Friday, August 03, 2007

The place that is home

Madam heard them first, as she always does. She stopped her reading, chubby finger still holding her place, and looked up at me. Engines! she said. I nodded, as one, two, three ambulances screamed by. I said a silent prayer for the intended passengers, and out loud as I reminded Madam, “Remember...good luck, people. Good luck, people.” She nodded solemnly, and we went back to our book.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. My parents, asking for TEG without preamble. See, the bridge had just collapsed, and they remembered that TEG uses it a lot, and...

Confused, I reassured them that we were all OK, and went online for information.

It looked...well, you all know how it looked by now. The school bus dangling precariously near the edge. The truck in flames. The tons of concrete falling and falling. The people.

It was incomprehensible. See, if you know Minneapolis at all, you know that we ALL use that bridge. All of us. And you know that it's always choked with cars. Always.

Unwillingly, I imagine what it was like for those cars, those people. To have something as solid as earth give way. To fall and not know.

I've only been here a year, but I've developed so much love for this city. Not just because it's the site of so much of Madam's growth--first crawling, steps, words, classes—but also because it's welcomed us. Never a day goes by when I don't share a delighted “Minneapolis story” with TEG—a nice lady helping me with my tray at the bagel shop; a teenager inquiring if he should shut the window on the bus because “the baby might get cold.” Quite simply, I have never met people like this anywhere. And so, a city in which I only intended to stay out my lease has become a place I want to stay.

The place where my daughter learned to say “home.”

I wish there was something I could do, to give back to this city which has given me so much—friends, beauty, kindness, pleasure, community, inspiration. So I pray, for those who have already been lost and those who are still missing.

Good luck, home. Good luck.



Blogger Tammy said...

I'm glad you are ok and I'm very sorry this happened to your "home."

My prayers go out to all.

12:36 PM, August 03, 2007  
Blogger Becca said...

I'm so glad you and your family are ok - and my heart aches for all of those who aren't, and for what sounds like a marvelous city.

3:57 PM, August 03, 2007  
Blogger Jessie said...

This tragedy has also made me more aware of the roots that I have already put down in this past very short year. It made me realize just how many people I have come to know and care about. You are one of them. I love ya, dear M. I am glad that you are safe.

9:37 PM, August 03, 2007  
Blogger deirdre said...

I've been watching the news a bit at a time, taking a break when it gets too sad.

Sometimes a place becomes home before you decide it's where you want to be. It sounds like you've been so welcomed there.

11:11 PM, August 03, 2007  
Anonymous fern said...

This tragedy is just such a testament to the unpredictability of life, something I've been struggling with for so long now.
How can you be perfectly fine one moment, going about your day, and the next your entire life changes?
How do you find stability in a world where things like this happen?

9:06 PM, August 07, 2007  

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