This is a memorial post dedicated to the late Jimmy Cherry who my family lost on 9/11/04. A different tragedy, for a different reason. I published this in 2009 in the first years of Oddball Magazine. Thank You for allowing me the space to remember Jim while we also remember everyone who was lost on 9/11/01.
September 11, 2001, our nation suffered as a country, we suffered as people. We watched powerless as the buildings fell, and soon we were at war.
The next year on 9/11, I was in Salem Hospital. Soon I had the strongest manic episode I ever had and walked thirty six miles. I wrote a book about it.
I remember that day in Salem Hospital. Hearing the lists of people being remembered depressed me. I was angry at our president. I was paranoid. I thought something was going to happen again. I spent most of the time that day away from the television in my cage. Outside at Salem Hospital, in the psyche unit, there is a place, a cage like place to smoke cigarettes. While I was smoking, I could hear in the air, the sounds of jet planes. I knew they were fighter jets, surveying the land. It was really cloudy that day and cold. There was a beautiful girl there with me, we smoked cigarettes and began a conversation. She was manic, she was my manic girlfriend, while I was there.
September 11, 2003, I don’t remember. September 11th of the next year, I will never forget. That was the day my brother in law Jimmy died. He died of cancer. My sister has never been the same since he died. With my family being so distant, we all came together through Jimmy. I can never forget that day.
What happened the day Jimmy died, was called a living wake. I was there when he died. I watched my nephew then 15, holding his father’s hand, while my sister stroked the hair on Jimmy’s head, as we watched Jimmy die. I had never seen someone die before. My family has never been the same since. Yet, every september 11th, my family gets together, or if we can’t… we call one another, and remember.
Today is September 11th, 2009. It’s raining today. It always seems to rain on September 11th. On 9/11/01, it rained sulfur and burning ash from 84 floors up. Smoke and fire, as two towers crashed to the ground. On September 11th, 2004 when Jimmy died, it didn’t rain. But for my sister, I think it has never stopped raining.
God Bless All those who were lost on September 11th, all those who lost on September 11th, and all those still lost because of September 11th
Love you Andrea.