a note to ted
Dear Mr. Rall,
Just thought you might like to read this article at one of your former publishers (the New York Times), about the suffering people you decided needed a little more pain: Six Months Later.
MIDDLETOWN, N.J., March 8 — A middle-aged widow rarely gets out of bed when the sun is up. Another staves off the pain with mounds of paperwork and nonstop errands. One young mother, inconsolable and financially overwhelmed, has scared friends with dark suggestions that she and her children might join her husband in heaven. For a mother coping with a lost son, spirituality has become a comfort and a crusade.
Weather-beaten American flags still fly from every other minivan antenna, and the signs along Route 35 still proclaim “God Bless Middletown,” but for most residents of this comfortable, self-concerned suburb, life has regained its former hectic rhythms, marked by early morning commutes, early evening intramural sports and monthly mortgage payments.
But six months after the destruction of the World Trade Center, there is little normalcy for the 34 households here that lost a family member. If anything, the surviving family members say, the daily struggles with sadness and anger have become more debilitating. The shock and numbness, the whirl of condolence visits and the bewildering distractions of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year have given way to unrelieved bleakness.
“As stupid as it sounds, the first two months, you still have hope he’s going to come home,” said Isabel Nimbley, a mother of five who lost her husband, Paul. “Now it’s sinking in that he’s gone, and it just keeps getting worse and worse.”
If you still have a career after this, here are a couple of suggestions for future envelope-pushing editorial cartoons. First, how about those obnoxious paraplegics who whine constantly about being unable to walk? Some of them even get government assistance to pay for their silly wheelchairs! Second, how about the families of Israeli victims of suicide bombers? Can you believe all that wailing and carrying on?
I think there’s comedy gold here. You don’t have to give us any credit; just take the ball and run with it.
P.S. You bug.