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2003-11-16 - 5:35 p.m.

A visit to WTC

It's now 5:30pm here in NYC, and I have joined Kay at her workplace in Dilbertland in the Manhattan financial district. Kay needed to get some work done on a Sunday and alas, we are here.

Kay is a nightowl, however, so in this case the work "day" actually began at 5pm...unfortunately this is exactly the time of day when I would want to be *ending* work and cuddling in at home. Alas, we all work differently.

We left the house at about 2pm and kind of wandered through the day - investigated a variety of stores.. and in the end we wound up at the site of the former World Trade Center Towers.

I had managed to avoid the site during this visit, in the same way that I had managed to avoid visiting a concentration camp until my very last months in Europe.

As we stood at the site we looked up into the gaping hole in the New York skyline, and Kay pointed to the general area where her office had been - now a theoretical point in the open sky. She explained how a park on this corner had been destroyed. And then how St. Paul's Cathedral, standing on the opposite corner, had miraculously remained unscathed. And how, as the rubble had been removed, two of the remaining beams of Tower 1 had mysteriously been left standing in the form of a perfectly proportioned cross.

Kay told me that many people in New York have asked the question, where was God that day? Her answer is that God was everywhere. Because only three thousand people died, and rightfully, it should have been fifty-thousand. The number of stories of people who were late, people who had left the building on an errand, people who had just changed jobs...Kay herself had switched jobs only two weeks before, having felt an overwhelming sense that something bad was going to happen there.

Somehow it was only right that I came to this place with Kay. Because September 11 was the day that I watched Kay die in those towers. I sat in Ina and Gerhard's living room and watched the towers collapse on television, with the knowledge that Kay worked on the 103rd floor. I called and called her that day, but no answer came. Finally I called her mother in Maine, and learned that Kay had switched jobs two weeks before.

I remember bursting into tears of relief while on the phone with Kay's mother. Those same tears came again as I stood at the site and hugged her, and told her how I felt that I had watched her die, and how lucky I felt to have her given back to me.

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