It is twelve years today. My “infant” son is preparing for his bar mitzvah. I tell my children about that day though New York is far away for me and entirely foreign to them. I have had people ask if September 11th is what made us leave New York. It wasn’t but it certainly made it easier to leave.
They don’t know that on my first few visits back to New York, while holding their hands, I would glance up half expecting to see shadows of men falling from the sky.
When my children went to bed tonight, I got my suit down from the cupboard above my closet and looked at it as I do every year on this day. Some years I am tempted to try it on but can’t as it holds a power over more than just me. I lift the plastic dry cleaning wrapper and touch the fabric. My suit is deep grey, the color of soot and loss; a speckled fabric that’s grainy like near forgotten photos and memories from long ago. Moments later I climb back on my chair and stretch to put it back in the cupboard above.
I receive an e-mail later that evening from a dear friend in New York, “I still think of what you went through on 9/11. Give Ian [my son] an extra hug.” I will save that e-mail for certain.
I wonder when it will be time to get rid of my suit. Not this year. Not yet. It’s still too soon.
In Memory of Scott Schertzer and Kevin Cohen and the other victims of 9/11. May their memories be a blessing.