friday, the fourteenth of september, two thousand one
I have a tradition with two women I work with. Cassie started at the Firm the same day I did, and we met Lianne during our two-day tobacco orientation. The day after orientation was our first payday, and the three of us decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the fairly swanky Italian restaurant across the street.
And thus the payday lunch tradition was born. We average about every other payday, sometimes the day before or day after, depending on our schedules. Sometimes we eat at Winstead's, a Kansas City chain of burger joints, one of which is quite conveniently located in our building. Sometimes we walk across the street to the food court next door, and sometimes, when we all have time, we venture out into the world in a car and have a leisurely two-hour lunch and gabfest.
On Monday, we made plans for a payday lunch today. We were going to grab sandwiches next door and take them to the courtyard in front of the Kansas City Star (our daily newspaper), because the courtyard contains Cows depicting the characters in the Wizard of Oz, and I want pictures of them before all the Cows disappear later this month.
On Monday, I was concerned about the Cows.
At about 10:30 this morning, I discovered that the Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, a beautiful stone church about four blocks from my office, was going to have a prayer service at 12:30. Lianne couldn't leave the office, but Cassie said she'd go with me.
It was a beautiful day here today. Sunny, not too warm, a bit breezy even. Cassie and I chatted on our way to the church, discussing the only thing there is to discuss, how we were handling it, what had moved us most over the past few days.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
Old words with new meaning. And new words to an old melody:
O God, our words cannot express
The minister gave a brief sermon, suggesting that perhaps we, as fellow Americans half a country away from the disaster, could ease our feelings of helplessness by focusing our efforts on needs in our own community, which, while it seems obvious, I hadn't really thought of before. That by helping people in need in our own backyard, we honor those whose tragedy inspired us.
We offered the Prayers of the People, then sang the only possible song with which we could conclude. It's actually four verses long, and we sang the familiar first and very unfamiliar fourth:
Cassie and I walked the four blocks back to the office in silence. There was nothing to be said.
Here is what I am grateful for tonight:
~ being able to call my mother and find something to laugh about (which was my 95-year-old grandfather joking that he thinks God might have forgotten about coming to get him)