Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept 11, 2001 - What I was Doing

I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:20-23

(New International Version)

It was a Tuesday morning. I remember it was a Tuesday because I had text study on Tuesday mornings. The kids had both left for school. I was in the kitchen fixing a cup of coffee and had Good Morning America on the TV in the kitchen. When I turned it on there was already a picture of the first burning building. I thought it was a fire and that was bad enough. I remember thinking "How are they going to get people out when it is that high up?"

Right before my eyes on the screen the second plane hit the second tower. And suddenly I had a pit in my stomach.

As news came in about a plane hitting the Pentagon building I was terrified. I thought we were being invaded. I called the school and asked if they were sending the kids home and they said they had the school locked down and were keeping abreast of the situation and would call the parents if they thought the kids should be sent home. I called the leader of the text study and said I needed to stay home in case my kids needed me.

And then I mopped the kitchen floor. I HATE mopping the kitchen floor and only do a real job of it every few months. This was a once in a few years scrubbing. I pulled out the stove and mopped behind it. I got on the floor and scrubbed two year old gook. I washed down the walls as I watched in horror the walls of the two towers collapse.

I called the Methodist pastor of the only other church in town and we planned a joint prayer service that night.

Life went on. In the days that followed it was very difficult hearing the stories of widows and fatherless children as this was only two years after my own children lost their father. I won't talk about how much more difficult it was to listen to some widows complain about only having a million dollars to live on, because that would be petty.

I will say this, it is a terrible thing to loose a loved one. People lose loved ones everyday who don't have memorials every year but they too have anniversaries. Don't just think about them today.

1 comment:

  1. I relate to several themes in your post. Yes, we all remember where we were on 9/11. We remember the deaths we were seeing on TV. We remember being confused and frightened, especially frightened of the unknown. It is seared on our memories.

    I also remember another time when my friend, her daughter, daughter's friend, d's f's boyfriend, and another young man were in a car accident, the young people all my kids'' friends. Four died instantly. Grief is grief, but compounded grief is multiplied, even when it is spread over the whole community. I attended two double funerals that weekend, each attended also, by more than a thousand, in a town of only 620. We were raw, but that was compounded by the deaths, just a year before of three other teens. I coped by doing laundry. I washed everything and then started over.

    The mother of one of the teens previously killed has said that her daughter is never remembered in the community memorial events that are named in memory of the four killed together. It is like people think that if one is killed in a group, it takes on deeper meaning or grief. But you are right: the survivors have their grief anniversaries even if there are no ceremonies.