9/11 is a difficult date for thousands of people around the world. For our family, it is 21 September, today’s date. It was 31 years ago today when tragedy struck: whilst driving the family home from a cousin’s wedding my dad suffered a minor stroke. He was on the motorway. My 17 year old sister died, my father suffered a serious head injury, my mother injuries to her spine, my brother’s minor injuries. I first wrote about it 3 years ago in ‘September: seasons of mist and mellow sadness’. Check this out if you’re not familiar with my story.
So it’s hardly surprising this date is seared into my family’s collective memory as one to endure, mark, recoil from or simply struggle through, depending on one’s mood. For the first 10-15 years, we did all of the above, but usually quietly: my father, having a compromised memory would often not even be aware of the date, and so we would be left wondering how much to remind him, caught between the importance of marking it as a family or diplomatically sweeping it under the carpet. Continue reading