Where were you? What were you doing? You know you'll never forget. Today, seven years ago.
A friend of mine in Orlando, Eva Marie, remembers where she was. In fact, this is the first time she's written about it in all these years. She was in New York City. You can read about it here.
Maybelline was eight, Oatmeal Head seven and Little Guy four. Maybelline had been taking piano lessons in our home for all of three weeks - we had the most wonderful teacher for five and a half years - and the boys were playing down the hall in their room. Edna Mae's Piano for Beginners was getting quite a workout when the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law telling me to turn on the TV. A plane had just flown into one of the twin towers.
I hung up and snuck up on Mr. Cook, an older gentleman who with a colorful past, and told him what had happened. He didn't seem concerned, so I waited until the lesson was over to turn on the television. And watched as the second plane hit the other tower. The rest of the day ... I guess most of you experienced the same thing. The rest of the day I sat in front of my TV and cried. I watched as President Bush was reading to a group of school children, then someone whispered in his ear. I watched the people running. The towers collapsing. And cried and cried.
I didn't know anyone there. Didn't know anyone directly effected by it, in terms of life and death. Didn't have to. It went to the core of every person I knew. Who we are. How we identify ourselves. How we view those around us. Both good and bad.
A year later I watched the anniversary coverage every night for a week. And bawled. And remembered. And prayed. And vowed never to forget. But I have. I've forgotten it. Maybe as a means of self-protection. Remembering hurts. But today I remember. I'll cry. And I'll pray. And I'll read about it all over again. A reminder of our identity as a nation, what was taken from us that day, what we became as a result. What I became as a result.
Initially I became even more entrenched in my political beliefs, my party loyalty. That didn't last very long. Ultimately I became more open-minded and forgiving. Less judgmental. Willing to look at everything on a case-by-case basis. And always aware of Who is in control of my destiny. How little say I have in what happens to me in the end. More and less afraid all at once.
I hope that today you remember, if you can. Please share your story with me? I'd like to hear where you were, what you were doing, what it did to you.
Until I write again ...