Introducing Myself to a New Friend

Remember 9/11. We walked around numb, but we kept on. Living within 100 miles of NYC, we heard about the first plane after I taught a class in World Religions at a local community college. We were all told to go home.( This was before cellphone were powerful.)  I tried to reach my sister Cathy in D.C., chief of staff for a Congressman there, and my daughter in college in SE Ohio (before we knew what happened to the last plane which courageous passengers pulled down). The drive home was a procession, everyone slowly driving by the Connecticut Capitol, down old Route 99, where I turned in.

I called Mom and Dad right away and they had not heard from the others, so we told them we’d do the calling. Finally, in mid-afternoon, I heard from Cathy, who said the phones were jammed, and please call Mom and Dad to say she was fine.

That evening, I drove down a back road to the edge of the Connecticut river and it shone like a huge moonbeam.  I watched the water covered over with fog, until you couldn’t see anything. I snapped awake as I turned the corner toward home and saw clusters of people holding candles. I stopped and asked some women if they had an extra candle, and we watched as the day was coming to an end. Cars drove by, bearing American flags, or simply waving.

How did we heal? … my friends and I recalled {and it had become a motto] that we could not change the world, but we could change our little corner of the world – how? By changing ourselves. By greeting a lonely neighbor, by stopping to listen to a friend who was frightened. By making coffee and calling over a neighbor. By extending a hug at our friend at church.  By attending Shabbat services with my youngest sister and her son and husband, a powerful reminder that we are very much ONE. Little gestures, from the heart, to others. Taking care of our precious self in order to do the work of becoming strong and vocal. And we have survived.

by @LatelaMary, Mary Ellen Latela, Especially for Iris Rose. 6.19.17


About @LatelaMary

Author of 14 self-help books, five still available: Prepare Him Room, Ten Steps to Peace, Healing the Abusive Family, Moments for Mothers. Breaking the Boxes: critique of institutions vs. individuals. Work-in-progress: Memoir (Sorting out Secrets)
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