Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Me and Bobby K

I am reading a book called "Robert Kennedy and His Times" that I started a year ago. It was suggested reading by a police officer who was part of a support group meeting I was attending on September 11 of 2006. The reason, he said, was that Bobby suffered from "survival guilt" and he thought I could relate Bobby was Attorney General at the time of his brother's assassination. He was described as "serious in purpose, a hard worker and devoted to his family (particularly to John). As committed to upholding the law as he was to his brother, when John was assassinated, Bobby was shattered. Dedicating his life to his brother's career and to upholding the law of the United States, his world was demolished. His brother was killed, and he could do nothing to stop it. He questioned his faith and asked "Why God"1. On September 11, 2001, I was in the World Trade Center complex when the first plane hit. My co-workers were leaving the building going in different directions. I left my office watching bodies falling from burning buildings. Boarding the ferry to Hoboken, I watched the first tower collapse as the ferry pulled away from the dock. I questioned what I was seeing. It made no sense. I always felt I was the kind of person who would know what to do in an emergency, could handle most anything and be there to help others. But this day, I did nothing to help anyone other than myself. I felt alone, scared and somewhat embarrassed that I was so safe while so many died. I spent the remaining days of that week home wanting to be with my family. It made me feel safe and in control of my world. I had nervous energy so for the next 3 days, I washed every window in the house and organized all our pictures into several photo albums making an album for each of the 3 kids. I was nesting and trying to feel in charge again. That Sunday, I went to church. I was a Sunday School teacher for the 6th grade. As I drove to church, I thought that the kids would want me to explain Why God did this. Until I got there, I didn't know what I was going to say. So I said just that, There is no answer. Why it happened, is a mystery to us in life that cannot be explained. But one thing I can say is that God didn't do this, man did.
Reference: 1: Robert Kennedy and His Times by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., copyright 1978


kristen said...

Virginia, this brought tears to my eyes thig morning. I can't imagine what you experienced on 9/11, but I hope that today you will find a way to be kind to yourself.

Amy said...

Ginny, I clearly remember 9/11 with enormous grief, as those towers were MY towers, passing through them twice...sometimes three times a day for twenty years, taking for granted their majestic beauty. When I think of those lives lost, the only peace I have is that my best friend's life was spared.