One of my fellow workers came in late to our meeting and said that someone had flown into a building in New York.
Later, we were interrupted by a phone call. “Jim, it’s for you.”
Barb was trying to tell me that Karleton was on that plane that crashed into a building in New York. I resisted her news, but came to as she insisted that I come home immediately.
Ignoring concerned offers from my co-workers to drive me home, I headed out to the highway to be by myself and my anger and my “No, this can’t be!” ‘s and my “Please, god, no!” ‘s. For thirty minutes I screamed, beat my fists on the steering wheel, wailed, swore at nobody in particular, and made my way home through a curtain of tears. I unexpectedly now understood those scarfed Middle Eastern women beating on caskets and screaming as their murdered husbands or children were carried through throngs of mourners.
I arrived home spent and exhausted but ready to be as supportive as one can be of someone who has just lost her one and only very dear son.
One of the first rational feelings Barb and I had, one which we didn’t talk about but just knew without thinking, was our first response to the media. That was simply that as heinous as those murderers were, Karleton would not have wanted for our country to go to war and kill more innocent people in retaliation. We tried to convey this spirit to the public at any chance we had. But neither Barb nor I are comfortable as public speakers, she a wonderfully caring one-on-one nurse and I, a shy scientist – a man of logic and skillful hands but not a man of words.
Family, friends and even complete strangers were gracious and generous to us and our daughter-in-law and her children; the outpouring of kindness was overwhelming. And so we made it through the daze of those times.
I can’t say we were looking for something else, but, of course, something was missing in our lives besides Karleton. So as we started rubbing elbows, through David Potorti and the internet, with Peaceful Tomorrows. we started to realize that maybe this was the home for our feelings and our values that we may have been looking for. These people were very active, resourceful, and insightful in ways that we couldn’t emulate, but we help when we can and draw support and comfort from them every day as we follow them on the internet. We are inspired by them!
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