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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Like so many Americans, I remember exactly where I was during the 9/11 attack. I don’t need television programs to help me remember, and I don’t believe I know anyone who hasn’t recalled it on their own.

I have refused to watch any television programming about the attack. It is not that I don’t want to remember, or that I do not care. The other day, I was reading an article in a magazine updating on the thoughts of all the children born after their fathers perished that day, and I automatically teared up. I ha to stop reading the article to hold back the emotions as I was at work and it isn’t quite appropriate to be a sobbing mess there. So,yes, I care.

The night before ten years ago, I had spent the night much like I spent last night. Upset, crying, and overly emotional. I couldn’t figure out why, at the time, I was so desperately crying over something done and gone in my life at the time, and it took me many hours to work myself out of the hysteria. Even though, at this time, this hysteria was forming a pattern I didn’t realize until reflecting back on my emotional state in the
hours before several other tragic events. Somehow, it was as if I knew something bad was going to happen, but had no idea as to how, what, or why it was going to happen.

Ten years ago, I woke up at the exact time that the first WTC tower was hit by a plane. I was getting ready
to go to a college class, and I walked to the living room to turn on the television. When the screen lit, there was the image of a smoking tower, while the Today show anchors were trying to bring any information and calm they could to their viewers. My heart sank. I started to cry. Then, as I watched, the second plane hit.

I lived off campus, so I got myself together, reluctantly turned off the television, and made the walk to
class. Walking up the hill, my eyes constantly went to the skies, wondering what else they held after this blatant attack.  Would it just be in the city? Were there others? Where are they going next?

I remember it was a sunny day. Very few clouds in the sky.

I went to class and found my classmates, speaking in hushed tones, asking each other what was going on. Our
professor came in, announced cancelled classes, but that all buildings would remain open with the projection sets on to the local news if they wanted to remain and watch together. By this time, I had heard of the plane that hit the Pentagon and the flight down in Pennsylvania. We sat together, a bunch of us with little more in
common than taking that class, barely knowing each others’ names as we’d just started the semester, and talked.  One spoke on how her dorm mate had run out into the hallway, screaming a relative worked in the WTC Tower 1.  Others were trying to call down to the city, finding busy signals as the overtaxed networks were preventing them from reaching their loved ones. Then, we watched the towers fall over and over as the television kept showing the images.

After about an hour, I got up and went home. Again, I walked home, tears on my cheeks, staring at the
beautiful sunny day, and asking why it was so sunny when obviously so many were dead, dying, and hurting.

My apartment was empty, as my mother was at work. I remember calling her at work, just to hear her voice.
I needed that comfort. I spent the rest of the day near the television, checking the internet, and hoping to hear how my cousin, who at the time was going to college further south towards the city. She was okay.

My mother came home, and I had to go to work at my part time job. It was a weird night. I wanted to stay
home, but they wouldn’t close our store. All night, nurses, fireman, and other emergency personnel from our city and county were buying supplies to head down to NYC. Many spoke on how they couldn’t think to do anything else.  A few hours passed, I came home, and lit a candle and left it shining in the living room window. I spent another night crying myself to sleep, now knowing exactly what it was I was crying about.

In the weeks following, I wrote poems, and on the one year anniversary, I wrote a blog post with my recollection. On the other anniversaries, I did not feel the need to post about it, not because I wasn’t thinking, or remembering, but because everyone else was saying exactly what I felt: I won’t forget.

This year, I think the media has made a spectacle of this solemn event, and while I understand our society’s
insatiable need to just “know,” I don’t need to know more than what I already do. For 24hrs, 10 years ago, I spent an entire day at a loss for words, crying, shaking, and incredibly scared.  I lived in Central New York, farm country, hours from the city.  But, I was still scared.

I don’t need to buy remembrance T-shirts to show I haven’t forgotten, and I don’t need to buy mementos to show how patriotic I am and how much I love my country. I live that patriotism every single day. And, I will send a special set of thoughts out to the people who died innocently and trying to save others ten years ago, and hope we can let them rest in some peace and give their families a little closure.

Take care, everyone, and I love you.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2011 in Uncategorized

 

Gramps.

I have a lot of emotions coursing through me at the moment, so I apologize if my thoughts are jumbled and I don’t  make sense. Intense emotion can only bring out intense lot of things, and sometimes, that includes things like rants and mind dumps.

Today, after getting up from a nap, I was informed my grandfather would be receiving hospice care. This is a hard thing for me to accept, and I guess it needs a little clarification as for why. Growing up, until I was about 18, I was privileged enough to have a set of grandparents literally across the street from me. As for such, at least half, if  not more of my life, at this time, was spent with them in daily contact. So, unlike some cousins, I have intense emotions when it comes to my grandparents because of this influence.

When I graduated high school, I moved away from the town I grew up in, and subsequently, life got in
the way of the almost daily (if not several times a day) visits I used to make. I had college, then work, and now even more work. Guilt besieges me every day, not helped, really, by the commentary of family. As you become an adult, even without kids and the like, things just control you. I worry so much about getting to work,
making enough to make the bills, that I forget, sometimes, there are other people out there who care about me and would like to hear from me. Couple that with an intense dislike of using the phone, and I
basically am the unsocial ass of the century.

My paternal grandparents, and especially my grandfather, are wrapped up in memories of times when
he was active, healthy, and lively enough to “play.” I don’t think I could bare seeing him even more wasted away than he already was the last time I saw him. I prefer to remember the guy who would wrestle with my handicapped sister, and play with my dog and call her Pepperoni. The guy who loved carpentry, and would listen for hours on end to my drabbling nonsense as he made whatever project he was working on. I would prefer to remember him as I knew him for so many years. Strong. Loving. Always  my Gramps.

Maybe I will muster strength to hold myself together for a visit to him. But, knowing my schedule, and
knowing me, I don’t know if I will find it. I feel like the horrible grandchild for every moment of it. Some of my cousins do more. But, it is just so hard for me. This is a man who, for most of my life, was the rock solid foundation, even in the shakiest of times, I had. This is a man, for all of his faults, who so loved his grandchildren, that he even so lovingly interacted with my sister. He treated her like the rest of us. No, honestly, he treated her better, and treated her how she deserved.

I cannot, even now, writing this in tears, tell you all I feel. I know my grandfather’s faults. Maybe others won’t remember him the way I do, but, for all that it is worth, I send my entire love to him to comfort him. I send whatever belief I can muster to guide him. And, I’m forever grateful that I was loved by him, and that throughout some of the hardest times for girls, those teenage years, he called me beautiful as much as he did.

Pepper is waiting for you, Poppy. Make sure she knows we miss her and love her too.

 
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Posted by on 09/11/2011 in family