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Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago...

...we didn't own a house.

...we didn't have children.

...we were newlyweds.

...we lived far from our family.

...we watched our world change as the towers fell.

Daddy was in graduate school at Brown University.  All the grad students on his floor gathered in one lab around a small back and white tv to watch as the second plane hit and then as the towers fell.  I remember I couldn't reach him because he was in a different room and had no cell phone.  How times have changed.

I was teaching reading at a local school in our city.  I remember not believing it when someone reported that a plane hit one of the towers.  Then parents began to pick up their students early and I began to take it more seriously.  At lunch, we all gathered in the kindergarten room to watch the news coverage.  By this time three more planes had crashed and the towers had fallen.  We had to tear ourselves away from the tv to return to the students who hadn't left.  I remember walking out to my car to call my father, who was and is a newspaper editor.  In his frantic state, he assumed I was my sister and told me to just stay inside.  Later he didn't even recall me calling him.  I remember walking back into the school and noticing how clear the sky was and how silent everything was.  Of course it was...there were no planes flying anymore.

I remember leaving and coming home to sit in front of the tv watch the news coverage.  I remember watching it for hours.  I also remember waking up in the middle of the night to find Daddy sitting in the living room watching more...he couldn't sleep.  It was hard to not watch.  It was hard to go to work the next day and not be able to know all that was happening as it happened. 

I remember the frantic calls from my mother.  She didn't know I had called my dad...because he didn't remember me calling.  No one knew we were okay in our state 6 hours away...on the other side of the destruction.  I remember the feeling of panic that all the roads to get "home" were closed and we were stuck 6 hours away.  I remember that feeling of fear.  I remember that feeling of the unknown.

Now, today as we remember that time, I struggle to explain to my six-year-old the events and the meaning of that day.  Luckily the four- and two-year-old are too little to understand.  Tater, being the Drama Mama that she is, takes everything to heart.  So we have to be careful.  We are limiting her tv exposure, talking just little in simplistic terms, and treasuring our family moments today.

We are remembering 9/11 in our own way.

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