September 11, 2001

Never Forget

Most of us have experienced life-changing events …they can be great or small but that matters not; what happens in that circumstance…what we remember from that event… in my mind, shapes us, changes us…defines us.  Even the most tiniest of details, instantly recalled in great clarity, no matter how many days, months, or years have passed…..can spiral us back in time and bring us to our knees-maybe in grief, maybe in joy but almost certainly not in indifference…

I can remember vividly the day my children were born.  I can still hear the music that was playing as I was being wheeled into the delivery room for my son’s birth (the television show “Mash” was on, the theme song playing softly in the maternity floor’s waiting area).  I see my son’s blue hands vividly even now and I’m still shaken to this day with worry over my baby…I’m right back there, on the delivery room table….

I can taste the apple I enjoyed just a half-hour or so after my daughter’s birth…I see the little pink Steiff teddy bear her father brought to me to celebrate her arrival and how the early morning sun (often scarce for Germany) filtered through the trees and into my room’s window on that crisp-cool September day as if to say, “Welcome new baby girl.”  It’s clear as a bell….

It’s like a movie playing over and over in my mind…. the images of those events are still fresh as if it were yesterday.  They bring tears to my eyes still to this day, my heart skips just remembering…those were events that so changed my life…..

And so is September 11th, 2001, but for obviously different reasons.  And I know that I am not alone in remembering that day…

I’m standing in front of the television …up close…inches away from the T.V.  My purse still on my shoulder upon entering the house….My hands cover my mouth in horrified disbelief, tears falling as I watch the atrocities of the morning unfold, over and over and over again on the television screen.   I’ll never forget that day.  I’ll never forget where I was when the planes hit, what I was doing….the eerily silent drive home after my boss sent the office staff home that morning….the anxious waiting and waiting and waiting to hear something from my husband who worked across the street from the Pentagon (in the Navy annex).  He had almost daily meetings in the Pentagon; I had no idea if he was there that morning….I was borderline hysterical for hours waiting to hear from him.  I imagined the worst and I was a physical wreck for doing so.

….not to mention freaking out about my children’s safety!  I was waiting for them to come home….all the schools in the area were on lock-down; I had no idea how they would process the horror either.  And, Washington D.C. was in a state of chaos…so was Shanksville, PA and New York City….nothing like this had ever happened in the U.S.  It was simply unthinkable.

I can still almost taste the fear… fear for what would happen next….

I can still remember the anger later….blood boiling…”why, why why”…. pulsing through every vein in my body….. anger at certain office mates who immediately jumped on the political blame bandwagon with little regard for sensitivity, diplomacy or compassion.

I can only imagine how that day affected others; my own emotions were certainly all over the planet… love, compassion, overwhelming sadness,  helplessness, a depression that lasted for weeks on end…every emotion, you name it…incredible to me since I was not one that lost a loved one that day.

I’ll never forget September 11th.  It’s still difficult to process that there is so much evil in this world and we still haven’t been able to call a truce to it–and the likelihood that human-kind never will is depressing enough….

September 11th fundamentally changed our world…turned it upside-down. Nothing has been the same since.

So…A ray of sunshine to get me through this somber day of remembrance?

My four-year -old nephew is giddy all over…he started preschool yesterday…and his Zia CC (that would be me) can’t wait to see videos of his first soccer practice…..

Best buddy Brando is wagging his tail as I write hoping that I’ll throw the squeaky ball just one more time….

Hubby left me a voice mail from Berlin …”I just called to say I Love You…”

Live in the moment….it is all we truly have. And in this moment, a prayer in my heart for the souls lost on that terrible day and for the families that lost them….may they all be at peace.