If Wishing Made It So… In Remembrance of September 11, 2001

friday-fictioneersWhen I saw the photo prompt this week, several threads came to me. However, today, as I cleaned my deck and reflected on this day thirteen years ago, this story took root and had to be written.  In remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001 and the tens of thousands who have died in the years since, in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If wishing made it so, it would simply have been a beautiful late summer day.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who patiently organizes and herds our eclectic band of writers each week, reminding us that stories should be 100 word– with a beginning, middle and end, and somehow connect to the photo prompt. This week’s photo comes form Janet Webb. There are so many good stories; if you’d like to join along or just check them out, visit Rochelle’s blog Addicted to Purple.

© Janet Webb

© Janet Webb

If Wishing Made It So (100 words)

 Jacquie walked into the bathroom, and dragged her finger along the trim. Dust collected under her chipped nail, and dust motes floated up– reflected back in the streaked mirror. She avoided eye contact with the pale, thin woman there.

She gathered the dry bouquet, another reminder of the desperate weeks since Todd’s death. What had been a thoughtful apology– end of summer lavender, beach grass and a starfish they’d found together– now sat neglected in the vase.

If only we’d stayed on the Cape for the week after Labor Day. If only he’d stayed home with me that Tuesday. If…

•     •     •

What do I want? I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post hit Like, and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think.  Follow along; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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32 Responses to If Wishing Made It So… In Remembrance of September 11, 2001

  1. Dawn, A sad and lovely story on the theme of Sept. 11th. I think most of us remember where we were at that time. I know I do. I stared in almost disbelief at what was happening as many of us did. The people who died had relatives all over the world, so the sorrow was everywhere. Well written as always. —Susan


  2. I thought about Sept. 11, 2001 today (well … yesterday, now that it’s after midnight) more today than on any other anniversary. I’m not sure what all of the reasons for that are, but at least some of the reasons I think are war fatigue, ISIS, and the realization that there is just no end.

    Nice take on the prompt. I stayed away from the subject in my piece, although it has been a very strange day as I’ve found myself watching hours of old news footage on Youtube today thinking about all that crap.


    • It’s so amazing, but I still find myself shocked that any of it really happened. I’ve seen the footage, countless times, but it still seems surreal. And yes, all the horrible things that have come after. It’s truly numbing. Thanks for reading and sharing ZombieS. Much appreciated.


  3. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Well written and poignant, Dawn. A heartfelt reminder for the day.


  4. Beautiful, Dawn. I felt the sense of loss in that last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Dawn,

    Life is littered with “if only’s” isn’t it? Poignant and full of longing, mirroring many stories just like it.

    Our family was spared in that our daughter in law, who was halfway up the tower, made it out alive.

    Two things…I think you mean thin woman and not women. For me, putting the last line in a gray box was a bit of a distraction.

    Thanks for the memory.




    • Rochelle, interestingly, I read your daughter-in-law’s story after I’d written this… or, realized the connection after; I can’t remember which. But, it brought the reality home! How very blessed that she was spared and got out, when so many others didn’t. Her story of healing is very powerful and inspirational. Thanks for the observations. That last bit isn’t in a “gray box” for my viewing… but indented and italicized. I’ll check that, and correct women! Thanks. 🙂 Shalom, D


  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    You demonstrate a masterful touch with this story. (Do you mean ‘woman’ instead of women? Women, though, could be evocative of her changing over the years/time since his passing. Just wondering.) Humans on the whole ware good, but some of them make me pro-nuclear. My message to all of those who started the endless war is, ‘Your god is worth killing for? Please save us a great deal of pain and anguish and start with yourself’.




  7. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn, Excellent story, of course! You are so fun to read! I was working at the County Library when 9-11 happened at a meeting in one of the branches. When we were leaving, someone had turned on a radio and told us what had happened. I couldn’t believe it! I have 4 healthy sons and knew in an instant they would go to war over this. I was numb – as everyone else was. Well, only one son had to go to Kosovo (not Iraq) and I prayed for all every night. A sad, sad, chapter in our history. Well – have a good week. Nan 🙂


  8. rgayer55 says:

    If wishes were horses, beggars might ride. We often second guess and ask “What if?” but like they say, hindsight is 20/20. Very poignant and well written, Dawn.


  9. A touching tribute we can all relate to.


  10. Hooray! I found you. I’ve been looking for your story – the picture of you that is usually attached to your link. Ah, well, here you are. So many what-ifs attached to that day (or any day a tragedy happens.) Lovely tribute, Dawn.


  11. If only.. afterwards your word is filled with ifs.. and then there are others who where saved.. if the train had been on time, if if .. every day we are at those little road crossings when a small difference make all the differences.. Did you ever see the film “sliding doors”.. when two parallel stories were allowed to develop.. ?


  12. Amy Reese says:

    I don’t know how I missed your story last week! Probably because I was so very late. What a powerful story, Dawn. It doesn’t seem fair to have to live with that tragedy. I can’t imagine what that would be like. It would be hard not to be angry. And here we are now with no progress whatsoever. That can’t help matters for people who have lost a loved one.



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