While the girls and I were in Chicago for the second wedding, a New York Times reporter, Gretchen Morgenson, called to interview me for Bruce’s Portrait of Grief in a New York Times series.
We spoke late one night by phone as Emily and Meghan slept nearby.
Gretchen said, “Tell me about Bruce.”
I spoke of his journey to become a firefighter and his love of the outdoors. I explained how excited he had been in early September when he had completed the last hike needed to be able to boast that he had hiked the complete Appalachian Trail from New Jersey to Connecticut. He had hiked it one section at a time just doing day hikes over the course of a few years, but he had done it.
“What is a prized memory that you have?” Gretchen asked.
“We took a five–week camping trip a few years ago.” I replied. “We called it our National Parks Tour. We visited the Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain National Park.” I chuckled. “It did get a little tense a times—with four people and a dog in a pop-up—but it was great.”
Her piece appeared on December 31, 2001, as part of the series “A Nation Challenged: Portraits of Grief: The Victims.”
Thinking about moments like these—Bruce escorting his mom to a family wedding, Bruce’s hiking accomplishment, our family camping trips—reminds me of a quote by (of all people!) Dr. Seuss.
He once wrote, “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it is a memory.”
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