Our day was already full. Despite the leg problem, Mom was hosting a luncheon for friends at noon. Afterwards other friends would join up for a presentation about one of Mom's many craft passions, scrapbooking.
We'd already had our first cup of tea when Dad turned on CNN to hear the morning news. The first plane -- a small plane, they said at first -- had just hit the World Trade Center. We sat down to learn more. In horror, we watched the second plane hit the South Tower, understanding, instantly, that these strikes were no accident. We sat, mesmerized, horrified, in tears.
At 10, the first call came. "Is lunch still on?" I looked at my Mom. Without hesitation, she answered, "Life goes on."
Still in pajamas at 11, I spoke with Mom's doctor to schedule a brain MRI for that afternoon.
"Already," I thought, "life goes on."
Outside, the river remained smooth, a peaceful reflection of the early-autumn sky, as far as imaginable from the destruction we watched in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
My Mom died of metastasized lung cancer on May 1. Some mornings, the river is like glass, just as it was on September 11th. Life goes on.
This morning, on the fifth anniversary, the river is again like glass and my Dad reports, "A small flock of giant Canada geese just flew over above the tree tops and the yard is full of small birds of one kind and another, mostly sparrows I do not try to identify. The flocks are gathering and my black ash leaves have fully turned a brilliant yellow, much nicer than most years but not many have dropped yet."
And his friend, our friend, Olya writes, "Sober morning with the background of 9/11 memorial sounds and the moment of silence for the 3,000 people who lost their lives on that day. This moment of history touched deeply my life and made me feel more American than feeling Russian by birth or Italian by marriage. God Bless America!"