I can't not talk about 911 today. It's all around, as I want it to be. And it has been a weepy weekend for me. God has laid it heavy on my heart these last few days. I can't escape and I don't want to. I am grateful for needed tears which are not about me, for release of whatever all else ponderous has sat dormant for too long.
I took the kids, on Friday, to a park nearby filled with flags. A flag for each victim. My oldest child is nine. I had hoped they could comprehend, by viewing the mass amount of flags, the magnitude of just what we lost that day. They could not. And it occurred to me that there is a generation arising who will not know. Who will not be able to understand the horror we felt. But we can't stop talking. We can't stop remembering.
It seems, that for many of us, it has become important to share our stories. We want to recount where we were and how we felt. Just as women need to share the stories of the lives they've birthed, their labor stories, so we want to talk of that tragedy, the collective groanings which birthed in us something we can't quite touch or remember quite as vividly as in those moments, but still, something so life changing that its story-indeed, our stories, must be told.
I was twenty-two, six months pregnant with my first child, asleep with my husband in our tiny apartment when the phone call from my mom woke me up. I turned on the news just after the first plane crashed and woke up Brett. We watched as the second plane hit.
The kids and I have been watching specials this weekend with coverage from that day. Always, I will remember that second crash. But I was reminded watching again, all these years later, how the day's horrors unfurled one after the other. Our nervous system, didn't seem to have adequate time to recover before the next thing happened. The Pentagon. The fourth plane. All planes being grounded. The second tower falling and then the first.
Shock waves continued to reverberate through our hearts even as we watched live, trying to wrap our minds around each last scene.
I've been trying to figure out just why it still affects me so. Why, the crying on and off this weighty weekend? I was in Phoenix, not New York. I didn't know anyone who was killed or hurt. Still, my life changed. My naivete vanished that day. Young and with child, I was honestly scared. What kind of world was I bringing a child into? I became one of those glued to the TV for days, maybe weeks, after. My husband worked, I didn't. So, I just watched. I wanted to go help. I felt helpless. Was I too caught up? I don't know but I do know that it's important to be reminded, to feel the echoes ten years later of what we felt then, to try to call up the love for our fellow citizens and the patriotism we all willingly chose in the thereafter. To question just what was it that we birthed that day?