And the River Was Like Glass

Life Goes On

The river was perfectly still, like glass, early the morning of September 11th. I'd been home for a few days. My mother had begun to lose motor control of her right leg. We feared this meant the lung cancer for which she'd been treated in the spring had metastasized into her brain.

Our day was already full. Despite the leg problem, Mom was hosting a luncheon for friends at noon. Afterwards other friends would join up for a presentation about one of Mom's many craft passions, scrapbooking.

We'd already had our first cup of tea when Dad turned on CNN to hear the morning news. The first plane -- a small plane, they said at first -- had just hit the World Trade Center. We sat down to learn more. In horror, we watched the second plane hit the South Tower, understanding, instantly, that these strikes were no accident. We sat, mesmerized, horrified, in tears.

At 10, the first call came. "Is lunch still on?" I looked at my Mom. Without hesitation, she answered, "Life goes on."

Still in pajamas at 11, I spoke with Mom's doctor to schedule a brain MRI for that afternoon.

"Already," I thought, "life goes on."

Outside, the river remained smooth, a peaceful reflection of the early-autumn sky, as far as imaginable from the destruction we watched in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

My Mom died of metastasized lung cancer on May 1. Some mornings, the river is like glass, just as it was on September 11th. Life goes on.

Written the morning of September 11th, 2002, the first anniversary.

This morning, on the fifth anniversary, the river is again like glass and my Dad reports, "A small flock of giant Canada geese just flew over above the tree tops and the yard is full of small birds of one kind and another, mostly sparrows I do not try to identify. The flocks are gathering and my black ash leaves have fully turned a brilliant yellow, much nicer than most years but not many have dropped yet."

And his friend, our friend, Olya writes, "Sober morning with the background of 9/11 memorial sounds and the moment of silence for the 3,000 people who lost their lives on that day. This moment of history touched deeply my life and made me feel more American than feeling Russian by birth or Italian by marriage. God Bless America!"

Life Goes On.

(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. dearest A, thank you for this. xoxo

  2. Just beautiful. Thank you, Alanna.

  3. Life does go on, even during moments like these. I'm so sorry for your loss...I lost my Grandpa to emphysema and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last December.

  4. Really a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Yes. And we somehow go on.
    Take care.

  6. Lovely post and moving tribute.

  7. Alanna,

    Your mom sounds like a lovely woman.

    My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain in January. He's in treatment now and sometimes it takes all my effort to just keep going on.

    Thank you.

  8. Wow. Well written, and very moving.

  9. Alanna, it's not just that you're a wonderful cook and teacher -- you're a wonderful writer. I hope you find time in your life to bless us with more insightful words that all can relate to. Beautiful! Thank you! Becky

  10. Alanna,

    What beautiful words! It's so touching and and certainly very true.

  11. That's beautiful, Alanna. The whole thing. I'm very sorry about your mom. My mother also died of cancer that wound up in her brain (stem). I don't usually have any words, but you found wonderful ones. Thanks.

  12. It is a pleasure to know you through your website and your spirit.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna