There are some days in your life that you will never forget. You won't forget where you were. You won't forget how you felt......those days for me are...
When I got the news that Elvis died.
When President Reagan was shot.
The onset of the first Gulf War.
The outcome of the OJ Simpson trial.
The OK City bombing.
The WACO, TX fiasco.
The death of Princess Diana
The Columbine Shootings
When I got the news Michael Jackson was dead.
Those are the biggies for me. Let's focus on the one in bold since it's the 10th anniversary of that tragic day. I had to get up early that day and stop at a customer site - - - I don't remember why or what they wanted, they've always been a complete PITA though so I'm sure it was to listen to more of their rambling, babbling bullshit. I knew when I arrived there that the first plane had hit the first tower. And it must have been a short site visit because by the time I got back into my car to head to the office, they were announcing that there was a 2nd plane that hit the other tower. And I remember a rush of panic coming over me. WTF was going on? I had no clue, but it was frightening. And I was alone.
I raced to the office and immediately asked someone to run home and get a TV so we could watch the news unfold. And we sat, that day, staring at that little tiny black and white TV with huge rabbit ears and aluminum foil hanging off of them to get a better signal. Dumbstruck. Completely and utterly dumbstruck.
I didn't cry. I didn't know what to feel. I was numb. And that night, the husband and I (we had JUST started dating) sat there in front of the TV and watched the coverage for hours - over and over and over - completely confused and speechless.
It's odd. I remember the OK City bombings left me sobbing at work. Yearning to get home to my babies to hug them (well, actually I think I was pregnant with the brunette so I would have only had the Prodigal Son at the time). Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones. Or the fact I was a young mother. Something about that event touched me more deeply and personally. Although I knew none of the victims. It just "hit-home" a little more. And yet with 9/11 I was just left C.O.N.F.U.S.E.D. and now, forever afraid to fly. I think I've only flown 3 times since that day. And each time I was petrified. And one time I was sent to the terrorist suspect line because my ID didn't match the name on my ticket exactly. I think that was the last time I flew.
It upsets me to watch the coverage from that day. The fear. The panic. The desparation. The people in the top floors, hanging out the windows - no chance in hell of surviving. Their family members watching that coverage - wondering if that was their loved one they saw waving for help that would never arrive. I watched a documentary last night and one mother said, "Every time I watch the clip of the 2nd plane hitting the 2nd tower, I am watching my son die." She said it with dry eyes. I don't know how she did it. I never want to outlive my children. But I always think in the back of my head that if by chance I do, that my children do not experience grave fear. I loathe fear. And yet I live in a constant state of it. Maybe I carry all the fear for all of my children so they won't have to experience it? I'll be afraid. You go live life.
I don't really ever talk to my kids about this day. Maybe I should. The blonde wasn't born yet. And I guess a part of me doesn't want her to know because I'm afraid she will be afraid. She'll know someday. But for now, I relish her innocence and optimistism. I don't want to taint that for her. The older kids would remember that day. But sadly, it's just another tragedy that occurred during their short life span. They've grown up in a world where school shootings and violence are the norm. The country is in a constant state of war. And they think Tupac and Michael Jackson are still alive and in hiding. These are their realities. Such crazy assed shit happens all around them that to have a terrorist attack on our home land doesn't seem extraordinarily confusing to them like it did to me.
And so I will go into this day....remembering and thanking those that continue to fight for our Freedom and happy to be an American.... and likely jumpy as hell. And when I want to keep close tabs on all the kids today and know at all times where they are, lest there is cause for me to need to panic, I will be able to quickly locate them....they'll roll their eyes and tell me I'm paranoid. And I'll happily take that title and carry the fear for them so they can enjoy their day.