A Week of Positives: Gorgeous Blooms, Reds and Yellows

Bright blossoms have decorated our neighborhood all Spring and Summer. Thank you suburban gardeners! New Jersey’s not called the Garden State for nothing!

 

I Held Her Hand

Robert, Barbara, Ruth, Andrew, Naomi

My mom died two years ago today. One of the most profound things I’ve ever done and, probably, will ever do, was to walk with my mom to the liminal line between here on Earth and not. I told her it was okay to step off. Into the unknown. Alone. Maybe to be greeted by her parents. Who really knows? But cancer free. I stepped back and watched her go. I kissed her. I told her she was my rock.  I told her the shining light of her soul was separate from her wasted body. She told me she was afraid. So afraid. I held her hand.

My mother’s brother, Robert, passed away suddenly less than a year after she did. Maybe they met again in a place language has no words for.

Repost:

(The same images are in the slideshow and collage.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Empty Sky After 9/11

Flags fly at Liberty State Park.
Flags fly at Liberty State Park.

One of my favorite places to bike is along the promenade in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Across the Hudson River, bikers, walkers, fishermen and picnickers get an amazing view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. I’d been there many times, but hadn’t seen the Empty Sky memorial, dedicated on September 10, 2011, until last weekend.

Each of the memorial’s walls is 210 feet long, the width of each side of the former World Trade Center Towers. Their height reflects the proportion of the former buildings as if they were lying on their sides. The names of the 749 victims from New Jersey are engraved into the twin walls.  “The walls channel visitors to the location in the Manhattan skyline where the former World Trade Center towers once stood.”

Inscribed on the twin walls are these words:

“On the morning of September 11th, 2001, with the skies so clear that the Twin Towers across the river appeared to be within reach, the very essence of what our country stands for – freedom, tolerance and the pursuit of happiness – was attacked. This memorial is dedicated to New Jersey’s 749 innocent loved ones who were violently and senselessly murdered that day at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA.

Let this memorial reflect the legacies of those whose lives were lost, that their unfulfilled dreams and hopes may result in a better future for society. Their unique qualities and characteristics enriched our lives immeasurably and through this memorial, their stories live on.”

Empty Air memorial bisected by a steel beam.
Empty Air memorial bisected by a steel beam.
Steel and concrete.
Bent steel and broken concrete.
Reflection.
Reflection.

 

Father and son.
Father and son.
The Freedom Tower.
The Freedom Tower.
Sun saturated hibiscus.
Sun saturated hibiscus facing Lower Manhattan.