Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Because we must always remember not only the what and when, but the why and where to

I remember exactly where I was.

Being away on a business trip for the weekend I was still askew from time zone travel, with yet another trip the next day on the horizon.

My mother-in-law had just told me it was on the news, that the President would be out soon to announce it.

So Beatrice and I sat on the couch, her playing games on my iPad and me watching CNN, while Wolf Blitzer told me that he was dead.

As if all our ghosts would finally come home to rest. As word spread, we cheered, but that's not the way it works. Ghosts never fully flee, they just move to different rooms of the heart, usually the darker ones without windows or air, with painted blue sky on the ceilings, where they sit and wait and remember.

I remember exactly where I was.

Working on my computer at 6:30 a.m., years before we built the B-hive. A co-worker emailed me to turn on the TV. There were planes flying into the World Trade Center.

I couldn't believe it.

The sky was so blue that morning. I couldn't get my head around what I was seeing. I emailed her back.

Jesus Christ.

I remember exactly where we were, a month and a half later, ordering lunch in a deli in Venice, when the man behind the counter stopped, his face solemn and washed out around the edges, as if painted with watercolors.

He asked, "Americans?"

We answered, "Yes."

He stiffened; I thought he was going to salute. Instead, he held his heart and said:

"God Bless America."

Nearly 10 years later and another 6,000 sons and daughters...

Bea and Bryce will know these stories someday, and then they can tell their children. Because we must always remember not only the what and when, but the why and where to.

Then maybe someday the ghosts will paint the ceilings black.

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