But When Life Tumbles In, What Then? – So Much to Remember from 9/11

To a certainty to you too, in your turn, some day, these days must come.
Arthur John Gossip:  But When Life Tumbles In, What Then?


Jeannie was crying this morning.  She was doing his laundry.  I suspect there will be more days that she cries, as she watches her dad fight for enough energy to keep going.  He has lived with us since the beginning of the year.  He moved to a health care facility just two days ago.  A Renaissance man, who taught Greek and Latin, and read eight or nine languages (I lost count).  Now, he can barely muster the energy to read at all.

The struggles come – really, unendingly.

Her tears were not for 9/11.  But, of course they were.

No man is an island,

Entire of itself.

Each is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thine own

Or of thine friend’s were.

Each man’s death diminishes me,

For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.
John Donne

My wife was crying, and there was nothing I could do.  Not for her.  Nor for her dad.  Not for all those who lost someone so precious and valuable ten years ago today.

They taught us in “preacher” school that, after loss, we are to:

Honor the dead.
Comfort the bereaved.
Warn the living.

The honors are everywhere present this anniversary day.

The comfort overflows from a still sad and horrified and bewildered nation.

The warning – which shall we choose?  How about this one:  cherish the moments you have.  They can be lost.  They will be lost.  Quickly, or slowly, they will be lost.

This morning at Ground Zero (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

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