This post is not about making you cry, although it will. For me it resonates for a couple of reasons. First because the Hoyts are from my hometown, Winchester, Massachusetts. Rick Hoyt was born there about 12 years after I was. And, of course, I have a 13-year-old son, my only child. (The story was brought to my attention by estate planning attorney Kimberly Lee, my client and friend, who has a 16-year-old son, her only child.) The story is by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated and it certainly echoes my own feelings about my performance as a father. You can read it here. Then be sure to watch the video here.
Like many people, I imagine, I found it terribly hard to watch the the coverage of the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Especially difficult for me was CBS’s program about the children of 9/11.
One boy talked about how, five years later, he still constantly sees the footage of the attacks on television and how much that upsets him, every single time. A girl spoke, tears streaming down her face (or was it mine?), of the fact that she was starting to lose her memory of her father. She could barely remember him now, just a voice preserved on an answering machine, and the smell of his after-shave when one of her brothers wore the same scent.
That’s one of the horrors of human existence, isn’t it? One of our greatest fears. Even in the hearts of those who love us most, we will be forgotten. I think of the bitter refrain in Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, when Larry Darrow echoes his friend Piedmont: "He will not be missed."
I have no personal connection to 9/11, other than a small coincidence. I flew to Albany, New York on business on Sept. 10, 2001, with a return ticket for the next day. I was sitting in my client’s office, nowhere near Manhattan, when a secretary came in to tell us a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought it must be some small plane. I remembered that something like that had occured with the Empire State Building once. A few minutes later she came in to say a second plane had hit the other tower. I looked at my client and said "Terrorism."