Day 84: Rest in peace

Guess we all spent at least part of today thinking about where we were seven years ago between about 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. (EST).

On September 11, 2001, I was getting my morning coffee downtown when another customer mentioned hearing a report on her car radio about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. When I got into the elevator, a woman in a business suit said there were two planes involved. I remember a chill ran through me as we all processed how odd that was.

By the time I got upstairs to the office, a crowd was gathered around a small television set in the boardroom. There was a stunned silence as the horrific details of the crashes began to emerge.

After about half an hour, one of the vice-presidents made an announcement over the intercom directing everyone to go home “to be with their families.” The next few days were a complete blur.

Those memories were with me this morning when I emerged from the subway onto street level — at about the same time I did seven years ago.

This morning, however, a young woman in a Danone T-shirt and cap was cheerily announcing, “Free yogurt — would you like a yogurt to start your day?” and handing individual small tubs to commuters as they passed.

I was too preoccupied to take one, but I wished I had as I approached the man who has taken up residence on a nearby corner. He’s frighteningly young to be sleeping on the pavement but is usually doing just that when I walk by at 9 a.m.

Today was no exception — there he was, stretched out on top of his soiled sleeping bag, his very nice leather shoes neatly placed beside his head.

I say I wished I’d taken a yogurt because I realized I could have left it for him. Turns out, the Danone team had beaten me to it. An entire six-pack in a box sat beside his brown leather loafers.

And my good deed?

I sponsored my late friend’s husband and daughters and their annual Terry Fox Run team in their efforts to raise funds for cancer research. They run for those — all those — who can’t.

Now go home and be with your families….


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