Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pivot Point

Six years ago today I had just returned to Chicago on the Red Eye from Phoenix. I landed at 6:15 AM, got my bags and caught a cab for the north shore. I couldn't decide if I should go to bed or go to my office as I'm not a very good day-sleeper. Ultimately I decided on a short nap. A little after 8, Vicki woke me with the news of the first plane hitting the tower, I went down stairs, turned to CNN and soon saw the second plane strike. Kim called me from the office to ask if I would be in - her voice told me that was not really a question.

Why am I talking about this? I guess it's about events that profoundly change the trajectory of lives, be it a nation or an individual. No doubt that 9/11 has shown America at it's best and its worse. No doubt that our personal seminal moments bring out the best and the worse in us as well. When Dr Godley spoke to me about my condition, she said as a preface; "what I'm going to tell you is going to profoundly change your life, how you live it, what you plan for, how you determine what's important and what's not ." I didn't ask for more detail.

So, in the short time since I've known about this illness, 3-weeks this Friday, I have taken steps to change my life. I have thought about the "worst" in order to plan for the "best". I have people all over this town sending me good thoughts and heartfelt prayers. I have a wonderful wife and her beautiful children to add to my pile of gifts. So, I found it fitting to get up this morning and be greeted by the cheery, efficient and notably professional staff of UCH and a day of chemotherapy. Makes sense, it's 9/11 the day that profoundly changes lives.

12 comments:

Rhonda K. said...

I remember this like it was yesterday. I know we all have our stories from the day. I remember all of us huddling around the old SGDP TV (16" barely color, w/rabbit ears) at the front conference table, none of sure of what to do next. Of our friends at United. Of our friends in NY.

Life really is so unpredictable. Sometimes it takes a big "crash" to remind us of that.

Al Mitchell said...

Loved the musings aboout 9/11 and life changing! Your blog is terrific!

Anonymous said...

I just got wind of the Blog. I didn't know the Goodwins were so techy. I propose that we commission Zach to find a way we can do "virtual" drawing wars. I think it's been about 15 yrs since our last battle and I've got some new ideas/weaponry I'd like to try out. What'dya say guys?

Joe Engel, the chubby kid from across the street

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! is that our little Joey who wrote above me!! wow!

anyway, it's been a few days so i just wanted to reiterate once again how strong and positive you are! that is an amazing quality to possess while traversing this life changing event. i hope you are keeping yourself occupied! if you want some of my homework to do while you're chillin' in the hospital i'd be more that happy to donate some!!

as always, love you like crazy! keep on smiling, i know i will!!

love
eri

Anonymous said...

Arnie, Please excuse me while I use your site to exclaim to the previous writer...OH MY GOSH!!! JOEY!!! How wonderful to see you on the blog. What a sweet memory you just brought up for me. I know that Arnie will be so surprised! You've made my morning. Thank you.
Vicki

Anonymous said...

Arnie
Events like 9/11/01 and your own remind us about how fragile, beautiful, painful, touching, tragic and wonderful life can be. No one escapes unscathed - each one of us "gets to feel it all."
I have been thinking about you and have been wondering how to reach out to you. This is a great forum. Wow, you really are creative! You are in my thoughts and are a true inspiration! Keep on writing....
Love,
Susan M. Your former employee and client

samm said...

hey UNCLE arnie, MJ called me the other day and told me about this site, but i havent had an internet connection for almost a week (stupid small town phone company) so i am currently using my neighors wireless connection, so i just want to say that i love you and miss you and am glad to hear that you're doing so well. - that's it for now, i'd better go before they notice me hiding behind their tree.

Anonymous said...

It has been a long time and although I could give you a million excuses my contact with friends is like my short game (non-existent) I have sincerly always enjoyed your company, your humor, and the few rounds we've played together - remember the vacation with that damn trampoline!!! I know you have the heart of a lion to beat this with all your friends in your corner. Someone in your blogs commented about snail mail (Chicago) to you(and you think you have problems) Hope your smiling.

Gary S

A. H. Goodwin said...

All,
Amazing reach the blogosphere has (excuse the spelling on this if it's incorrect) anyway it's wonderful to hear from people far and wide that I've known and loved at some point. Joey, I believe that the last time I really saw you was on the stair case of our house in Wilmette, you were I believe a freshman at U of I (?) and Zach was hhstill in highschool. Gary, I believe I came out to your house to pick-up Erica after a Diane weekend that she always enjoyed to much. I surely remember the trampoline- I also remember getting my butt kicked at table tennis by you and Zach- I always loved South Haven. My bride just arrived and I'm going to eat and laugh.
Thanks to all for being part of this experience with me.
Arnie

Anonymous said...

hey papa!
I was sad to hear that you have not been feeling too hot over the past few days. i guess the good times couldn't last forever. although you may be throwing up profusely and probably wishing that you could hold down that fantastic food that MJ is bringing over for you, just remember that were all here for you especially during the worst moments. it's easy to be a good friend while someone is happy and alert, it gets harder when the person you love and support is hurting, because it makes us hurt too. no matter what though, every person you have touched along the way is thinking of you and sending you strength. you are not alone. Ever. I love you so much and will be thinking of you all day. call me when your feeling up to it. stay handsome, pops.

i love you
eri

Dan MacLean said...

Arnie: Just stuffed an envelope with pages from a 2006 New Yorker joke-a-day desk calendar. It was on its way to the wastebasket so I salvaged the ones I knew you'd appreciate - the really odd ones.

Here comes the snail. Gotta go.

My best,

Dan

A. H. Goodwin said...

Hi Honey,
Your words bring tears to my eyes. Thanks, feeling much better and even got some feisty in me today. I'll call tonight around 6PM CST- if you're still in class just give me a call when you get out.
Love,
Me