Monday, September 12, 2011

Pushing Past The Numbness

I, like many others, was riveted and in a time-warp back to a decade ago, a time when our innocence was shattered like the glass that flew from the towers.  Our vision was cloudy and black, smoke filled, and it was hard to breathe, much like I can only imagine at Ground Zero.  I was numb.  Then and now, the day after, I feel like something sitting on my chest and it is hard to breathe.

There has been times of great change that are accompanied by times of great uncertainty.  I have lived through those moments and it always seems like it is the most dangerous, most dark, most hopeless just before the emergence of something grand.  It feels even more like that when you think back, rehearse, review, and remember that you put your heart into something, into life, and wonder about the outcome.

This summer, the summer of a decade, had many impacts, riveting, jarring explosions that have left the soul somewhat traumatized, perhaps like we collectively were on 9/12, once the reality set in as to what happened the day before.

I felt betrayed as if someone dropped a ton of bricks on my heart and I could not breathe.  I think that is what we feel like now, a decade later, still at war, our nation not the nation we remember anymore, civil liberties taken away, entire towns being taken over and the people rendered voiceless, a move, an undercurrent that is unsettling, a breaking of a promise, a betrayal of the deep darkness hiding behind a clear sky.

My Bible told me this morning that nothing could separate me from God's love, even as we worry about today and wonder about tomorrow, even in the midst of calamity and hopelessness, nothing can separate me, even as evil swirls around me and I am left with the questions of why someone would do that to me, to my children, to my family, why the answers are unanswered, why the trust was twisted and stabbed back like falling chards from a black sky.

I try to meditate on the hope that there really is a plan, a promise, a purpose in all this, trying to push past the numbness and take a deep breath, feel the rush of cool air blasting in my soul like running into the air conditioning from 115-heat index days of summer.  Hoping for refreshment and renewal, wondering in the silence, pushing past the numbness to feel life again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember A Decade Later

I remember exactly where I was when it happened.

The boys were already at school and I was finally having a moment to take a shower and settling into my first full week at home with a new baby, we had just come home the Friday before.

I had just dried off and put on lounge clothes, my new baby was in her little rocker seat, she was just six days old, my husband jumped in the shower before me, it was 9am and we turned on the Today Show, I sat on the edge of our bed to just breathe in the sunshine morning of Tuesday and the quiet of the baby.

"Oh my gosh, honey a plane just flew into that building!"  I was watching as Katie Couric interrupted regularly scheduled programming to report what was then believed to be some kind of accident when a plane flew into the North Tower on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  

My husband quick stepped the short distance from our walk-in shower to our bed and looked at the television with me, we were both enraptured.  He picked up the baby, she started to cry, we were bewildered, the smoke was filling the screen, then we watched in horror as another plane came and sliced through the South Tower.  

The feeling, the emotion that enveloped us, I can not describe the moment, I can only imagine and even that is not enough, to capture the feelings of those who were in the building, on the ground, anywhere in the five boroughs, Katie Couric on Rockerfeller Plaza.  What was happening.

My husband would not be going to work right away that morning, the university could wait, we watched.  I wanted to get all my children and cocoon them to me but they were already at school, one daughter a newborn and one yet to be conceived.  The world had changed in that moment.

We saw the people hanging out from the windows, waving white shirts, arms, gathered there helpless.

Then the bodies, at first, one thought it was the paper and debris falling from the windows, then we saw the arms and legs and horror filled my soul, these people were leaping to their death, the smoke billowing around the building, the sky so blue, so clear, far above them.

I nursed my baby girl, now a newly minted ten year old, last week this time, we were relishing in her weekend celebrations, enjoying her big brother who traveled her to celebrate her decade, she completely unaware of what happened just a few short days after her birth, some of her classmates were not even born, a decade, a lifetime.

The coverage of that day was filled with wonder, emotion, images of the debris, people running, hordes and hordes of people on the bridges in New York, the shell of the towers, the police and firefighters who raced there to help, so many of them perished, black, white, hispanic, asian, indian, so many perished that day, so many Americans.

We lost something on 9-11, something more than the tragedy of the Twin Towers.

Even as we sat trying to absorb what was happening as our eyes were glued to the television, the news coverage cut to a field in Pennsylvania and another plane, a passenger plane, Flight 93, had gone down, it was being reported that it was heading to the Pentegon.  Our nation was under attack and there was a collective shock, fear, terror that filled us all.

I was in my bedroom in Lee's Summit, Missouri, an eastern suburb of Kansas City.  My daughter was six days old.  I remember where I was.

Americans, Americans, Americans died that day.  Not one color or one culture, all of what made us a target of hatred, our freedom, our collective mixture of cultures, our rich colors, our melodic mix of languages, dialects, our sumptuous array of foods, our changing climate from ocean to ocean, our regional histories, we are all Americans and we all lost that day.  

One thing I hope as we pause to reflect is that we remember that, we all draped under that flag that represented all of us.  I hope we remember to embrace each of us, regardless of our race, religion, greed, color, language, sexual orientation, political party, we are all Americans and we all matter, and we all lost, that is what I hope.

I remember that