Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Visit with a Japanese Reporter


Today I brought home a Japanese journalist to meet my parents.

I met Akiko five years ago, when she was in the US interviewing 9/11 families - and we had a truly wonderful conversation. Rather than the typical newspaper interview, after answering a few questions we embarked on a wide ranging conversation that touched on grief, anger, 9/11, global politics, cultural differences re US and Japan - and so much more

This week, the paper sent Akiko back to the US to engage in "follow-up" with a few of the people she met in 2006. And this time I invited her to meet my parents in their home. We had tea and cake, and Akiko brought some delicious cookies from Japan as a gift. And over tea, we talked.

We talked of how we each have changed in the past five years - and how our family and the world at large has changed since 9/11 - for good and for ill. We discussed 9/11 and my younger brother, Tommy.

We discussed how we channeled our grief from Tommy's death into a scholarship fund and an annual golf outing. We shared our thoughts on the national memorial and on global politics.

We talked of Fukushima and the suffering Akiko has seen there.

We talked of family and friends and faith and fellowship.

It truly is a small world when people take the time and the care to reach out over distance to touch hearts.