My family was one of the few lucky metro area families to come through 9/11/01 whole, and I'm very grateful for that fact.
Sometimes the husband is still a bit haunted, wondering whether his favorite WTC maintenance people or security guards were spared. Sometimes he dwells on the fact that he was working in Tower 1 on 9/11/00. But, even though it was a scary time, our little circle was pretty much left alone on that awful day.
The husband is no firefighter, police officer, or EMT. He didn't go rushing to try to save lives. He sat at home with me, watching the news, trying to shield 3-year-old J from the scariest of the details, trying to find a way to be excited about bringing a new baby into the drastically changed world (I'm guessing most of my fellow 9/11/01 positive hpt takers were feeling the same way.)
Life did eventually begin to get back to normal. The Towers were far from the only damage in the city. Surrounding buildings were full of rubble, dust, and a stench like no other, and somebody had to do something about that. Somebody like the husband.
Because the husband spent so much time decontaminating buildings, he was entered into The World Trade Center Health Registry database. Every so often, we receive letters and surveys so he can report back that he's alive and well. He wasn't a first responder, and he went in with proper equipment, so this isn't something that concerns us very much. Each time a new envelope arrives, I hand it over to the husband with a little "Just checking to see if you're dead!" quip. We have a really bad sense of humor in our house. What can I say? We saved sealed, radiated mail as souvenirs when anthrax letters originated in our post office. Everyone handles tragedy in their own way.
The only mailing that *I find disturbing is the annual Happy New Year card.
"Best Wishes... for a wonderful year! From the World Trade Center Health Registry Staff"
I don't know. I can deal with the surveys and the occasional phone calls. But there's just something about this "greeting card" that just makes me want to scream. They may as well write "Hope ya don't die in 2009!" Why pussy foot around what you really mean?
I can't decide whether this makes me under-sensitive or overly sensitive. All I can say is that I'm disturbed.
To the World Trade Center Health Registry Staff- Hope y'all live through '09, too! :-)