It is nearly midnight~ September 11, 2011. A radio personality earlier this week said , “I cannot believe it’s been 10 years. I really , truly CAN NOT believe that it has been 10 years.” That is how I feel. My memories, feelings, emotions and thoughts~ they are vivid from that morning.
Since before my first baby was born I have been in the habit of waking up and turning on the morning news. For many years it was NBC’s Today Show, sometimes Good Morning America, occasionally CNN and always my local morning news show in Calgary. On Tuesday, Sept 11, 2001, my husband left for work at 6:30 a.m. I awoke a few minutes after 7 to get my son and daughter ready for school. At that time they were attending the Christian school near our house and I carpooled with another mom. It was her turn to drive that day. My alarm clock tuned in to QR77 in Calgary and there was definitely something big happening. I didn’t catch it all but I did here “Twin Towers” “airplanes” “attack”. I turned on the TV and watched a replay of the second airplane hitting the WTC towers. I was immediately gripped by fear and also a profound sense that this was far bigger than what anyone knew in those first few moments. I fed the kids, got them ready for the day and meanwhile searched for the words to explain to them what was going on. At ages 5 and 6 they were old enough to see what was happening on the TV but not old enough to understand it all. I told them everything would be okay and that Jesus was looking after everyone who was hurt. I sent them out the door, thankful that they were going to a school where I was confident the subject of these events would be handled appropriately and through the eyes of faith.
I don’t remember much from that first week other than the images on the screen~ watching over and over again. I spent most of the morning that day at my neighbour’s house. Our other neighbour joined us and I guided us all through prayer and as much explanation of Biblical prophecy as I understood~ they were asking questions and I thought I had answers. But there are no answers for such senseless horror. There is no way to explain madness and murder. I hope that I have matured in these past 10 years to know that sometimes it’s better to just be. There are no words in times of grief. And this grief was profound and uncontrollable. Even now, I find my emotions and thoughts about the events of that Tuesday morning to be heart-wrenching and so, so terribly sad.
Today my TV has flipped between various networks and programs~ all memorializing and giving tributes. Some moments have been touching and some have been inspiring. I have been encouraged by the moving on of many widows~ many who have gone on to have more children after re-marrying. Life is moving forward.
But, there is much sadness still. In fact, this day is ending for me rather sadly as I realize how isolated we can be. As much as I’ve watched the coverage over the years and the memorials each September, I am still a stranger to the pain and fall out of that day. 10 years later there are firefighters who are sick and dying from toxic smoke in the days that followed the horror. There are adolescents and teenagers who are forgetting the sound of their parents’ voices. There are brothers and sisters who cannot forget the sight of watching the towers fall knowing their siblings were trapped. There are mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, children and friends who have never been able to bury their loved ones~ no body was ever found. The memorial pools: Reflecting Absence …well, what a tribute. Truly breath-taking; as in : they take my breath away. To stand on hallowed ground and be witness to such a display of loss has got to be a truly humbling moment.
I was 30 years old on Sept. 11. I had 4 children ages 1-6. I didn’t have a cell phone and we had barely just subscribed to dial up internet. My days were spent changing diapers, wiping snotty noses and picking up an endless mountain of toys. Today my youngest is in grade 6 and my oldest is in grade 12. We have moved 3 times(almost 4) and celebrated 10 Christmases. Osama Bin Laden has been killed, Saddam Hussein has been executed, Iraq has been liberated. A tsunami of epic proportions killed hundreds of thousands of people, an earthquake in Haiti has killed almost as many. A hurricane almost wiped New Orleans off the map and floods, fires and earthquakes continue to escalate in frequency each month. Life goes on for many of us and life ends for many others in the blink of an eye.
I pray that those still reeling from the events of 9.11.2011 would find peace and healing. I pray that our world would look Heavenward and call on the Name of Jesus for hope. For mercy. For salvation. He is the only answer worth searching for in this heap of a mess that we now find ourselves in. And thankfully, I’ve read the end of The Book and He conquers! He heals and He saves!