You might have let out a chuckle when you spotted the title of tonight’s blog, and I can’t blame you really, but it’s a place. It’s in the state of New York. It’s the residence of someone I love a lot. I got some sad news today, news I knew I’d be receiving sooner than later (but hoping it would be MUCH MUCH later) but I received it during my shift at the bakery I work at. It wasn’t a place I could yell and punch a bag of flour, really (though ohmygod do I want to do that when I get asked some of the questions I get asked by customers)… and then I had to head off to a meeting for the board of directors for my apartment building (because I’m the Treasurer)… and THEN I had to go to a comedy show and do a bit about a douchebag I met online dating (because I am a single lady, with a plethora of such stories to tell).
And now I’m home, and I have a space to yell my lungs out… but I can’t. I am, however, crying as I write this. Though technically I can blame that on my mascara, which sometimes makes me tear up at the end of a long day. But truthfully, we can all call bullshit on that because the truth is my friend Ray is likely not long for this earth and that is why I am crying. I have written about Ray before and I likely will many more times. I have been listening to U2’s Everlasting Love a number of times tonight.Where life really flows / No One really knows…. His friendship is not one I’ve had for long, about a year really, but knowing where I am now in 2017 and knowing where we both were on September 11, 2001… that our paths crossed 15 years later? Wow. I’m a lucky lady.
So, if you’ll permit me… I just want to address one person in particular right now…
Ray, I tell you this now because I know you’re still here and hopefully Caryn or Taylor will be able to pass on what I told you when I last saw you in April… I love you deeply, and still shake my head at my good fortune that I met you. When we began filming No Responders Left Behind, I had no fucking clue it would lead me to the people I’ve met. One of whom, is you. I am so sorry we won’t have the film finished in time for you, but I know when we do bring it to festivals next year you will have a REALLY good seat at the premiere. We both share a belief that you have to keep telling your stories, if you can tell your story or the story of someone who has passed so their memory is kept alive it’s a good day. Your positive outlook will be on repeat in my head for the rest of my life. When I’m down about x, y or z… when someone asks me “What’s in a chocolate chip cookie?”, I will take a breath and mutter ‘Chocolate and cookie’ only to myself, as I tell them with a smile what’s in… (sigh)… a chocolate chip cookie…. THE POINT IS, Ray. I will miss you greatly. But I’m here to keep telling your story, and the stories of your fellow First Responders. I will do that, and promise you that. Thank you for helping me find my voice as a filmmaker and as a storyteller. xo, Kelly.
Because my journey for this documentary started by my watching The Daily Show, I’ll end things tonight with my Moment of Zen. It’s from when we wrapped our first block of filming in May 2016… Ray is the dude in the center… rocking the FDNY uniform.