A clear blue sky

Oh, September . . . you are a hard month.

I hadn’t intended to do a post on 9/11 today.  Though, the fact of the day was on my mind as soon as I woke.  I acknowledged the sadness tied to the date and then checked my email.  There was one from my brother concerning festive plans for the weekend and I engaged myself in thoughts of a happier nature.

Later, while drinking coffee and glancing at the news on the internet, I thought of it again.  I looked at photos of the various commemorations, read some of the comments and anecdotes from people who were there or experienced a near miss.  Their words and the images filled the space I had meant for other things.

I am floored by the enormity of our collective grief. Almost everyone, it seems, knows someone who was directly impacted by that day.

My husband’s cousin and his wife both worked on Wall street.  She worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the north tower of the World Trade Center, while he was in a building across the street.  The sky was clear and blue on the morning of September 11, 2001, and because it was their first wedding anniversary, they decided to take the day off.

A guy I knew growing up in tiny-town northern New York was voted Most Likely to Succeed when he graduated from high school.  He was a sweet, smart guy with unassuming charm.  Years later his son succeeded in snagging a dream job on Wall Street.  Ironically, also at Cantor Fitzgerald in the north tower.  His name was Shannon Lewis Adams, and he did not have an anniversary to prod him into skipping work that day.

I’ve been in New York City many times in the last twelve years.  But I could not bring myself to make the trip to that painful place in lower Manhattan until last November.  I was stunned by how different it looked.  The makeshift walls surrounding the site, the construction still going on.  I think that it will be beautiful one day.  On that afternoon, though, it felt desolate.  My ears ached from the cold wind that was blowing, but I found what I was looking for.  

I have nothing wise or special to offer up today.  Just a tugging in my heart and a name. The name of a boy I didn’t even know, who was probably sweet and smart and unassuming like his dad.

That is all.

shannon adams

20 thoughts on “A clear blue sky

  1. It’s always a little strange to “like” a post such as this, I think “appreciate” might be a better term. Yes, I think everyone has found a direct connection to the events of that day and to the people who didn’t go to work and those who did…It is one of those days that most (including myself) remember exactly what we were doing when we heard about it. Thank you for the tribute and for your beautiful writing.


  2. I thought about it all day, too. I don’t really know anyone who was personally affected, it still feels so personal. I was listening to the radio about how some people have decided it make 9/11 a day where you do one random act of kindness. I like that– it makes me feel the same way your writing did, here.


    • It does feel personal, doesn’t it? And strange, I think, even after 12 years. I can’t look at a clear blue sky without thinking, for a second, about that day. Thanks for the compliment about my writing. I appreciate it. I love the idea of doing a random act of kindness on that day. It would be nice if a kindness done grew so big, it overcame the sense of loss. In time. . . .


  3. What happened had a profound effect on people world-wide. At least I know it did over here in Britain, so God knows how it would feel to someone who is American. Especially who lived local. Who had personal connections to that awful event.


  4. Mary, This piece was so thoughtful and meaningful,I swallowed a few tears. You are gifted with your choice of words. And I’m not just saying this because I’m your mother. It’s 2am and I’m wakeful. I go into hospital for my cateract surgery. Piece of cake, my friends tell me. Nothing to it. Just reading direction in the many and different eye drops and times, I’m supose todo it scares me. Home support is taking me. Ernestine is tied up, helping her oldest granddaughter giving birth today. Caitlen is having a hard labor. She’s in a hosptal.

    I’ll call you later on today. love, mom

    Purpose: There is nothing more conducive to long-term happiness than knowing that your actions are making the world a better place.



  5. Mary thank you for your thoughtfulness of those involved. Love reading your prose, As you are a far better writer then I a reader. But taking up the challenge.
    Thanks for keeping me reading,


  6. Sometimes, the day past on, in a man mind the thought of been nothing, chill into his lists of imagination. That nothing can ever made him to be glad. Suddenly, one came about a piece like this, that express what love is to one unknown next, and at a glance life seems very simple; if only we men would want it to be so.

    Thanks, you Mary, this is wonderful pencilled brain piece, a reminder to all of us, on how our journey could shorten by the unknown evil. I Pray the cool of that September, to put love into our heart.


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