Thursday, September 11, 2008
September 11, 2008
At about this same time in the morning, on Sept. 11, 2001 I remember exactly what I was doing. I was awakened by a phone call from my mom. She alerted me to watch the TV, something bad happened in New York and they were saying it was possibly a terrorist attack. Like most people who had settled in to relative peace and calm in my life (terrorism? that only happened in the middle east, right??) I couldn't imagine what had transpired. Turning on the TV, I was horrified at what I saw. Hayley was in third grade, and Hannah in first. Harrison was in preschool. The girls started to come in my room, but I didn't want them to watch anything on TV, so I sent them out and then I went downstairs to watch the coverage. At one point, the girls were at the top of the steps saying "can we come down?" and we said "no!" I didn't want them to be scared. Then, I wasn't sure if we should send them to school. Phone calls started coming in from my friends asking if I was sending my kids to school? Finally we decided they would be better off in school than watching the TV coverage at home. So, they went. And I went on with my day, which included walking with my neighbor. The day was such a brilliant blue and completely cloudless and it was so hard to imagine something so unspeakable had happened. As we walked past another friend's house, she came running out saying her cousin had been in the World Trade Center when the planes hit. She was waiting for word (we later learned he had died). It was all so surreal and scary. One thing I remember was that I did not watch much TV coverage at all. It seemed the kids were always around, and I just didn't want them to see it. So, I felt like I missed a lot of what was going on. Many months later, I watched a special with coverage I had never seen and it put a lot of pieces of the mystery together. At the time, though ,I felt like our world was insane. It felt like something horrible and huge was going to happen (and I guess, in a lot of ways, it did - the war, for example, stemming from this incident). I also felt bad for all the misconceptions and rage and raw emotions everyone felt, and those who were innocent being attacked because of their heritage. It seemed too crazy. And for a very long time after, it seemed nothing would ever be the same. And nothing is, really. You go back to your life and your routine, but the world was irrevocably changed on that day (as it was on many other days in history) and you are a bit more jaded from it. Knowing you are so vulnerable is scary and if you dwell on it, it can make you crazy. So, we go on, remembering and not forgetting and hoping.