In watching the season finale of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, I was moved in a personal way when watching Rachel Uchitel revisit Ground Zero to get past her loss of her fiance who died in one of the towers. I was not there, I did not suffer loss as many people did. I actually was able to gain something within the loss of it all.
In the wake of every disaster lies an opportunity. From crevasses of broken, dried up earth, a single flower can bloom and create a beautiful masterpiece changing the destruction in the landscape before you. My single flower is my dear friend Heidi, my survivor. She’s my dear ex-roommate, my friend of chance happenings. She is my gift from 9/11.
Picture this, 2006, I am the tail end of partying my ass off in the hub of the Newport Beach scene, bartenders knew my girlfriend and I by name and micro miniskirts. Living for the day in a great location of Newport Coast, I was having the time of my life. I made decent money and was wasting nearly $2000 a month of it on 980 sq ft of living space by myself. Lonely for someone to share it with I got a puppy.
What a beautiful dog she was, Dinky. But boy did that tiny thing yap. I hadn’t informed my apartment management about my new roommate and apparently I was in the “pet free zone” of the community. After I got a threatening letter (some passive aggressive note with no contact info from a neighbor) stating that the dog barks all day while I am gone and they will send animal control to take the dog from such an abusive owner, I got contacted by the management. I was forced to move; luckily it was dog friendly on the other side of the community.
Meanwhile on the other side of Newport was Heidi. She wanted a change from her current situation. With English bulldog in tow, she wanted to find a decent roommate for the two of them.
My co-worker was privy to both of our situations and suggested the match. He also made it abundantly clear to both of us that he would not be to blame if the other turned out to be a lunatic. I was skeptical since I did not know one thing about this girl but wanted to give her a try, since I wanted more girlfriends, a roommate and basically had no time to sit and figure things out. So with time NOT on our side, we said “what the hell?” and moved in the following week or so.
We bonded instantly. Not being together constantly, it was easy to get along and to be surprised about each other’s lives on each occasion we spent with one another. We found that we had much in common or could at least relate to one another.
Then September came around. My co-worker had mentioned to me that 9/11 had a great impact on her life as she was a native New Yorker, but I did not know the profound, personal impact it truly had. You see, Heidi was in Tower II on 9/11. She did not get into details about that and I would never press for them but that day altered her life drastically. I could see her trepidation as the anniversary was arriving and the strong woman I knew just fold in upon herself, protecting her heart and mind.
That event drove her out of New York, which I can completely sympathize with. I love New York with everything I have, but I cannot imagine what my heart or brain would feel if I were in her shoes. I would probably be a shell of my former self IF I could ever recover.
In my case, I did not witness that day of terror, other than on a screen while talking to my friend in Virginia who was supposed to fly in. But if that terribly horrific event did not occur in the United States the way it did, I would not know this beautiful, bright, strong woman who I am fortunate to call one of my best friends.
If not for her moving away from New York to California, then eventually moving in with me, I most likely would not have stayed in a relationship with my then boyfriend, now husband. (I always dated by proximity and if I ended up moving back to Long Beach, I am certain that Newport Beach would have been much too far for my relationship to last.) If not for meeting her therefore staying together with him, I would not have my beautiful son.
I cannot imagine my life any different, but it’s a shame that it was such an event that helped propel my life in this way. Although it was a terrible thing that happened, I cannot help but find the solitary rose garden that grew for me from the ashes of that barren wasteland that is Ground Zero. I do NOT thank terrorists for this one bit, but I do thank God for saving her and sharing her with me.
It is times like these that we should always take in account that some bad things can be the propelling force that create our lives. Bad things can and will happen throughout everyone’s life, but they also ultimately create the good things that follow. If not for these situations that try us, if not for these incidents that test us to the very limits of our being, we cannot truly live to know the strength that we possess and can share with others.
Thank you Heidi for sharing your life with me and helping to create the rest of my life to share with you. I love you.