Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Day After

Around 7:30 last night, I checked our answering machine and heard a cryptic message from my dad -- his voice audibly shaken -- about 35W, but he wanted to assure us that he and the rest of our extended family were present and accounted for.

At that point, I had no idea what was going on.

The next message was from Jocelyn's sister, who called to see if we had heard about the 35W bridge collapse.

God help us.

The house where I grew up in northeast Minneapolis -- and where my parents still live -- is less than three miles from the site of the 35W bridge disaster.

I've driven across that bridge hundreds of times. So have countless family members and friends.

My dad's driven across it thousands of times -- including twice a day, every day, for twenty years -- until he retired from his job exactly two months ago yesterday.

I don't know what else to say, other than that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Since I don't know what to say, I offer James Lileks' words:

I’ve driven across this bridge every few days for thirty years. There are bridges, and there are bridges; this one had the most magnificent view of downtown available, and it’s a miracle I never rear-ended anyone while gawking at the skyline, the old Stone Bridge, the Mississippi. You always felt proud to be here when you crossed that bridge, pleased to live in such a beautiful place. Didn’t matter if it was summer twilight or hard cold winter noon - Minneapolis always seemed to be standing at attention, posing for a formal portrait . We’ll have that view again – but it’ll take a generation before it’s no longer tinged with regret and remembrance.

1 comment:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Will pray...how awful....