I woke up this morning feeling icky. Not like all creepy crawly skin icky, but with a heart filled with a plethora of emotions. You know how you feel like you want to punch someone in the face because they said something ridiculously annoying? How about hug your little ones, feeling their soft skin on your cheek and want that comfort to last forever? Ever feel like curling up in a ball, with tears streaming down your face, wrapped underneath a sea of blankets and not come out until you can’t drop one more tear? Now combine all those feelings into one. Yeah, that’s how I felt 14 years ago today and now that memory that hides in the back of my mind crawls out with a flood of emotions every year I discover still exists.
I clearly remember that day as most Americans do. I remember where I was and what I was doing. I remember the smell of the burnt toast that I was making for breakfast at the old folks home where I worked. I remember the breaking news headline on the bottom of the break room television. I remember watching Katie Couric and Matt Lauer’s live report…the back and forth questions of uncertainty…the speculation…the horrifying accident.
And then the second planed crashed into the twin towers.
This was no longer an accident. These two plane crashes were intentional.
I remember rubbing my heavily protruding baby bump and breathing in a deep breath after being kicked in the ribs by my soon to be born baby girl.
Fourteen years later, I drove to work this morning with a car full of kids and listen to the radio deejay interrupt the music program with a moment of silence, followed with a patriotic interlude all while my oldest tells my youngest to quit talking. My eyes well up as I listen to my oldest try to explain why my 5-year-old needed to be quiet at that time and it really made my mind wander.
The result of this day changed my life in so many ways. No, I didn’t lose anyone close to me that day, thank gawd and oh how I pray for those poor people who did. What I did lose was 18 months without my husband because of the declared “War on Terror”. It was a time in my life I wouldn’t wish upon nobody. And even though I know I wasn’t the only person to go through this, it sucked. I felt alone even when I wasn’t. I forced a smile on the outside, while I was dying on the inside. When asked how I was doing, I wanted to burst into tears, but I smiled and said I was “fine”. Like millions of people across the country, I was taking it day by day.
This horrific day has and still is affecting millions of people across the country.
2,977 victims lives lost during the 9/11 attacks.
3,527 soldiers died in Iraq.
1,742 soldiers died in Afghanistan.
All of these people have families whom they left behind.
I’m proud of my husband who was deployed to fight a war and blessed that he came back to me. My blessings are counted, but there is still that anger. Still that sadness. Still that frustration of all we had to go through back home because of cruel, heartless human beings who wanted to break the American spirit. Those emotions run wild like a raging, crying woman during menses but they will never break the bravery and fight that the American people have.
Despite all that we’ve been through, we’re stronger and will never forget. I know that I won’t ever forget and every year I have and know I will feel this same icky feeling on this day.