Today marks the anniversary of what happened not all that long ago.
And thoughts are swirling around in my head. 9/11/01 is a day I will never forget. I didn't even know about it right away - nope. I was watching PBS kids with Little Miss then. And dh called me and told me he was leaving downtown Chicago (which actually, he is down there again today - kind of weird since he goes to Chicago about once a year for work). He told me to change the channel to find out what was going on - he couldn't even really explain to me what was going on, only that it was bad and a LOT of people were leaving Chicago so traffic was pretty bad.
I flipped the station and almost immediately burst into tears. I was so scared. And then the building fell. And all I could do was just sit there. It was awful. I called dh again, kind of hysterical and begged him to come home. He couldn't. His boss wanted everyone at work. And not only that, but they weren't allowed to watch the coverage at all (and yes, typing that today fills me with a sadness and anger - I wonder if they regret that decision now). I did not want to stay home alone. I was terrified something would happen in Chicago/near Chicago and I was just completely afraid to be home alone with my daughter. I called my mom. I was supposed to go to college classes. I didn't. It was an hour drive and I just couldn't make myself get in my car and go. Instead I went to my mom's house. And I sat there most of the day. We watched coverage. I was terrified and scared. Everything seemed so surreal to me.
I remember most of all, waking up the next day, needing to go to classes, needing to take my daughter to the sitter and struggling to figure out if that was safe to do or not. I did do it.
I will tell you right now, I did not directly know anyone who lost their life that day. I did not know anyone who was injured. (I did know a few people in the area who had crazy experiences to share with me) but something inside of me just couldn't handle all that was going on.
I ended up dropping out of two of my classes that semester. I couldn't focus on things for a while and I had a hard time leaving my daughter as many days I was supposed to. So I dropped some classes and was only on campus a few days a week.
Fast forward a year later .... and the first anniversary of 9/11 was approaching and I was getting ready to give birth to my second child. Because of how things were going with the pregnancy (meaning they weren't going quite as well as they should have) my midwife wanted to induce me. We decided 9/10 would be a great day to do it - but then she looked at me, very seriously and said "Will it be a problem if she is born on September 11?" I felt taken aback - Of course not! I responded. She was concerned the inducement could carry over to the 11th and wanted to prepare me for that possibility.
I went home, dh and I chuckled about it. And then told ourselves that if she was born on 9/11 that would be a beautiful thing - something good on a day that would seem so sad. We thought it might even be kind of nice if she waited to be born that day!
Well, she wasn't. She came on the 10th just as planned. And it was wonderful. Truly it was, but then I turned on the coverage of the memorial. And I sat in that bed, holding my new baby just bawling my eyes out. The pediatrician came in, turned off the tv (told me I was in no condition to be watching something so emotional), opened the windows, checked her out and told me to spend the morning bonding with my new baby.
I think that is how I spend each September 11th now - I know it's going on, it is in my heart, but I for all intents and purposes turn off the tv (meaning I don't really like to watch the stuff on TV nor do I really read about it) and go about life with the kids.
Today we are playing, doing school, we will run errands, and we try to just do what we do.
But in my heart and head, I am saying prayers. I am still mourning the loss of life, I am mourning what happened since then, I am mourning how that sense of safety feels like it went away. And I am also waiting in anticipation - of the next attack, of the next attempt. I'd like to think we can stop it from happening again. But that might be a little naive? I hope not, because I really do hope that we don't have something like that happen for a while ....