Friday I'm going to go into the city and go down and see if there is anything I can do to help. If my boss won't let me do it then I'll either take a personal day if he'll allow that or just take an unpaid day. I've felt horrible all day for leaving when I did. I know my children need to have their father with them but I also know that another set of arms might have helped a lot today. I don't feel like I've done enough. I know realistically in that portion of my brain that's still able to think rationally that I will probably never, to the day I die, feel like I've done enough. I have to at least try. By Friday any danger should be past so I can help without having to worry about stranding the children without a father, but hopefully I will still be able to help and contribute in some meaningful way. I keep on thinking of the children that stayed in school all night hoping and praying their parents would come, and of the children whose prayers were never answered. Realistically I can't afford another child, I can't afford to shoulder any more, but I keep thinking that maybe I should. Life's not about getting rich, it's not about being successful. I don't know. I keep thinking maybe I should. At the very least maybe I could offer to put a child or two up for a few days or weeks as they look for any remaining family, try to provide a friendly and supportive environment. It might be good for my children as well, to see first hand what can happen and make them appreciate what they have. My 6 year old made the appropriate oohs and aahs when I tried to explain to him what happened, but it was very obvious none of it was sinking in. I don't want to hurt him but I feel it's incredibly important that he come to understand what happened. We can't ignore what's going on and hope it won't happen again, and we can't rail against it and punish the people responsible and hope it won't happen again. Unless we really understand what their actions have done can we really fight to stop it from happening again. The world needs more understanding now, not more anger, not retribution, and not tears and weakness either. We survived. We have a duty and a responsibility to honor and remember those who did not, and to make sure that we do what we can to make the world a place where this will not happen again. Mourning and shedding tears is one thing, but we cannot let this overwhelm us and prevent us from continuing on. If we do that, we've let the terrorists win. We cannot allow that. Looking and seeing the same people who were in tears and holding each other on the streets going about their business and living their lives the morning after was actually incredibly reassuring. We didn't let them win. We had the strength and the courage to stand up and keep on going. We won. They might have hurt us terribly but we beat them. Every time someone tries to terrorize us and we do not fold we have won a battle against them. Killing them is not the answer. Making them understand that they cannot terrorize us, that they can take our lives but not prevent us from living them, that they can hurt us but not stop us, that is the answer. We need to have compassion and we need to have strength.
I haven't allowed myself to shed a tear since it happened. I have come close, but I haven't. There's too much to be done, too much that needs to be accomplished before I can let myself shed any tears for those who were lost. I feel raw and weak inside but I have to be strong for them, and I have to be strong for those who weren't killed but who were hurt and who lost their loved ones and who lost their homes and their jobs. I don't know what else I can do.