5 years

It’s been 5 years and I still have nightmares. Does the pain ever go away?

I have trouble sleeping. While I thought I was coping well with the loss of friends on 9/11, it stills seems not to be the case. I found myself dreaming of planes crashing into buildings and people falling out of them. From the recesses of my mind, the ugliness of that day comes up again.

What is it about 5 that is so hard? 4 years wasn’t: it seems the pragmatism had taken the forefront and that the pain had subsided. Nothing major changed in my view of those events in the last year and yet, it seems I’m relapsing into sorrow. Why is that?

What is it about 5 that is so hard? 3 years was sad but it was also hopeful. The pain seemed to have lessened, only coming back to the forefront of my soul when I was closer to ground zero. And hope started to shine through.

It’s just a number but 5 still is painful. 2 years seemed to allow me to become more introspective. But somehow, I’m having a harder time this year. I’ve been working on this entry for weeks now but things would not come out the way I wanted them to. After countless false starts, I decided that I needed to plough through. It’s the least I can do to aknowledge the loss of many friends.

Things are different now, people tell me. My life is different today: I am now married and have a son… and yet the pain lingers. Our son doesn’t understand our sadness. Lucky for him, he was born after. His happiness is helping soften the blow of that date. It’s also hopeful: a new generation coming up, maybe one that will build a better world.

Things are different now, and yet they are the same: New York is now united in sorrow with Washington DC, Madrid, Istanbul, London, Mumbai, others cities which have suffered at the hands of terrorist. 5 years, 5 terrorist acts: who will be next?

Things are different now. One new building, WTC 7, has finally come up at ground zero but there is still a big hole there. Whether they fill the hole or not seems of little importance now as it is only a physical representation of our pain, of the hole that is still in our hearts, in our skyline, in our town.

Carlos Dominguez, Mark Ellis, Melissa Vincent, Michael DiPasquale, Cynthia Giugliano, Jeremy Glick, David Halderman, Steve Weinberg, Gerard Jean Baptiste, Tom McCann, David Vera. I still remember you and I still miss you all.

5 years: it seems like an eternity and it seems like yesterday.

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