A Tribute of What Ifs


What if I hadn’t moved to NYC in March 2001…

What if I hadn’t lost my job located at 22 Cortland St. right across the street from the WTC in June 2001…

What if I’d gone to the Borders bookstore in 5 World Trade Center (still my favorite bookstore ever) on 9/11 instead of 9/10…

What if I hadn’t caught that LIRR train I ran for on 9/11…

What if I hadn’t seen the hundreds and hundreds of flyers for people who were “missing”…

What if, on my way back to NYC after visiting my family 3 days after the airports reopened, my mom and sister weren’t so afraid for me that they exclaimed, “You can’t take RUBBER CEMENT on the plane??!!!” instead of dealing with watching me leave amidst the armed National Guard at the DFW airport…

What if, while unemployed, I hadn’t volunteered at Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service and helped distribute funds to those impacted by 9/11…

What if while taking many phone calls to fill out assistance requests, I didn’t hear the despair in those New Yorkers’ voices which made forget every one of my own problems…

What if the moment I thought I had to give up and leave NYC, I hadn’t found a folded, rubber-banded wad of money containing $3,000 in 100 dollar bills, on Flatbush Avenue…

What if I hadn’t gotten a job at Marsh & McLennan in May 2013, a company that lost 295 people in those towers…

What if I didn’t get to know my beautiful-inside-and-out coworkers who were supposed to be in the towers that day…

What if my cubicle wasn’t on the 3rd floor at 1166 Avenue of the Americas where daily, I overheard MMC HR people taking care of the 9/11 families…

What if I didn’t again smell the burning WTC 7 months later when I opened my downtown Brooklyn windows and was greeted by a rush of leftover dust and debris that had gotten trapped..

What if, on the 15th anniversary, I wasn’t away from New York for the first time since 9/11/01…

What if I wasn’t here to ask these questions…

Forever in my memory, 9/11/01…and still immeasurably grateful I get to live this life, flaws and all.

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