A Sober Update

Greetings to all.

Forgive me for not writing sooner… For one thing, I was in Atlanta this past week and have only tonight returned. Aside from that, I had planned to write a full-scale update as soon as I had all the little wrinkles ironed out with what exactly I’m doing and where exactly I’m living, etc. etc. etc. But then Tuesday happened which has changed almost everything. I’m not sure if all of you knew, but Manhattan was my last permanent home prior to moving overseas. This hit way too close to home for me and I have been utterly devastated…as most of you know, New York was not only my home, but also my favorite city.

I’m not going to get into details about what I’m doing… I’m really way too upset to get into what I consider to be the relatively trivial details of my life right now…we all have enough to cope with. So to make a long story short, I arrived back in the States on Aug 5th and interviewed for two jobs. One was with Merrill Lynch in Northern New Jersey (which I have accepted). The other was with a company called Temenos which is located on the 52nd floor of the World Trade Center Tower 1…the first tower that was hit. I can’t even begin to tell you how badly it shook me up to think that I had been in the North Tower only a couple of weeks before this unspeakable horror occurred. Over the last few days this has really weighed on me and made me thank the Lord over and over again for His protection.

I’ve found myself regretting things. I regret having taken my time in New York too much for granted.

I used to come up from the subway every morning just down the street from where those huge, beautiful towers stood. I’d cross over Church Street, and walk to my office building which was just a block down on the left. On Fridays I would stop in at the Krispy Kreme shop on the corner of WTC 5 for my end-of-the-week doughnut. Most days I ate lunch from one of the vendors or deli’s or restaurants in the WTC mall under the Towers. On some nice days I’d sit in the courtyard in front of the Towers on the stone benches surrounding the fountain. I took it completely for granted that they would continue to be there…I mean, why wouldn’t they? I regret not looking up at them more.

Just before I left for Atlanta, I was going to go up to the city to meet some friends and see some colleagues from Merrill in the World Financial Center that I hadn’t gotten a chance to hook up with since arriving back. The morning I was supposed to go, I changed my mind…decided I was too tired… If I had known that would be the last time I’d have been able to be in those Towers and walk around that part of the city which had become so familiar to me, I would have gone. I regret not having gone.

These regrets may seem trite to you all, but they’re not to me.

Aside from the personal shock and sadness, I am heartsick for the thousands of Americans that were in the Towers last Tuesday and their families. I know we all are. I ache for the rescue workers as well…and, like so many of us, only wish I could help! I have also been so touched by how much Americans have all banded together over this! On the drive back from Atlanta today, I can’t tell you how many flags and homemade signs I saw… There were even several electric road-work signs which were programmed to read: “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN”. Apparently stores all over the US have been selling out of flags and patriotic emblems. I do, of course, have a flag attached to my car antenna and a magnetic one on the trunk.

I wanted to pass along to you all the website of Hope for New York which is a ministry of my church in New York. They are working endlessly with other organizations in the city to cover the needs (both physical and emotional) of the people of New York and all the others that are there as a part of the rescue effort. They already get my money, but I thought I’d pass on their website to you all in case you’re interested… They even allow for online donations to be made in case you want to help (they are a non-profit organization and are listed with the United Way so they are legit): http://www.hfny.org

Well, as for me, I’m going up to New York tomorrow. In some ways I feel like I need to… I don’t think I totally believe that this has happened and I know that seeing it first hand will cure me of that. I have such strong memories of downtown NY in my mind, that I dread having them replaced by the reality of the situation, but I know that it is necessary. I also feel the need to spend some time with my friends who are there…not to mention this is one of my homes which is in a great state of grief and shock.

It has been an unbelievable last few days. I fear we have a long and difficult road ahead. The evil cowards who did this will get what they deserve… Of that I have no doubt.

My prayers are with our hurting country and our leaders as they have a lot of major decisions to make. What a weight they bear!! Please keep them in your prayers as well…and write soon!

God Bless America!