Sunday, September 10, 2006


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.



Smarty Pants said...

I guess this is the Pearl Harbor or Kennedy Assassination of our generation. Everyone knows where they were and what they were doing.

I try to avoid the drama of things like this - glad it wasn't my day to blog. I'm a little too empathetic for it. I can't even watch the movie trailers for United 93 or anything like that. I've been to NYC three times since the attacks. The last two times, my traveling companions insisted we go to Ground Zero. I REALLY didn't want to. But I did. I don't know that I can say I was glad I saw it or that I had some sort of life changing experience, but it was something people probably need to see - this giant hole in the middle of crazy, jam packed streets and high rises. Just makes you think.

Amazing to think that a book, someday even my book, could be that important to someone other than me. I mean its my baby, but it can be someone else's baby too.


Instigator said...

Sweet Pea was seven weeks old. I got up that morning to get ready for my post baby check-up (I'd missed my 6 wk appointment because my Grandmother died). I turned on the TV and was stunned. I spent the entire morning sitting in bed, holding my baby, and watching in complete disbelief. I'll never forget that feeling.


Jill James said...

Thank you for a wonderful post to remind us of the power of the written word and escaping into a fictional world where all turns out okay.

Carol said...

Reading has always been an escape for me. It makes you forget your problems for a while.

Playground Monitor said...

It's been a day to reflect and a day to remember and a day to pray that something of this magnitude never happens again.

On another blog, someone asked if your level of romance reading increased after 9/11. I'd just started reading romance the month before. I just kept on. After all, the world can always use a little more love.