Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 Years Ago...

10 years ago, I don't remember exactly what I was doing.  It is strange but I remember that my house was clean.  I lived with my brother and a clean house was not something that happened on a regular basis.  Chances are I went to sleep while watching either The Wedding Planner or My Best Friend's Wedding because I was newly engaged and had wedding on the brain.  I went to sleep that night with absolutely no idea that I would wake up in the morning to a world that would never be the same.

Shortly after 8 a.m. on September 11, 2001 my brother ran into my room and woke me up yelling, "WE ARE BEING ATTACKED!!!"  I, naturally, asked where the dog was and ran to the living room.  We sat on my red flowered couch on the black cordless phone with my mom and watched in terror as the first tower collapsed.  As news trickled in about the flight in Pennsylvania and the plane that hit the pentagon....I was stunned.  I was not exactly shocked that something like this was happening, but the scope was incomprehensible.  If they were going to hit the pentagon....what is stopping them from taking everyone out?  Were we the safest because we are in the middle of the country?  Where do I want to be if something like that happens here?  The only answer I was sure of was the answer to the last question.  I knew I didn't want to be at school. I skipped my IDS 110 class and took lunch to my dad's office. We sat and watched the coverage as we tried to eat our sandwiches. (Bacon Turkey Bravo from Panera) Luckily I had filled up with gas on the way because by the time I left his office, people had panicked and gas stations resembled Black Friday at Best Buy.  Not good.

I reported for duty at 4:00 for my shift at a drug and alcohol recovery center and it was like visiting a parallel universe.  With the exception of a few women who were "upset" (read, "I'm going to freak out so I can milk this situation for an extra smoke break) most of them were not concerned.  I heard things like, "Yeah, it sucks but it's not my problem." Someone actually said, "It doesn't affect me so I don't care."  I could not believe they could be so flip about one of the biggest and most deadly events in history.  The world around me began to make less and less sense.  It stayed that way for months.

I called friends that I hadn't talked to in a while.  I prayed with my parents at a local church that we had never attended.  I watched the footage.  I turned the footage off.  I tried to be okay with planning a wedding.  I tried to make sense of it all.

Ten years later...I still watch the footage and it is just as terrifying as it was the first time. I pray. I read the stories about the children who never met their fathers because they were born AFTER the attacks.  I pray.  I read the stories about the widows and widowers who have found true love again.  I pray.  I sit and wait for my husband's plane to land in Springfield tonight...and I pray.  I pray to God and thank Him because I know, there is a place waiting for us where this kind of loss and pain will seize to exist.