They call themselves the "Widows Club" -- four young women bound by the loss of their husbands on Sept. 11, 2001.
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center, each received an outpouring of sympathy from friends, relatives, in-laws and co-workers.
These women, however, found that they offered each other a kind of support and consolation that no one else could provide.
"Love You, Mean It" is a collection of their experiences: how the widows met their husbands, how they spent Sept. 11, and how they grieved afterward.
At once heartbreaking and inspiring, the collection is unlike any other book about 9/11.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable. -- HELEN KELLER
The Widows Club July 2002
It was a Tuesday in July, the second Tuesday that would change our lives forever. We'd decided to meet in a bar on Park Avenue South, not far from where we all work in midtown Manhattan. "Let's do early drinks," we said, like we were going on a date and wanted to see how things worked out before committing to dinner.
Clear blue skies over the city were deepening before sunset as we left our offices. Not too hot, no signs of storms. The kind of perfect summer evening that makes New Yorkers want to go out and do something. And everyone was going somewhere with someone that night, or so it seemed. Just because our lives had come to a standstill, it didn't mean the world stopped turning for everyone else. Happy couples were strolling arm in arm to dinner. Husbands and wives chatted over drinks in sidewalk cafés. Everywhere we turned we were faced with the reminders.
On the way to the bar, we tried our best to focus on the evening ahead and not to look back. Ten months later we were still too defeated for anything like excitement -- we knew that whether we were in some Park Avenue bar or on top of Mount Everest, this constant ache would be right there with us. But what we can say is that we were thankful we had plans that evening and that we were going to meet one another. We were all friends with Claudia by now and we'd met everyone else in the group at least once. We'd all been attracted to Claudia's determination, her refusal to let the unthinkable destroy her life forever. We sensed that we had much more in common than the obvious. And let's face it, at the end of every working day, there were so many hours left over in the evening that if we didn't arrange to meet someone -- anyone -- it would be yet another evening of go-home-and-get-under-the-covers-again and pray for the time to pass. Time seemed like an eternity.