Dani woke up sick that day. I can't remember what was wrong with her, only that she went back to bed, and so did I. Aidan slept in his crib down the hall. He was 9 months old. I was 7 months pregnant with Ian, and happy to have the extra sleep.
But it was short-lived. My phone rang. It was my dear friend, Karen. "Turn on Good Morning America," she said. I did. Just in time to see the second plane hit. I remember saying, "Terrorists." And I remember it being so WEIRD, that the word came off my lips so easily - a word I'd probably never mumbled before. A word I'd rarely even heard. But my heart knew, just as the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Americans knew that bright September morning.
Darren's building, the tallest in Fort Worth at 40 stories, and situated near the Federal Building, evacuated. He came home. I was so thankful to have my family together, watching the footage, crying, unable to clear the lump from my throat. But we were all there, all safe. All scared. Where next? Were there more planes in the air?
And for days afterward... I couldn't tear myself away from the TV. I wanted information. I wanted resolution. I prayed that survivors would come out from under the rubble. I wept a lot... for the child I was carrying - Ian - and for my two other children... that they'd grow up in a new world where Terrorism was a real threat. We all lost a lot of innocence that day.
We took down our flags last week - the American one and the Texas one that fly on our two stoops all summer. Darren hadn't yet gotten around to putting them in storage, though I kept nagging him to do so. Last night, he took the American flag and put it back in its holder. "WHY?" I asked.
"Tomorrow's 9-11," he answered.
I'm ashamed that it hadn't occured to me.
How many of us woke up this morning, turned on the TV, and said, "Oh yah. This is 9-11."
There are those who think the footage shouldn't be shown every year... that we should move on without reliving it... that's it too hard, too unbearable... that it somehow glorifies the terrorists.
I think we NEED to see it. I don't think that showing the images in ANY way glorifies the terrorists. I think that one week every year isn't too much to have to bear. Without those images, we become callous. Not because we're uncaring people. We just become numb to the pain; we forget the loss. In this instant gratification world, where we move so fast we often don't take time to EXPERIENCE things, I'm glad that, for these few days each year, we're forced to slow down and really REMEMBER. So it makes us uncomfortable? Good. We SHOULD be uncomfortable.
God bless the families who were forever changed on 9-11.
God bless America.