Friday, September 09, 2011

We Still Remember

I'm reluctant to post about 9/11 despite the ten year anniversary. It isn't that I feel such a distance from that day that I have nothing to say. It is that I wonder what is so important about what I have to say regarding that day. I'm glad it is on a Sunday this year when people will not have to be at work but can do what they wish with the day. Spend it however they need to and not be tied to as much responsibility.

All this week I step out my front door and realize each day has a brilliant blue sky. Cloud free and calm. I am reminded of September 11. I don't need any commemorative coin or magazine in my mailbox. I just have to look at the sky. That sky will forever remain in my memory.

We had gotten married just days before and arrived home late the night of the tenth. We threw our wedding gear on the floor and fell into bed. The next morning was H's first day in his new office at 29 Palms Marine base in California. I was awakened by the phone. Who wasn't on that day? My parents were still in Vegas, our wedding location, and now stranded. There was no getting out and returning to Rhode Island now. The first Tower was already down. My mind went into overdrive as I thought of all the people we had as guests at our wedding that weekend, friends who couldn't make it, all from New York. Some working right there. I fell on the floor as I watched the scene unfold before me on television. What had become of our dear friends?

I spent the day driving through the desert on my way to pick up family in Vegas. I drove without any radio station or cell signal. Every few miles strains of the national anthem would come across the radio. I felt like I was the last person left on the planet. Chaos and confusion reigned in Vegas as people were stuck in hotels with no way to get home. I dumped my car's full ashtray on a tourist who made fun of people falling to their deaths from the Towers. It was the least I could do.

When I arrived home that night, weary and my Corolla packed with family, H was still not home. I hadn't been able to get through to him on base all day. I left him a note on the kitchen counter, "Went to Vegas to pick up my parents. This is insane. Be back soon." We still have the note. Later that night, when H did come home, my parents watched my new spouse gather his military gear up and begin packing it because that is what he was told to do. I looked down at my sparkling new wedding band and thought, "I knew this could happen. I just didn't expect it so soon."

I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact the just a few days before we were surrounded by friends and family, spending cash like mad, drinking it up, acting so incredibly carefree, gambling and dancing to our hearts content. It was a different reality we were now all facing. A total 180. I cried for days and searched the lists of names for people we knew.

Ten years later, it is all so very fresh in my mind. I still mourn. I still replay the day's events in my mind and feel bits of grief. Do you?

1 comment:

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