Today is September 11th.
Where were you when it happened?
I was married to my first “husband”. I was sitting in my bed drinking coffee and getting ready for another 12 hour shift in the ER. I was stunned watching the first plane hit–in my naivete, Oh Dear. What a tragedy. So sorry for the lives lost, Now I must get in the shower and get ready for my day. I came out, ready for work and the second plane had hit. In that moment of brain numbing shock I tried to process what I was learning.
Work was brutal. We were busy and all we really wanted to do was gather around a TV and hear something that made this all make sense. The news of the day got worse and worse. The patients checking in with anxiety and depression grew to staggering numbers–NO KIDDING!! We all felt that way. Outside in the “Butt Hut” the skies were still and quiet in Iowa, not a plane in the air. Far from the terror and chaos out east.
I got home that night after 14 hours at work. Fell into bed and watched in horror. The people falling, burning. The families searching for Fathers, Mothers and children–They vanished in a instant.
Here I am today. A lot has happened since that day. A lot of life lived. Divorce, Loss, Love, Marriage, Babies–Life. Despite politics and economics, terrorists and turmoil, I am safe. I am free. I little older and a little wiser and not as innocent.
Just like our parents remember where they were when Kennedy was shot or our grandparents remember December 7, I will never forget those moments. I will spend a little time today talking to my boys about hate and terror, about innocence and loss. We will talk about September 11–Patriot Day. What can I do today to honor their memory?
I was 26 years old and on short term disability from my job at the bank. I was recovering from an abdominal hernia surgery at my parent’s house. I was actually at the kitchen table cutting a bushel of late summer tomatoes that was to become salsa. My baby sister was getting ready for school, her senior year of high school. She calls from downstairs and asks me if I’ll iron her a shirt to wear that day (she’s running late, (really) and that’s all I’m gonna say about that). I turned on the Today Show and wonder if what I’m watching is a video from overseas, then I realize it is New York! Jim calls. I want to hear my husbands voice tell me that he wanted to hear mine and that we are safe. That seems silly since we are in Iowa….
I felt sick for a week watching all the coverage–seeing the images, hearing the stories.
Then time passed and life went on. I don’t think about it much anymore but I didn’t lose my spouse, my children, my family or friends that day. Just last weekend Jim and I watched a documentary about 911 and my heart began to hurt again. This time viewing it all through the eyes of a mother.
Freedom isn’t free, we’ve all heard that. When tragedies have happened in American history she is spurred to action. It has burned in the chest of it’s citizens until they joined up or rallied or prayed. Where were you that day? What does the anniversary inspire, move or challenge you to do?
Honestly and Sincerely,