Saturday, September 10, 2011

When Osama stole my Friend

Busted. Broken. My favorite serving bowl broke the other day. In this bowl I served many a good meal to a dear friend. I loved that stupid bowl so much. Had it for over ten years. Now what? It makes me sad to think it can't be fixed.

Some stuff just can't.  I normally like to read the papers, listen to radio, or watch the news on TV. Not this week. All they talk about is September 11th and what people were doing that day. Let's see: we were having breakfast and getting our 3-year old boy ready for preschool when we heard the news.

This week our kids came home from school talking about old news footage they were shown at school. My 10-year-old is having nightmares from it. My 13-year-old has this project: Interview your parents about what they were doing on September 11th.

How can I explaine this one to my son?


I am sick of it all. I really don't want to think about it any more. Tried to forget and burry it along with the rubble. Has it been 10 years, really? Nobody I personally knew died that day. Yet I remember a traumatic event tied to that very day. A friendship of mine that was of great importance died that day. Something broke.

How come? Let me just call her K. She was the first real friend I had made since moving to the US. Seemed like we had so many things in common. We worked a the same place. K. lived in a little old house like mine. A fixer-upper with problems. We had kids the same age. Her son went to the same preschool as my son. K. spoke German. She had studied it in college. Spent some time in Germany, too. She loved things German. I suppose I fell into that category, too.

Then September 11th happened. Nobody I know died. It was only a friendship. All of sudden we couldn't talk anymore. Every conversation turned into an argument. An argument about how all people from the Middle East - foreigners - were evil. Could not be trusted. I tried to reason with sweet K. The young woman who had babysat my son while I was in hospital giving birth to our second babe just looked at me with hate in her eyes.

Only six month after I had trusted her with my first-born son everything changed. I never found an explanation for it all. K. just disappeared from my life. She ended all playdates. My son who had been inseparable from his friend J. (K's Kid) was never allowed to play with him again. Our weekly "German" playdates were stopped abruptly never to resume again. I would call her and ask why. I never got an answer. I felt like a jilted lover or something. I'd lay awake at night writing letters in my head: Why K? I did not fly those airplanes into the World Trade Center! I am a German Immigrant. The fact that I have Muslim friends in Germany does not make me a bad person! If you can't love me any more why take it out on a 3-year-old child?  How do you explaine to a young child that he cannot see his friend any more?

Whether they are 3, 10, or 13 years old - I find explaining it doesn't get easier.

On September 11th two friendships ended. I will never forgive Osama Bin Laden for that one. The human tragedy hit on so many levels that awful day...

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