Monday, September 3, 2007

How Easy We Forget

Written by Feener over at Mommyvents

The other day I was reading Megan’s blog, Velveteen Mind. The post was dated August 29th. Now to me that date only means 2 days after my firstborn’s birthday. However, after reading Megan’s blog I realized it meant a whole lot more to people in the Gulf Coast area.

As I read this post, it made me realize how little I know about the lasting damage of Hurricane Katrina. I was not directly effected by this hurricane, nor was anyone close to me. I live in the Northeast. Although we saw the damage, heard the tragedies, we did not live through it, nor do we have to recover from it. How easy we forget.

I lived in NYC during 911. My father is a NYC police officer and at the time was headquartered in Police Plaza, which has a view of the towers. I was at my office in the east 50’s. I was watching the TV in the conference room, but running back to my office to make phone calls. I finally got through to my Dad. While I was talking to him, begging him NOT to go over to the towers, he made a groan. He watched in horror as the building fell down. I was crying for him to let the young guys go and that he needed to stay.

Little did I know my Father was already aware of friends and colleagues he was watching perish. My Father did not make it over there, he was spared, THANK GOD. However, many friends of friends, college friends, fiancées were not spared. Living in New York during that time made me feel detached from the rest of the world, because the rest of the world did not live through it. Yes people saw the horror, over and over, on the TV. But to live it, to breathe it, to search for friends, to see the flyers with all the missing people. It was heartbreaking beyond belief.

Friends who did not live in NYC called me, but it wasn’t comfort they offered. Sometimes it was more curiosity that they meet me with. I was hurt. It almost felt like it was gossip for some. I know that might sound rude, but it was just so hard.

The other evening I attended my book club. There is a new woman who joined, she is a 911 widow. Her story is tragic, and I leave it for her to share, not me. However, she is remarried and pregnant with her second child from her recent marriage. She has 2 kids from her first marriage. I left book club thinking about how hard this month coming up must be for her, and for so many. I realized that I, who felt so close to it all had forgotten. September 11th for me is my daughter’s first day of preschool.

It made me think of how easy we forget tragedy unless it was very close to you. I hope we can all take a minute to think of the folks that went through Hurricane Katrina, and to realize that they still need help. I also hope that we NEVER EVER FORGET what happened on 911.

Feener is a stay at home Mom to 2 beautiful girls, Sass n Frass. Sass is 3 and Frass is 1. She started blogging so she could vent away without annoying her Husband, D.


Mama Zen said...

Frankly, I'm glad for you that you will have a new, happier association for Sept. 11.

Immediately after Katrina, many families were evacuated to my part of the country. I was really proud of the way my community helped. And, that's what lots of these people still need. Help, not a drive-by speech, tribute, or parade. Real help. Great reminder!

Liz said...

Anderson Cooper did a great special on the 2 year anniversary of Katrina -- what's better, and what's still not right. How we treat the victims/refugees/residents of the Gulf Coast is how WE will be treated in the next disaster. It's a good reminder to us. Even those who thought they were doing good by giving money to charities like Habitat for Humanity -- most of that money did not make it to New Orleans. It's up to us to insist upon honesty and accountability and integrity from our politicians, insurance companies, charities, etc. Thanks for a post that got me thinking!

The Farmers Wife said...

As somebody who lives many miles away from the States I had no idea until recently that a. the damage by Katrina was so widespread and b. that so many people were still homeless and struggling because of it.

Lavender said...

So very true, and I also wish it wasnt so. "out of sight, out of mind" sums it up, if you arent there to experience it first hand it is difficult to recognize how deep the wounds go, and how slow the process of recovery is. In both 911 and Katrina, Im sure there are many 'wounds' that can never be healed, and it is difficult for the mind to grasp that when where we are, life is going on as it always has.
Thank you for a profound piece.

melody is slurping life said...

It's sometimes too easy to store things in the recesses of the mind and become disconnected. Such tragic events touch families throughout generations to come. I've never been directly affected by such tragedy, and like most of us, I don't take the time to remember often enough. Thank you.

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