Twelve years ago today, I cried for all that was lost. I prayed for it all to be restored. I believed that we would regain our strength.
September 11, 2001 was a usual morning for me. Two sleeping toddlers were in the small nook that we turned into an additional bedroom. The TV was off and I tossed a bit in preparation for the day. My husband worked the night shift, so he was not around to help to get our three and one year olds in motion. Our Los Angeles neighborhood near San Vicente and Pico was nothing to brag about, but it was home. Everyday was not easy, especially for two dream chasers living in a one bedroom apartment. But, we were always hopeful and filled with the anticipation of capturing our piece of the American Dream.
The phone ring woke me out of my slumber. I picked up the receiver and at first the voice was unfamiliar. After a few seconds of the guessing game, I realized I was talking to a former high school classmate who I hadn’t communicated with since graduation nine years earlier. Before I had time to catch up on the latest happenings of life, she asked me if I was watching the news.
I obliged and was frozen in horror as I listened to the somber news stories. Buildings collapsing, people jumping, airplanes circling, loved ones missing… And even though I was thousands of miles away…on the opposite coast…without a personal story or connection of my own, I felt a compelling sense of empathy, pain and sorrow. I cried — not so much for crashing buildings, circling planes, or inevitable fear but for what was lost…parents, loved ones, heroes…hope.
In the midst of the losses there was chaos: the Enron scandal; former President Bush’s executive order limiting access to records of former presidents; anthrax attacks; and the Patriot Act reducing restrictions on government officials investigating criminal activity. This was a serious recipe for emotional disaster! But listening to stories of the families waiting for rescuers to dig through the rubble, children lamenting on losing a parent, and survivors coping provided resilience for my journey. The victims and their families gave me strength to be hopeful.
And today… 9/11…2013
Interestingly, our home is now in the north east – a lot closer to the tragedy. We are…living, standing, dreaming and hoping in solidarity with our four children and a little bit more space at home.