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Friday November 27, 2015
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From Teacher to Terrorist



Even now, my memories of Diana return each year when the days get gray and slushy. I see her smile, hear her laugh again, and feel my spirits lift as in spring's returning sun. This February I drove to Williamston to meet that same friend in a small restaurant overlooking a river--a beautiful place for our fortieth-year memorial.

That sharp, searing, stinging pain of her death is just as bad as it was at first, but it now lasts only minutes. Mostly we are happy at having even just this much of Diana--these memories--still active in our lives. We talk about little things, funny things, and difficult things. As always, we each recall something the other had not known, details of an era that we can neither forget nor fully remember.

Survivors of the Weathermen have published theories about what went wrong in that Manhattan townhouse. They've suggested that the bomb-makers grew careless, or even that Diana, concerned about killing innocent people, chose to kill the bomb-makers instead.

I tell my friend about a dream of Diana that came to me a few months after the explosion. Wanting to understand what had happened, in the dream I begged Diana for an explanation. She laughed ruefully, saying that they had put some of the bomb-making materials too close to a heat register. Nothing dramatic, just something small and stupid. And then she was gone, leaving the lightest scent of her natural fragrance, which still lingers.

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