Ten years ago, today, I was walking into a preschool classroom as an occupational therapist. I had only been married for over a year, we had no children, and no pressing plans for them quite yet. The first plane hit, and my heart was sad. My mind, naive. Accidental, I'm sure.
The second plane hit, towers collapsed, then the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania, and my heart was fearful, my naivety exposed. This was no accident.
My husband, who was an Air Force officer, couldn't be reached at the base. My mind raced, and my heart continued to sadden for those experiencing such trauma, such chaos, such fear.
Finally, we reach each other and he says, "I don't know much and I can't talk, but I am okay. I will talk to you when I can." Thank you, God. I called my parents to tell them I loved them.
The rest of the details are foggy, but I remember some wider impact clearly. I saw my husband's character more clearly than ever. He was prepared to be deployed if he were needed in that capacity. This was his duty. He packed a change of clothes and took them to work each day in case he needed to stay or the base was in a "lock-down". We waited to see what this meant for us, while watching the coverage of what emotional war the families, leaders, survivors, and responders were thrust into.
I began to want or need a child.
I remember us beginning to talk about moving up our timeline on starting a family.
Not quite yet, but it was on the table. I am sure that "plans" for a lot of people were changed that day.
Those of you who know us, know that my husband was not deployed and
three months later we started our family.
Today, ten years and 5 kids later, we all got dressed for church. L said that she wanted to wear red, white, and blue. So in good, Maria von Trapp style, I dressed our kids alike in patriotic colors (not from curtains I assure you). PT said, "Why are we wearing red, white, and blue today. It's not Labor day?"
We discussed that although today marks a day of tragedy and terror in our country, we will continue to be proud. We are proud of first responders and military and their families. We are proud of those who sacrificed their lives in the field in Pennsylvania, New York, and at the Pentagon. We are proud of the everyday people that helped and carried one another to safety. We are proud of all who survived or lost loved ones, yet found a way to keep on going. We are proud that on that day of darkness and all the days following, so many people shone a light of hope and heroism for all the world to see.
So we pray today for those who have been affected and will remain affected every single day by the tragedies of 9/11 and the wars that followed.
We also pray that noticed and unnoticed hope and heroism continues to thrive.
What do you remember?