when it all comes back
I bought this book today.
I stood in Borders and cried. I knew the book was coming out - my mother had already ordered several copies from the library where she works. I was just stunned to see it there on display at Borders.
Every time I see Pete's picture - especially that particular picture - it all comes back. It's the picture my dad has hanging in his office. It's the photo that was used at his funeral.
I was just walking through the children's section of Borders, looking for something that would interest DJ. When I came face-to-face with Pete's image, I froze. I eventually approached the book as if I was approaching the ghost of Pete himself. I picked it up. Held it. Opened it very tentatively.
But I didn't read. I stood there, in the middle of a busy bookstore on a Saturday afternoon and cried. Not a noisy, sobbing cry, but a silent one. Just tears.
I hate when it comes back like this, when it hits me like a blindsided punch. Mostly, I hate myself for forgetting, for having these unabashed moment of joy and life when the thought of 9/11 doesn't cross my mind for hours at a time.
Chris Ganci is now a published author and that usually calls for congratulations. But I bet anything I own that Chris would rather have his father around than a book with his name on it.
Next Monday, Memorial Day, the Farmingdale, Long Island Post Office will be dedicated to Peter J. Ganci, firefighter, hero and great friend to my father. I will be there, wishing for all the world that I didn't need to be.
Anyone want a drink?