Re: “Life and death share the same calendar,” by Victoria Hugo-Vidal (Sept. 8):

I am a regular reader of Victoria’s columns and was especially moved by this one, about 9/11, her birthday the next day and her father’s death on her birthday two years ago.

First is her capacity to acknowledge her parents’ wisdom to “keep (9/11) the day as normal as possible for us kids,” even with a family member who worked in a government building in D.C.

Then she notes that this would be “a week of mourning” (the attacks and her father’s death) and her brother, in the Navy, would be observing these from a destroyer in the Middle East, “enough time for a whole new generation of American children to grow up and go to war.”

Finally, I was struck by the confluence of birthday greetings two years ago with her waiting for the arrival of funeral parlor staff, and the fact of a better year last year than two years ago because of her sobriety. “And this year I’ll still be sober” – the fact of “sober” is juxtaposed with the “joys of life.”

Thanks, Victoria, for all you offer your readers – and Happy Birthday!

Joan S. Leitzer


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