My children were too young to remember that day. Our oldest, Madison was 18 months, Laney was 2 months old and Morgan would not be born until 2003. Two of them watched it, but will not remember and were not aware of what went on that day.
The terms, "Ground Zero" and "9/11" are a part of their vocabulary. Those terms, have always been a part of their vocabulary. They do not know the world without this, and here we are, a decade from that day. It is still unfathomable that something like this could happen, by choice, caused by human beings against other human beings.
Today, I write so that my girls will know what they were doing that day. That day, from my perspective....
Tuesday morning, it begins early, as usual per our energetic 18 month old. There is so much to get done today. Doctor's appointment. Packing for a trip to Florida for Ralph's sister's wedding. Mom's birthday is in 3 days. Making sure there are enough diapers for the 18 month old and our 2 month old. My to-do list may get the better of me today.
Where am I going to find all the energy to get this all done?
OK, focus Michelle, you've got to get yourself and the two little ones ready to head out the door for your appointment. How is this going to work taking both of them for my appointment? Oh well, it has to be done and Ralph's gone to a meeting in Colquitt. It is always fun keeping Madison occupied and entertained in a waiting room.
You can do this, Michelle.
Zipping around, breakfast is done, 45 minutes before I need to leave. I might actually be on time. "Today" show is playing in the background. Interesting, they are reporting a small plane has flow into one of the Twin Towers. How did that happen? The sky is clear and beautiful there. That's weird.
For some reason, I feel compelled to call Ralph on his cell. I tell him that they are reporting a plane has hit the World Trade Center. It can't be due to bad weather, the skies are so brilliantly blue there. He is busy and not quiet sure why I am giving him a news report. Oddly, I do not know why I felt the need to call and tell him. It just seems like important news to share.
Focus, Michelle, you've got to change Laney and get her dressed.
Half listening to the TV, Matt Lauer and Al Roker are talking. I'm listening to them try to figure out how this plane has hit this building. Then Al Roker says, "Oh my God, the other one has been hit."
The world around me seems to stop. In an instant, with one comment, I know the world has changed forever. I feel the panic begin to swell. These are not accidents. There is just no way. Not two planes. Not two buildings, a few minutes a part.
I do not want to leave to go to the Doctor. I want to stay, not move, be glued to the TV. Ralph calls and tells me to go. The panicky feeling is growing, not subsiding. Are there more? Who would do this? I am hurriedly getting the girls strapped in their car seats, trying to stay focused on the task at hand, but I don't. I realize half way to my appointment Laney is simply sitting in her car seat, she is not buckled in. I pull over on the by-pass and buckle my 2 month old in.
I am sitting in the waiting room. Everyone but Madison is subdued and quiet. The nurse calls me back and as she is taking my vitals and weight I hear the other nurses conversation. They are saying a building in Washington DC has been hit and there is a possibility that another plane has gone down. All flights are being grounded.
As I hear this, my one thought, "Has the whole world gone mad?"
Now we are sitting in the exam room, waiting on the doctor. This seems so trivial when it is apparent the world is falling apart. He comes in, goes over my blood work. Tells me to quit drinking sweet tea, eating fried foods and lose another 15 lbs. I sit and just nod my head. I do not even defend the fact that I have a 2 month old in a car seat right beside me, that I have given birth to, after I gained over 90 lbs. while carrying. The 15lbs. are insignificant. Thousands have died today, for what reason?
The rest of the day is spent in front of the TV. Watching as people jump from a burning building. Seeing the Tower's fall. Eyes glued to it. Mind not comprehending what the eyes are seeing. Heart is breaking for all those lost. Worry and fear have sunk their claws in deep.
Even as this day has changed life in so many ways, in so many others it has stayed the same. My girls still need to be fed, changed, rested and loved. Simple things and reminders that life is here in front of me and it does go on.
That day, I did hold my children tighter, tell my husband I loved him and made a choice that fear would not rule our lives. I want my girls to know that even though evil was meant that day, the stories of simple acts of kindness and huge acts of heroism are what need to be remembered about that day.
There is no way to explain to children why 9/11 happened in a way they can comprehend. Children inherently want to believe the best in people. Ten years later, I still can not comprehend what happened. But I am a firm believer in studying history so as not to repeat it.
May our children grow up in love, tolerance and acceptance....