If we were having coffee on this cool, sunny morning you would likely comment on how quiet my house is. Other than my two cats playing with a large box, there is no activity yet in my humble abode. Hubby and the kids are still sleeping. This is my productive time when I can actually get things done.
If we were having coffee, we might make small talk and exchange pleasantries before talking about the elephant in the room… the anniversary of September 11, 2001. It has been 15 years, but I still cry when I watch the footage and listen to the stories of those lost and the stories of the heroes from that day. It never stops hurting. We would talk about where we were that day because everyone remembers clearly where they were when they heard that news. I was working in Cleveland, Ohio. My coworker’s son called her and told her to turn on the news. We had no TV in our clinic so she turned on a radio. I remember sitting at my desk trying to go online to news sites but the internet was so jammed that no pages would load. I called my husband at home and told him to turn on the TV. He told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I thought, like many, that it was an accident. Then he watched the second tower hit live and we knew that it was no accident. My hospital went on disaster plan protocol, so we were not allowed to leave. It was a horrible day. My coworkers and I went out to the main lobby and watched footage on the TV’s. Doctors, nurses, patients and other staff all crowded around and watched in stunned silence. I remember feeling lost when I finally did get to go home. My husband and I went to an impromptu prayer service at the Catholic church next to our apartment. We gathered with strangers and held hands and sang and prayed. We didn’t know what else to do. I remember the footage going on for days and I felt like the tears would never stop. I felt like the pain would never stop. I was so proud of my country, of those in New York and the surrounding areas, of those that banded together and worked through emotional turmoil and physical exhaustion to help others.
I remember thinking at the time that I was glad that we did not have children yet. If I couldn’t wrap my own brain around such a horrific display of violence and hate, how could I possibly explain it to a child. Now I am a parent and I still can’t make sense of a horrific display of violence and hate. I tell my children that there is violence in the world and there always has been. It is the way that we react to it that defines us. So today, we will talk a little bit about what happened that day 15 years ago. I focus on the aftermath, the strength and courage of good people. Yesterday my kids baked cookies and today we are taking them and other treats to our local police station and fire department. We will thank them for their service.
If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that it is T minus 17 days and counting until my trip to Seattle!
We would talk about other random things… I am excited for my second physical therapy session this week, I have mixed feelings about upcoming parent teacher conferences this month, I am holding out hope for a good outcome for the St. Louis Cardinals this month (Go Cards!), I am happy for September and the little signs that summer is fading away and fall is on it’s way.
What would you tell me if we were having coffee?