Friday, September 11, 2009

Loss And Remembrance

September 11th, 2001.

I had a 10 week old baby and was still suffering from the shell-shock of new Motherhood and lack of sleep. Little did I know I was about to receive a new blow on that gorgeous September day.

It was to be my first major outing with my bundle of uncertainty. I had a good friend that was a Landscaper with a Greenhouse in Monroeville. We were driving ALL THAT WAY to the wilds of Monroeville (when you have a new baby, a half mile drive can loom large like a journey of 1,000 miles) to meet for lunch and he was going to let me pick out some lovely chrysanthemums to plant in my yard.

It was the perfect day for such a journey; one of those skies that are crystal clear blue, not even a whiff of a cloud. There was a chill in the air that promised a lovely comfortable dry day that would slowly warm with the sun, allowing you to shed your jacket some time around noon. I barely had time for showering back then let alone television. So when my mother called me from work a little before 9:00 a.m. frantically asking if I was alright, I was completely clueless and still blissfully unaware of the terror about to unfold.

All thoughts of journeys were immediately forgotten and I sat cross-legged on the living room floor cradling my child and saw a sight that was so surreal and so unbelievable that it was difficult for the mind to comprehend what it was watching. Planes don't actually fly into buildings on purpose do they? But the fact that this was the second one began to indicate that this was no tragic accident and that indeed something evil was afoot.

My husband was currently working on a roof on a very tall building in downtown Pittsburgh and this brought a feeling of terror into my heart as the horror threatened to become unbearably personal as speculation flew that yet another plane was headed for Pennsylvania.

My phone rang and it was my best friend Melissa in England. We stayed on the phone. A link, a life raft, stretching over an ocean keeping each other afloat as we received blow after crushing blow of bad news. We often sat simply in silence watching the evil unfold. As we tried to absorb the thoughts and terror of the people inside as we watched buildings impossibly fall to the ground.

I continued to hold my child close throughout that day, doing what mothers do and the only thing I could do to make her world safe at that moment. At that moment it was enough and yet not enough in a world that was surely changing right before my eyes.

Blogland will be filled with 9/11 tributes today I'm certain. Mine is just a tiny piece of our collective whole. But we all went through it together. It's one of the things I was most proud of. We as a nation.

We were, in every true sense of the words - United. States. of America.

Republican, Democrat. White, Black, Purple, or Green. Rich, Poor, Middle Class. Didn't matter. We flew our flags from every car, rooftop, flagpole, window, and skyscraper. We were one.

My flag flies again today from my porch. I will hold my children close and remember.


Colleen said...

Beautiful. Touching. Uplifting and tragic all at the same time.

Judi said...

Yes, we were all together at those moments for every moment of reflection from that moment on.
What a lovely and heartfelt posting!