Autumn has already settled in here, in my home in northern Vermont. Maples are beginning to blush, days topping in the 70’s, evenings into the 50’s.
August has always been a tenuous month, the lead-dog racing into September, pacing through October, charging into the holidays. This used to be my favorite time of year; return to school and normalized work-schedules, empty beaches, crisp air. The swirl of bronzing leaves and the scent of stewed apples provided me with a sense of grounding on the approach of my October birthday, through thirty-seven years of my life. Now, I dread them all. This year, I deluded myself into believing that after twenty-two years of traversing the dark August tunnel to September 11th, I wouldn’t need to refill my benzo prescription. Yet again I find myself on the floor, in child’s pose, heaving. Smacked down by mini breakers, I’m lost in the undertow of all of my designated tasks, questions of purpose, endless solitude and celibacy.
Over the course of this year, free from the constraints of single-parenting, a difficult second marriage, and intense grief over the loss of my son, Davin, in Oct. 2020, I’ve become more present and informed in the supportive and geo-political 9/11 community, of which is both a privilege and a crucible. I’ve engaged in some public speaking opportunities and I participate in bi-weekly family support groups, where I’m proud to have inspired others in the self-healing practice of writing. I’ve dialed in on hours-long conference calls with impassioned, and exasperated family members (mostly widows), phone hearings on active litigations, discussed plans for attending this fall’s hearings for the five unsentenced conspirators held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, Cuba, and had conversations with senators and local representatives regarding the myriad of open issues that severely impact mine and my son, Dylan’s lives. In addition, I continue to spend bloodshot hours studying court dockets, hearings, and legal statutes in order to learn the legal cipher necessary to lift my confidence and raise my voice.
Without question I’d love to let go of the wheel and coast through my sixties with an iced pitcher of espresso-infused martinis on my picnic table. However, “closure” is not an option. I know that those I hold close wish for me to move on, with the implication that I can pack away and swallow the key on twenty-two-years of fighting for my survival, my sanity, my children’s well-being, my husband’s legacy, my sense of value. Every day I’m opening to discern the expanding awe of how the perfect love that grew between David and I for two decades, continues to evolve in unexpected ways. In Dylan’s inciteful ways of solving problems and his proclivity for art and Edomae sushi. In the love that remains strong between his mother and I. In the way the unbroken voice that had always been hidden deep inside me, protected by the fortress I’d spent half-a-century building to protect the beaten down parts of me, is surfacing in a continuous unveiling.
Nineteen years ago, I was coerced under duress into signing an agreement that barred me, and all those whom share this tragedy and sought the elusive avowal of closure, from pursuing civil justice and appropriate restitution. The largest majority of us were young mothers raising children. Following a great persistence of widows and decedents in lifting these restrictions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued judgements with the year 2039 etched in the terms, which feels more like a suggestion than an affirmation. For three years, I have been deadlocked by the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court, of my past residence, in my petitions to appropriate reparations issued by an act of Congress on behalf of David’s estate. My MDL attorneys arduously motion the DOJ and petition Congress to renounce extrajudicial killing of American nationals, expose truths redacted from 9/11 Commission reports, exact punitive measures, and appropriate reparations on behalf of my son and I. Consequently, the expanse of time that this wound has been open has widened the berth for serpentine profiteers in cashmere suits poised as attorney’s, congressional representatives, and corporate insurance conglomerates. Independent attorneys assemble satellite groups of 9/11-related individuals unlawfully seeking duplicate and exclusive judgements to seize assets based on the murder of my husband! This dissonance muddles and hurts the pursuit of justice and reparations for the families of those who were murdered and injured on that day, as the horizon recedes into the abyss! To date, I am sequestered to witness the unclosed trials of the few who are housed, fed, and administered health care, at a cost far greater than my “award”. To date, our nation is opening the gates to the great Trojan horse; teeing off on sovereign Saudi assets, wetting their appetites, as our landscape is transformed into hot, arid wasteland.
Each year, the song of the sparrow dims as the ring in my ears grows louder. There are so many flashes in my field of vision, that most days, I don’t even know where my cursor is. Near the end of this composition, remains a broad caesura afore atonement for the murder of my husband and the subsequent death of my son. For this sacrilegious assault on my family there have been no prosecutions. No verity. No justice. No reparations.
For years I had felt stuck, choked by the scope of the 9/11 machine — the global terrorist organizations, the banks that hold deposits supporting terrorist activities, the foreign governments whose representatives and employees planned, trained, and carried out the attacks, the uncountable multidistrict litigations (MDLs), and the U.S. government protecting their secrets in sealed records under the guise that revealing the truth “threatens national security”. Really, the unremorseful mass murderers have already won; Fragment of right scapula, broken mother, fatherless sons, one death by suicide. I am their trophy. All of this, this, this, etc., punctuates the Islamic militant’s creed – that a “defiled” Islam must be purged of apostasy, with bloody sectarian killings. I am the bold-faced sentence of the crusade in Islamic jihad.
But, despite the drag, I have been moving forward all along in my life. I strive to break the isolation of my northern Vermont shelter by travel to explore the beautiful landscapes and architecture of the world, taking daily walks with my border collie, keeping good company, and getting some fun, as Dave had wanted for us all. And oh yes, writing and sharing my stories. I may not always be graceful nor ever twirl with the verve of a young woman in a field of gold but, every day I dry my tears and strive to make peace with the 37-year-old who had to die in order for this 58-year-old to find freedom on the other side of my protective walls. I just want to become someone I can live with.
I accept the decree handed me by the Masters, as I continue to walk through the dark tunnels carrying the ballast of my load and loves in my backpack along the unknown path [ ] treading closer to the lucid acme of truth, transparency, accountability, and justice.
© 2023 by Deborah Garcia, all rights reserved