September 11th, my story

Hearing recent stories, seeing magazines and books about September 11th has many of us thinking about where we were 10 years ago. What images and feelings are burned into our minds. 

I recently read Dooce’s entry on her 9/11 memories. I found it powerful to share her experience and thoughts. As tragic and paralyzing the memories are for people – some more than others – I think it’s important to remember. We need to keep in touch with horror in the world to combat it – the Holocaust, the Sudan, or anywhere on the globe, any of the other numerous terrorist attacks that have happened. If it makes us that much more compassionate, helps us to teach our children to make different choices, impacts one other person’s world – I think as humans we should feel obligated to carry that through.

So here is my memory…

I remember being in our house in Woodinville getting ready for work.  It was any other typical morning that I’m trying to rush out the door to beat traffic and get in to my desk on time.  I came out of the bathroom and Norman is on the bed, staring at the TV. I remember thinking how odd, we don’t turn the TV on in the morning. I turn to face the television and see one of the towers being hit. I plopped onto the bed next to him stunned.  I thought, what is this? It cannot be real!

I sat on the bed with him a little bit longer. Watching the video, hearing a different kind of emotion from the reporters. The kind where professionalism is out the window and their real emotion and personalities show up. That is so very rare.

Eventually I got up, into my car and drove to work. I turned on NPR. I remember hearing Bob Edwards giving a moment by moment account of what was happening. I remember him choking out, sharing with all the listeners, that the 2nd tower was hit. I remember crying.

I remember arriving at the office and no one was working. It was terribly somber. We were together in a way that felt like a community trying to grasp the enormity of what was unfolding before us. Our VP left to go buy a TV. That was set up in an empty office and we all funneled in and out to watch as long as we could stand before returning to our desks. I wasn’t working at all. I was on my computer looking around news sites and absorbing every detail and update. I remember hitting the F5 key over and over and over and over and over…

I don’t remember when I left. Our VP sent us all home. There wasn’t any work being done. People certainly didn’t want to be at the office. I met Norman at home, being together and dealing with everything that was unfolding before us.  It was before we were married, a girlfriend of mine was pregnant. I wondered how could she cope with bringing a child into this kind of world?  How could I? How do you explain to a kid something like this?


Just even typing this out, my eyes are welling up. The other night at dinner my Dad and I were explaining 9/11 to A. She knows what it is, she doesn’t know the feeling, the experience of what happened that day. I told her there will be many TV shows on in memorial, and it will be a hard day for Mommy, Daddy and Papa to see any of it. I was telling my dad about Portraits of Resilience, which started at 8:46am ET. A asked if she could watch it. I was somewhere between stunned and understanding towards her request. I told her yes, that she can watch it. I also explained that it is a very sad story, and could be hard to watch, so we should talk about it. She should ask us any question she has. And to tell us if she needs to stop watching.

This morning A and I ran the Iron Girl 5k in Seattle. It was an event full of positive energy. Many mom/daughter teams (we were the Glisten Girls) and it was great to see Moms work with their girls, pushing them forward. I am so proud of A, she did so fabulous, beyond my expectations. It was a very happy morning.

We should continue to experience joy.

We need to bring community to those around us.

We should always remember.

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