Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years

Five years. Five years have past since that frightful day. Since the day our nation was riveted to the core. Yet, I remember it as if it were yesterday. I still get chills when I retell the story. Although my story is unlike the stories of the victims and their families. My life was not ripped apart by the hands of cold blooded murders. When those towers went down, I did not lose family or friends. When those towers went down all I lost was my trust. The trust that was instilled in me since the day I was born. The land of the free. Home of the brave. Safe. All of that was gone. I felt lost.

I had just dropped Grace off at the babysitter that morning. I was listening to the radio on my way to work. I remember hearing that a plane just hit the World Trade Center. It didn't really phase me, to be honest. I kept listening, but I wasn't scared. Not that a plane crash is common news, but it happened enough not to alarm me. As I got closer to work, the song playing on the station was interrupted by a news report. Plane two had just struck the World Trade Center. Okay, now they had my attention. I sat up a little straighter, turned up the volume and listened. As I pulled into my parking spot, another plane plunged into the Pentagon. I raced from my car to my desk and quickly turned on the radio. I called Chris to tell him what was going on. He, too, had just got to work and saw it on the television. All day I flipped from radio station to radio station looking for the latest update. I scoured the internet looking for more information. For answers. That night, I picked up Grace from the sitter and squeezed her tight in my arms. Barely a year old, she wouldn't remember this day. But I knew I'd never forget. As I drove to the family owned restaurant to meet Chris for dinner, I worried what life would be like. Would Grace ever know the safety we've felt? Would she have the same American pride? My head was spinning. My world was shaken. Once at the restaurant, I began to watch the events of the day unfold. These were the first images of the terror I'd seen. It sent chills down my spine. I began to understand the saying "a pictures worth a thousand words." The news reports to which I'd listened and read could not prepare me for the images I saw. I can still close my eyes and recall those images. They've been permanently burned into my brain.

After dinner, Grace and I went home. Chris went to his house. I took my baby and held her close. We laid in my bed for what seemed like hours. I was too afraid to close my eyes. Every time I did, I would see men, women and children dying. I'd see panic and agony. I'd see disillusionment. I'd see fear. We were no longer the home of the brave. Finally, I decided I didn't want to be alone. There were enough women and children left without husbands and fathers today. We needed to be with Chris. To appreciate what we do have. To be protected. I packed an overnight bag for both me and Grace and drove the few blocks to Chris' house. He held us both all night long. We talked about our fears--for this world, for our family, for our relationship. We connected on a level we never had before. We decided to not give up the fight. Numerous media outlets called for the nation to join forces. Many said the terrorist win when we stop living. Chris and I agreed. And we kept on living. More awakened to the good we have and less focused on the bad. God Bless America! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.