Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Breaking the Glass

It's traditional at Jewish weddings, as we were reminded again a couple weeks back, for a cloth-wrapped glass to be placed by the couple's feet then smashed right at the end of the ceremony. This is symbolic of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem a couple millennia back, and to remind the assembled that even in our moments of utmost joy we still need to remember that life brings sadness and sorrow, and it's hoped that the couple's new life can weather them both. Today was a glass-full day for me. We traveled to my friend and former supervisor Kim's house in Long Island to look at her two gorgeous cats, to whom she needs to bid a tearful goodbye as their presence is negatively affecting her husband's health, and we wanted to see if they'd accept us before committing to adopt them. It seems to be a perfect match so far, and I'm thrilled beyond belief that we're going to be "cat parents" again! Not only that, but Kim's husband (who currently works for a car service) will be picking up Robin's friends at the airport (and returning them a few days later) so I no longer have to worry about navigating the JFK-area in the dark! In the midst of all that joy, it was hard for me to think about how much I miss Leah (who would have been, I think, 55 today) and how much I miss what America was before the Twin Towers fell 15 years ago, back before sadness turned to vengeance and hate and suspicion and jingoism. I know I can't go backwards and hug my best friend any more or navigate lower Manhattan by the WTC, but whilst our memories can time-travel backwards our bodies only go the other way. So I will reserve my open arms for Robin's three college buddies in about a month and a half, then for two beautiful felines a week or so after that, and be grateful for every moment of joy tempered by broken glass.