I was thinking this morning that there are moments and things that I'll remember my whole life, things I don't need to write about somewhere to remember. I'll be ninety years old (hopefully I'll make it at least that long), and I'll still be able to remember things like the smell of my Pop's cigars, how my mom smelled before she went to work at night (yeah, I'm big on smells, I know I'm weird), how I felt the day my son was born, and how on the day of September 11, 2007, I felt when I heard that the Pentagon had been hit.
That day I woke up, ate breakfast, got dressed and was out the door heading to class. I was in my last semester of undergrad, and I didn't have to be to class super-early that day. I hadn't even turned out of the area where we were living when the radio announcer said that the Towers had been hit. I listened, barely believing what I was hearing, but since I was safely in NC, it didn't really hit me. I didn't know anyone who worked in the Towers, so it, at the moment, seemed like one of those horrible events where you hope that people for the most part are okay, but you cannot understand how they or their loved ones feel. You feel bad, you feel outraged, you wish you could help, but you know you really can't. I figured I would find out more later as I arrived at campus for back-to-back German classes.
I was in class for the next three hours and headed to the lunch room in the languages department to eat. I had just sat down when my friend Elena came by and asked me if my sister was okay. I said, "She doesn't work in the Towers," and I thought to myself, damn, how can you not remember my sister works at the Pentagon? She said, " The Pentagon was hit, didn't you know?" and in that moment I thought my heart would explode. The Pentagon had been hit after I had arrived at school, I had been in class the entire time and so I hadn't heard. I didn't know how bad it was, I didn't know if anything was left; I remember just running downstairs and outside to the public pay phones and grabbing some guy and telling him I needed a phone. I called my parents and found out she was okay. Just thinking about it right now, six years later, brings all those fears and feeling back again, the horror of how I felt, the change from the morning and how I felt bad for the families of the people in the Towers, and how just a few hours later I became a member of one of the families who had a loved one at the Pentagon. After that my husband told me I needed to get a cell phone. After that I think my whole family had an awakening of sorts. We all talk about each other at times, we get on each other's nerves; but six years ago today we were reminded in a scary way how much we mean to each other in a way beyond explaining.
My Sister with Little Man
I would never have been the same if something had happened to my baby sister that day, but in a way I still am not the same. None of us are. I read an article last year about women who had lost sisters in the Towers, I cannot imagine how they feel today. For me and my family, this day serves as sort of a reminder of how much we all love each other. Years from now when my son learns about September 11th in history class I think that's what I will tell him about our experience of that day. It's one of the strongest memories of my life so far, shared with everyone who calls themselves an American. Never forget.
We love you Doozer!
Head over to myGoodDeed.org and pick something to do to make the world a better place in honor of those who died today. You can do something as simple as pledging to smile at everyone to rebuilding a house, all that matters is that you sign up!