.

She is me, but for the grace of God.


Blogger Katrina said...

Beautiful, haunting post. It's amazing, on this anniversary, to see how each person has a different pivotal memory or epiphany about that day.

You said it when you wrote "she is my September 11th."

Thank you for sharing this tribute.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

Amazing when these types of thought flit through our heads...thank you for sharing.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

This is so touching. A way that the day personally affected you by such a personal affect on another. It is good to have such a perspective of how our own lives have been spared, and to have the compassion to realize that other lives have not been spared. Thank you for this today.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous KidKate said...

Beautiful post, Newly. I'm sure she feels that you are thinking about her on that awful anniversary.

BTW, thanks for your comments on my site. Of course, whenever I try to reply my email to you bounces. Not sure if you could get through to me but the address is kidkate at gmail. And you could TOTALLY come visit ;)

12:08 PM  
Blogger Josefina said...

I understand you so well...there was this girl, my age also, who got married one day before me, and she went to Thailand for her honeymoon (I didn't know her, but some friends of mine did), and she was killed by the Tsunami (her husband survived).
I too, think A LOT about her, when I make the bed, when I look at my wedding pictures, honeymoon pictures, etc.
So I know how you feel...
And yes it was a wonderful tribute...

8:33 PM  
Blogger undercover celebrity said...

Crying. Again.
I'm not even married and yet somehow I know that the worst possible experience one can have in life is living through the death of a fiancee or husband... I'm sure children fall into that category too, but they haven't yet hit my radar screen.

When I hear of these stories it breaks my heart for ever thinking I'm having a bad day. You have just captured it in much more beautiful prose than I could ever create.

1:16 PM  
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