Bruce was the first to call me yesterday morning. He asked, “Are you watching tv?” As I searched for the remote, I replied, “No, what channel?” He answered, “Any.” In absolute horror, we watched the events unfold on live broadcasts following the first plane’s strike on the World Trade Center.
As the videos of plane after plane after plane crashing into buildings replayed, I kept thinking, “this is all my fault.” I now had a clear parallel visual vividly burned into my brain of Lou piloting the Trinidad TB-21 into our home. Whoever was responsible for this certainly got the idea from Lou. Commercial planes were hijacked, not used as weapons to take down skyscrapers. I paced the house and tried to breathe through a full-on panic attack, knowing full well that my thoughts were irrational but unable to stop them anyway. Over and over the planes crashed, buildings burned and fell, and people died. Over and over, I relived the scene of our home burning to the ground with Lou dead at the controls in the pilot’s seat of the plane. He did that because of me. What if these people are dead because of me? That can’t possibly be right, but what if it’s true? The media will let me know.

The media was granted access to my court documents last week. I accidentally stumbled upon the hearing at the courthouse while getting my mail next door and decided to talk to the press off the cuff. I assumed they would soon read every word of my affidavit and hoped they would show some compassion in their writing if they met and heard from me firsthand. I explained that prior to seeking help from the lawyer and the court, I reached out to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for advice on how to protect my daughter and myself. I told them I respect the constitution, and the decision of the court, but added, “My concern is my daughter’s health and happiness. That would be my husband’s wishes too, if he was in a sound state of mind.” I recited what I could recall of The Serenity Prayer, noting that I had given Lou a framed copy for his office years ago, included it in his memorial service just a few days earlier, and often remind myself of Niebuhr’s words. Most of the details from my affidavit hit the presses the next day, but the stories were somewhat tempered by the inclusion of my personal statements.

Now, more than ever, I need God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. I cannot change my past or whatever role it may have unlikely played in yesterday’s events. I do have the courage to keep moving forward in the present, continue to love and protect our daughter, and be a positive role model in her life.

I also have the courage to make my own choices from now on, and surprised Anjelica with one of my first big decisions when we drove to a breeder to pick up our Golden Retriever puppy today whom she quickly named, Buddy. The three of us will live happily in a new lakefront home. My sandcastle was knocked down, but I can rebuild.