|My sister Linda and her husband Deepak on Cape Cod in 2009. She died of a vascular dementia on September 7, 2011.|
Today's the anniversary of 9/11/2001, and who among us doesn't remember that day with horror? The planes used as weapons, the soaring buildings collapsing in piles of flying concrete dust, the bodies thudding on the pavement?
9/11 has special significance for me, not only because of the national tragedy, but because it shares the same early September calendar with the death dates of two of my three sisters.
At the same time, 9/11/2001 was my daughter Lucia's 10th birthday. That sunny afternoon, she came home from school filled with happy anticipation for the birthday dinner planned for her that evening. The birthday tradition in our family is for the birthday person to order a menu of their favorite foods and for Mom to create the meal, which always ends with a rich sour cream chocolate mocha cake. There are always candles and flowers on the table and friends and family around it. And presents.
So why shouldn't Lucia be excited when she arrived home from her 5th grade classroom that day? She handed me a letter which the principal of her school had written to the parents, explaining that the administration had decided to let each of us break the bad news to our children in our own way. When Lucia walked in the door that day, her older sister Leah and I explained what had happened. Lucia was stung, but still happy and still looking forward to her family birthday meal.
As we gathered around the table, none of the rest of us were as enthusiastic as Lucia. But for her sake we pulled ourselves together and enjoyed the meal and each other and did what we had to do.
Today, Lucia is 21 years old. In this photo, she's on the campus of the University of the Balearic Islands, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, where she spent the second semester of her junior year, from January to July 2012, and where Joe and I were lucky enough to visit her.
But 9/11 still casts a long shadow over this day because it's close to the death dates of two of my three sisters. In early September 2002, Jeanne, at age 57, died from complications of a heart transplant. In September 2011, just last year, Linda died at age 72 from vascular dementia.
|L-R Larry Morosoff, Diane Cadrain, Joe Rubin, Deepak Mazumdar, Linda Cadrain Mazumdar, Jerol Cadrain Morosoff.|
She taught me to say my prayers in Latin when I was four years old, and at the interment of her cremains in August 2012, I recited those prayers by heart and from my heart.