Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you?

I still remember. I can't believe it has been seven years. How our world has changed since then! I remember sleeping in with Colston, who was 9 months at the time. I think we woke up around 9. I fixed his cereal and plopped him in his little highchair on the floor of our little apartment. We sat in front of the tv and I was going to let him watch Elmo... which he was just starting to notice. I'm pretty sure the tv channel was already there, or else I would have seen the news coverage everywhere! It probably hadn't been more than 10 minutes when Jason called me from work (when he used to work downtown). I remember he said, "you need to turn on the tv."
While he was talking, I turned the channel to NBC. I could not believe what I was seeing. I vaguely remember Jason talking to me, but I couldn't comprehend what he was saying. I'm not a morning person anyway, but this was beyond understanding... at any time of the day. I think we got off the phone and I took Colston out of the high chair and just held on to him as tight as I possibly could. I remember tears streaming down my face and his little eyes just staring up at me. He was only a baby, but I swear he knew something wasn't right. He let me hold him all day. I don't think I let go for a minute. I was a young mom, watching our world fall apart, and wondering how on earth was I supposed to raise a baby in a world like this. And the bad news kept coming. Planes crashed. The towers fell. People jumped. Heroes rose from the ashes and life changed forever.
I remember Jason calling again to say he was coming home. The company he worked for at the time let the employees choose where they needed to be that day. My guess is that the building ended up being pretty empty. Who DIDN'T want to be at home with loved ones that day? I had never been so happy to see him when he came up the stairs and into our apartment. We just held each other. And cried. We watched more news coverage for awhile. Just hoping and praying that surely there would be survivors. Somewhere. I remember that we decided to leave the apartment to get some dinner. We had to get out. To think. To clear our heads. To pray. To just be together. The skies were eerily empty. Flags were everywhere. Oddly enough, people seemed to drive a little more safely, maybe even a little more patiently that night. We came back home. Turned on the tv. Nothing had changed. It really had happened.
I don't need to turn on the tv today to see all the footage over and over again. Truthfully, I don't even want to. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I think about it often. I think about how fleeting life can be, and how no moment is guaranteed. I think about how there is a plan, even when we don't understand it... still. I think about how easy it is to forget on some days. And then I see a picture of Colston as a baby that is still on our wall and I remember those eyes, looking up at me.... trusting me to keep him safe in a world where safety is often taken for granted.
Where were you that day?

1 comment:

Lisa Johnson said...

I had just left my baby girl at pre-school. She was 2. I was on the Beltway headed to work at the bank. I remember listening to the radio, but not really understanding either. When I got to work and turned on the TV, I watched the plane crash into the Pentagon. That whole day was filled with watching the news at work. We didn't get to go home. I was so upset because all I wanted to do was hold my sweet girl. I cried all day in between pulling myself together for customer issues. thank goodness my office was in the back and I wasn't a teller. I would not have been able to deal with keeping it together all day.

The really weird thing this year was not seeing it on TV all day. We are in Houston so all day the news was filled with preparations for Hurricane Ike. No 9/11 at all. I probably missed them recognizing it, but the coverage was not what I expected. Just a few years ago I gave my box of collected items to a teacher. I really hope it is still being shared with students today.

Wow, that is the first time I have gone through that this year. I needed that. Thank you for sharing your story.