I've been worrying about today's blog for two weeks, ever since I realized that I would be the Playfriend who had to blog on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. What should I do? Ignore it? That didn't seem quite right, when images of today's significance will be everywhere we turn. Yet I wasn't sure I would have words equal to the importance of the event. I'm one small person, far removed from New York City. What new insight could I possibly offer about such a terrible tragedy?
I'm sure all of you remember, as I do, how you heard what happened that fateful morning. While each person processed the events, they inevitably focused on whatever part of it held the most significance for them. For me, it wasn't global politics or war, but the impact of death on the family and friends of those lost that day or soon thereafter. Praying for spouses who'd lost their soul mates, children who'd lost parents, parents who'd lost children. That's what I thought about as the images were played over and over on my television screen.
Tragedy can be overwhelmingly personal. Though I've never (thankfully) been through something so horrific, there have been times in my life that I've been overwhelmed by grief and pain. Before I had Drama Queen, I suffered through two devastating miscarriages. During the first one, I reconnected with romance, something I hadn't had time to read since I was a teenager. My first miscarriage ended up being a long, drawn out process. I won't go into the details, but the result was a month-long recuperation spent in bed or on the couch. Along with the physical weakness came depression and an attempt to make emotional sense of what had happened.
An elderly couple lived across the street from us at that time. Somehow the woman must have heard what had happened, for she showed up one day at the door. Her gift to me was a big box of used romance books she said she needed to get rid of since they were moving. Though I can't remember her name, I'm forever grateful to her. Those books offered me escape from the depression and pain, entertainment through long bouts of insomnia, and smiles when there were few in my life.
Romance is about the happily ever after. It offers the glimpse of hope, the wish thrown out into the universe to experience a unique love and connection with another human being. It keeps us from feeling alone.
So if this day or any day is a rough one for you, I pray you can escape for just a little while and find comfort in a story you enjoy. For those of you who write, what better reason to continue? Through your stories you bring love and hope to the world. There can't be a better reward than that.