My husband and I often took walks on Sunday afternoons along the Brooklyn Promenade, an esplanade cantilevered over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, offering breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline of lower Manhattan.  The walks were, unquestionably, an excellent form of exercise, since the entire walk was over 2 miles, back and forth, from our house.  They were also a time we could talk about the myriad things that we enjoyed talking to each other about– our children, work, current events, anything.  They were always an important time together on our weekends in the city.

The evening of September 12, 2001 was a walk to the Brooklyn Promenade that was truly unforgettable.  Hundreds of residents of the downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods converged there to quietly stare at the still smoldering skyline across the river.  We were among them.  People cried openly, hugged and just stared west.

In late December, a few weeks before my scheduled move ,  I decided to walk up to the Promenade on a relatively mild Sunday afternoon.  About midway along the fence that extends the length of the approximate half mile walkway, there is a wreath that has been there for at least the two years of my widowhood.   On it, in wire, is inscribed: “September 11, Broken Sky”.  I typically pause in front of it and look out at the now invisible Trade Center towers.   That Sunday afternoon, I stopped again, and this time remembered my husband and my coming here the evening of September 12.

Wreath on the Promenade

A few days after that Sunday afternoon walk,  I happened to be invited to dinner at a friend’s brownstone in Brooklyn Heights.  Her house was a short block from one of the streets leading into the Promenade.  The sun was setting and I walked over, sat down on one of the benches and took in the brilliance of the sky over the harbor.  I decided it would be my last visit there as a resident of the neighborhood, and as good time a time as any to say my formal, and difficult, goodbye.

Brooklyn Waterfront