I grew up four hours away from New York, and every month or so someone from church would organize a drive up for church-related stuff. The world headquarters of my former cult de jour is located in Columbia Heights, so like good little kool-aid drinkers, we made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The Brooklyn Bridge was our pearly gate. It was kind of awesome.

I couldn't imagine New York after the attacks, and I had to see it for myself, so six months after I hopped on a plane and spent a week in New York. My friend took me for a walk to Ground Zero, and I made it all of 3 minutes before I had to leave. It was still a huge hole in the ground, covered in debris, swarming with workers trying to sort out an unsortable sort of mess. Many of the buildings along our walk were still boarded up, still full of the ashes of things I can't bring myself to fathom.

We sat, my friend and I, on the roof of his apartment building every morning which sat right on the river's edge, the same rooftop he stood on watching smoke billow out of the towers, before he'd gotten on the subway, back off it, and walked into a war zone. The view spanning the the expanse of the Manhattan skyline. Every morning I'd sit there with my coffee and stare, trying to will those towers, those people, our brothers and sisters and nation, back. We took pictures which I intended to share this morning, but I just now realized that I've lost them.

So instead, I'm just going to share these, some photographs of my heart and soul, the greatest gift that Canada every gave me, the most gentle, kind, pure, honest, loving person I've ever had the privilege of loving. Someone who's taught me about life and the world and myself. Someone I've kick-boxed with and read from the Qur'an with. Someone who is the rule, not the exception, to her heritage and her religion. Someone I would trust beyond all others with my life and those of my children. And then I'll state simply that there is a difference between a person's choice and a people's beliefs, and pray that we as a nation are able to remember that when we speak of our fellow countrymen, our fellow humans, our brothers and sisters, be they Christian or Atheist or Flying Spaghetti Monsterers or Muslim.

You Say Goodbye I Say Hello

Updated: God issues press release. Says it much better than I ever could have. Showoff.