Today marks the one year anniversary of a date that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
It has been one year since the collapse of Champlain Towers South and the deaths of 98 residents within that building.
Among them were my parents.
There are memorials being made during this day, religious services, and general gatherings but I don’t know if I have the emotional strength to attend them.
Since the collapse of the building one year ago, I have ventured near 8777 Collins Avenue only one other time. I went to the Red Cross station at 93rd street, some six blocks north, a couple of days after the collapse to provide DNA samples via a swab. These samples were used to identify my parents’ bodies and truthfully since that time I haven’t had a desire to drive by the site either before or after the rest of the building was knocked down.
Since that day, June 26th, I haven’t passed near that area and, frankly, I don’t want to.
I don’t want to see the now empty land that once housed a building my parents, and I for near a decade, lived in. I don’t want to come face to face with what’s left of two lives I still hold so dearly and can’t believe are gone.
So I sit at home, remembering their smiles and the many times we spent together while trying to understand the unfathomable.
I spent the past year working at our family business and finishing writing my latest novel, which in many ways has been my grief therapy. I finished the actual writing of the novel a week ago and, by an odd coincidence, I strongly suspect the cover will be completed today and I should be able to start the process, on this day of all days, to upload it and perhaps even make it available… at least through Amazon Kindle.
But there will be hours I’ll be sitting around today wondering if I should go and join the other mourners. I don’t know if I have the courage to do so.
Truly, I don’t think I have that courage.
It’s been a very tough year, frankly, and I can honestly say there has been maybe one day where I’ve felt like my old self, a day where I actually felt good.
Today, I’ll have another flood of memories along with the realization of the passage of time. I will once again mourn my losses, as will my family.
But I’ll get through it.
One day at a time.