I was pregnant with Jackson.
I woke up late in the morning and opened my bedroom door. Something felt wrong. My mother was sitting downstairs watching the news. She told me to come down – she hadn’t wanted to wake me because I was so exhausted…but …
I don’t remember her words exactly. She told me what had happened and said something about the US being attacked and war. Panic rushed through me and I numbly stared at the TV, trying to comprehend what was going on while I held on to my swollen belly. I had just found out a few weeks before that my baby had kidney problems and I had been an emotional wreck as I cried and pleaded with God for my baby to be allowed to live a good, healthy life. Now this was too much. The world was falling apart. I couldn’t bear it.
Along with millions of others, I watched endless hours of the news. I cancelled a work trip to Seattle, too terrified to travel to a big city. I fell deeper into anxiety. I was completing my credentialing for work and tried to keep writing papers and finishing the Old Testament course I was taking. But I couldn’t concentrate. I am not sure how much work I got done. It is a blur now.
But one thing I do remember is my sidewalk and how green and perfect my tree-lined street was. I remember staring at my car parked next to the freshly cut lawn and realizing that I didn’t live in the safe haven I had always thought I had. In the past I had looked at my neighborhood and felt guilty about how protected we were, tucked away from all the wars, starvation and devastation that happened all over the globe. But now it wasn’t safe. The ocean was no longer separating us from war. My idyllic street could be blown up any minute. And I was terrified.
Like the rest of the world I braced myself for more terror and moved about everyday in fear, wondering what part of the sky would fall next. And when it didn’t, I slowly settled into this new world of fearful acceptance, knowing that it can and most likely will happen again, but trying to live despite it.
I am still afraid of the sky falling. Not just with airplanes and bombs, but with illness and disasters. As I watched the hurricanes drown cities, I felt that same hopelessness. As I hear of diseases and wars, I feel that same dread of the future that I felt that day.
But I try to breathe in each peaceful, beautiful moment I have with my son and my family. I stop constantly and thank God that we are safe, healthy and together. I know we may not always be – but today we are.
Like all of you, my heart breaks for those who are not together with their loved ones, for the children who do not have their Mommy or their Daddy to cuddle and kiss them. And even though I don’t know their names or their stories, I remember them.
For more September 11 posts go to Rocks In My Dryer. (Due to server problems I was not able to upload the image Shannon made.)