Sunday, September 11, 2011
10 Years Later
I was in bed. I had twin 16-month-old daughters, and a 1 month infant... so I stole sleep when I could. So I was sleeping on that day when the men flying those airplanes did their worst. The phone rang and woke up from whatever exhaustion-induced dream I was having.
It was Joel. He was at work, and started with, "I'm sorry to wake you up, but I just needed to call and make sure. Are you and the girls alright?"
I didn't have the slightest clue what he was talking about, and wondered if we had had an earthquake that I'd slept through. Joel told me to go turn on the television, so I wandered out to the living room in my pajamas and switched it on.
I spent the next few hours on that couch, still in my pajamas, watching in horror as CNN played the same scenes over and over and over. Listening to what little was known, the bits and pieces we knew then. What an absolute tragedy of hate.
And, with the rest of you, I remember today and I remember what happened and I remember the strike against us and I remember the lives lost and I remember the valiant courage of those who fought to save, those who sacrificed, and those who triumphed.
But my day did not end there.
Sometime later, my sister called. She was engaged and in the midst of wedding plans. Somewhere in the middle of making everyone happy, she and her fiance decided that they didn't really WANT to do a big wedding and decided to have a sort-of impromptu ceremony at the courthouse. It had been planned for that afternoon.
They had talked over whether to still do it. But, in the end, they decided to go ahead and get married, despite the tragedies. I remember Carey saying something to the effect of "If we change everything because of what they did... they win." And so they got married.
So, too, on this day, I remember an occasion of happiness. Today, I also celebrate the adoption of a great man into our family. Today, I celebrate my sister's marriage of ten years. Today, I rejoice in the family that I am blessed with. They at least have a very easy anniversary date for me to remember!
10 years after it all... sometimes it seems like a very long time ago, and sometimes it all seems like yesterday that I sat on my couch, absently caring for my children, watching the visual evidence of what had been wrought against the country I lived in.
And 10 years later... hatred hasn't won. Somewhere deep inside the human spirit, there is a still small voice. And in the midst of the day to day, we don't always hear it as we flit from errand to errand, job to job, school to practice and back home again.
But it is a voice that says "No, I will not be conquered. And whatever you do to me, you cannot destroy ME. No matter what you try, I will survive."
And we have. We have survived and we have triumphed and we have been made whole again.
Just try to drive a plane through that.