In the Words of The Bard

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The whole quote is quite beautiful and from Hamlet ~ not my favorite of his plays, but a lovely quote just the same.

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.” ~ William Shakespeare

Every year on this date, I think about exactly where I was, the very minute I heard the first report of “some sort” of plane crash in NYC.  I have never written about this on my blog because, well, its just not the kind of thing I write about.  Not because it is sad.  I wrote extensively about my mother’s illness and death.  Not because I don’t think it worth writing about.  It most certainly is.  I think its because I still 8 years later don’t know quite what to say.  How I feel about it.  How it changed everything.   I didn’t know anyone killed that day.  I never really felt any sort of imminent threat against my person or my family.  I felt many things.  Shock. Fear. Anxiousness.  Sadness.  Anger. Thankfulness. Responsibility.  I think everyone felt something.  Even the coldest of hearts had to be touched that day, to some small degree.  I still have questions I don’t feel like anyone will or can answer.  But that is not the subject of this post.  I very seldom talk about 9-11-01 with anyone, even family. I suppose it seems to some that I have a strange brand of loyalty/patriotism and quite likely, that is true.  Before I get off on the wrong foot, let me say I am very patriotic.  I believe I live in the a wonderful, diverse country that people died to build and preserve and are still dying for.  Words can never express my gratitude for those people.  And on 9-11-01,  I loved the way people came together, across political, racial, religious, economic lines.  They all just wanted to be Americans.  I am sad it didn’t last very long. I believe my beloved country is as divided today as it ever has been.  But what do I know?  My world is very finite.

Let me talk about something I do know ~ my story of 9-11-01.

Husband was at a work-related school and I had gone with him, like I often do, just to spend some time with him. We had taken both vehicles because I had not intended on staying all week.  The evening of the 10th we were to meet another couple for supper when his truck started acting up. I honestly can’t remember what went wrong but we decided we would call our middle son and have him come down and he and I tow the truck home.  Then I would meet Husband somewhere half way at the end of the week.  He could ride back and forth to class with a co worker.  So it was settled, our son came down, he and Husband got the truck ready to tow and the next morning,  we headed home, which was about 3 to 3 1/2 hours away.  The three younger children ages 5, 8 and 12 were staying with my parents.  The two oldest were no longer living at home.

We got on the road headed home and we stopped just outside of town to get gas and something to drink.  While my son pumped gas, I went in for drinks.  I walked in got two bottles of water out of the cooler at the back of the store and walked up to the counter.  The girl behind the counter just stood there looking at me.  She had the strangest look on her face.  My first thought was “OH NO! I have walked in to a robbery.” So I carefully looked around and no one else was in the store.  So I said to her “Are you okay?” She says “We’ve been attacked.” Those were the first words out of her mouth.  “Whose been attacked?” I asked.  “We have.” and she pointed to the television that was on behind her.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There was an image of smoke billowing out of what I recognized, eventually, as the World Trade Center.  She still hasn’t said anything.  So I asked her if she would please let me pay so I could go.  I think my first thought was “I have to get home.”  I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I was seeing.  What was happening. Or who had done it.  Surely it was just an accident.  Nonetheless, I needed to get home.  I walked out the door as my son walked up to it.  I said “Get in, there’s been a plane crash in New York.”  He looks at me like I am nuts and says “and?”. JUST GET IN.  So we get in our separate vehicles and the minute our radios come on, we both realize its not just a plane crash.  Immediately, as I am pulling out onto the highway, I call my mom on my cell and tell her to not turn on the TV till I get there.  She tells me it was on, she knows what is going on (which is more than I know), she turned it off and she will keep the kids from knowing anything until I get home.  Knowing anything about what I wondered.  I still hadn’t really realized what had happened.  I turn on NPR and my son and I are talking on our cells to each other fairly often along the way.  Just feeling so, I don’t know, not really disoriented but something close to that.  I am still thinking to myself even after the second plane hit that it was something phenomenal, not deliberate.  Then the radio tells me a plane has hit the Pentagon.  That changed everything.  What hadn’t sunk in before that moment, came crashing down on me.  I didn’t know who was doing this.  Why they were doing this.  All I was certain of was it was with purpose and a big set of cojones. Who flies a plane into the Pentagon? I knew at that moment, nothing else I heard that day would shock me. I drove as fast and safe as I could to get home.  No matter what else happened I needed to be with my kids.  In the meantime, Husband had called me a few times.  And we didn’t know what to say really.  Be careful.  Love you.  Talk to you again in a little while.  We were just so shocked.  I made it home safe and sound and began explaining, as best I could, to the three younger ones what had happened.  What was happening.  For days we sat in front  of the TV not able to concentrate on much else.  I just knew my kids’s world would never be the same.  Some of the innocence we took for granted was gone.

Now here we are 8 years later.  Many things have changed.  We still talk about it from time to time.  And about the things that transpired as a result of it.  Why we think it happened.  Wonder if it could have been prevented.  Deciding, probably not and wondering, not if, but when we will have to deal with terrorism in our country again. We wonder if it will be some outside group perpetrating the attack or if we will hear news of another story of domestic terrorism like the Oklahoma City bombing.

If you were sitting at my kitchen table, I might subject you to one of my sermons, tirades, commentaries along the lines of an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, but on my blog, this morning, the anniversary of the death of thousands of human beings who were killed not because of an act of God, or force of Nature, but at the hands of people filled with hate, that would be disrespectful of their memories. May they rest in peace.

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