Joel, my brother, bounced back

Sep 17, 2001

Joel, my brother, bounced back quite well from the loss of his job last month. He starts his new job today, as a supervisor of counselors who work with children with mental disorders. Congratulations, Joel, and good luck in the new job. All last week, as I sat transfixed between the television (I watched Peter Jennings exclusively, since ABC had such good coverage and restrained commentary) and the radio (with NPR), I wondered about my place in society. While I was holed up in a dark apartment in North Carolina, thousands of people were working days on end—firefighters and doctors, truck drivers and FBI agents, reporters and photographers, mayors and governors and presidents. I felt lazy, unimportant, and far from my dreams of being an editor of a national magazine with insightful ideas to share. I thought back on the decisions I made, with Erin, back in April; if we’d chosen differently, I would have been enrolled in Columbia’s journalism school, and I would have been on the ground reporting for days on end. But I’m not, and I can’t let myself regret those decisions. Instead of being in danger, I’m safe and sound, with an even more important task at hand. I’m raising my daughter. Each night, before I put her down to bed, I speak to her about the day’s activities, about her growth and her promise, about the love Erin and I give her. This stage of fatherhood is repetitive, but day to day I can chart little Anna’s progress. There’s no terror in her life, and I’m working to keep it that way, so even as terrorists in New York and elsewhere are tearing at the fabric of our civilization, I’m doing my small part to build it back up.

Anton Zuiker

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