Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine years ago I was a pregnant stay-at home mother with a 15 month old toddler. I had actually just gotten back from a trip to Baltimore with DH a day or two before. I had been talking to him on the phone that morning. I remember that I was irritated with him about something, nothing serious, just normal marital irritation over a trifle that I can't even remember.

After our phone call, I turned on the Today show and was playing on the floor with The Rationalist when everything began to take place on 9/11.

I wish I could say that I was heartbroken. I was shocked and called DH right away to let him know what was going on, but I wasn't heartbroken.

My numbness was caused by a lack of knowledge. When I saw the towers tumbling down that morning, I didn't realize that thousands of people were in and around them. I had no sense for how immense they were, what people did there everyday, or that there was great difficulty in evacuating people after the planes hit.

I simply didn't understand the immensity of what had happened, or the scope of how many people had perished in the space of an hour. It took me quite a while to take it all in, to realize that the far-away visuals I saw couldn't communicate what had happened to all those people.

Retriever linked to a 9/11 post that has some disturbing photos showing what I could never see in my living room in Florida...and it provides that missing focus of grief that I never fully felt that morning because all I could see was steel and smoke and memorials.

I never saw the people. I could never comprehend what they went through.

It's important to see them and to remember.


Retriever said...

Terri, remember, you were pregnant and caring for a toddler. When I was in that hormonal state and life stage, my home was my whole universe and my husband and children my primary focus. Partly hormonal, partly genetic programming I think...Also, being in Florida may have made it less immediate for you. We were only 20 miles away.

With us, we assumed at first that it was a small plane. Then that everyone would be evacuated. We were at work and trying desperately to believe that everything would be okay...Because of where I live, there were many first and second hand personal accounts afterwards, and people volunteering to go look for people or clean up.

DH said...

It was a very surreal thing for sure...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The more disturbing images were also held off the networks because they were afraid they would traumatise, or even "inflame" the weaker among us into doing something awful. That always struck me as a profound lack of confidence in their fellow Americans.