Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sep 11. 10 years later

I heard the plane screaming down Columbia Pike, going towards the Pentagon. I sat right up in bed, " was that a fighter jet? It was SO LOUD!" Then we heard it crash.
I was reminded of the scene in La Bamba when the plane crashed on the playground, except we didn't see it, but we just knew we had heard a plane crash, a big plane. It was the loudest thing I have ever heard & then silence.

Larry & I looked at each other & said nothing for a minute. I was nursing 18 month old Jakob and pregnant with his brother Alistair. We had been enjoying a rare moment of the three of us sleeping in and lazing around in bed. We had one of those old fashioned answering machines where you could hear people leaving messages. My friend Tamela called & said " The World Trade Center was hit by 2 planes!!" Call me!!" My Dad called next, "There is some kind of terrorist attack, are you guys OK? The Pentagon just got hit!!"

Larry didn't have to work until 3 that day so we were trying to sleep in, plus I still had bad morning sickness. We stumbled out of bed to have all of it sink in at once, all 3 buildings hit & a plane still in the air! Where was that plane? Was it headed to DC? Would it be shot down now, over us? We were only a mile from the Pentagon.

I couldn't get my head around all of the death. People got up and went to work on a beautiful day and died in their offices with no warning. Some people jumped and none of us who saw the jumpers will ever be able to shake that image of the ultimate act of desperation. Unbelievable. I just don't have words for the horror of that day.

I went outside with my Jakob. We saw the smoke at the end of the street. All of my neighbors were outside of their apartments and everyone was talking & nervous. We actually didn't know what to say to each other, we were just shocked. Everything looked different.

I went back inside and took a shower and looked out the window at the most beautiful blue sky, my mom & I still think of it as sept 11 blue when we see super blue skies. I saw fighter jets flying by & I still had no idea where the 4th plane was, I was so scared. I wondered what kind of world my son would be living in now? What would be different in 7 months when my second son was born?

Larry came in & told me he was going to go to work later. Who goes to work on a day like this? I remember thinking. It was so scary being home alone, but I knew as the day went on that no more planes were in the air. The plane coming down in Pennsylvania was just overwhelming to me, I was just stunned that this was actually real.

Every single restaurant was closed and I was so nauseous, I could only eat a few things. I did what I did almost every night when I was on my own, without Larry. I grabbed my toddlers hand and took him for a walk. I sat and watched him play on the playground in my complex, I watched him chatter with new friends and I saw the painfully blue sky finally turn black. If I wasn't pregnant I probably would have brought a beer outside and drank it on the playground on that sad night.

Seven months later, the world felt safer than I thought it would when I tried to picture the future, back on Sept 11, 2001. But then it all went dark again.
My newborn son, Alistair was born very sick after a very hard labor. And then he died. He was 7 weeks old when he died in the summer of 2002. It seemed like every single day that I visited him in the hospital during his short life I had to walk through the same bright sunshine, the same blue blue sky as Sept 11. Everything in my life up until then had pretty much worked out fine for me. Now I felt you couldn't trust any moment not to change everything for the worse. It was June 11 when we found out that for sure, Alistair wouldn't stay.

When I think of Sept 11, I think of being a new mother, being pregnant with my second baby & still learning about my first baby. Now, the first baby is huge and the second baby is gone. My tragedy in my mind always connected to that terrible year. I have had 4 more babies since then. I am not a sentimental person, but when its that same day and it even looks the same, I remember the sadness I felt about all of the tragedies endured by so many families that day and then, having no idea that my own tragedy was about to unfold. Every one of us who was alive then has strong memories of Sept 11, these are mine.

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About Me

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I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.