Monday, September 11, 2006

The Day

I didn't want to post today. Not like I’ve posted recently, but today, when I had something to post about like everyone else, I didn't want to post. I didn’t want that number on my blog. Maybe I need that number on my blog.

All day I spent at work, writing 9/10 on deposit slips and finance reports. I would not write down what day it was. It made me feel better, in my own sad way, to pretend like I was a day behind. Tomorrow I’ll catch right back up to 9/12. Silly me. I think I treat it the way hotels do the 13th floor. You just skip it, even though we all know it’s the 14th floor renamed.

I wrote a blurb in another online group I belong too. I had to spit out the round and round commentary that had been playing in my head. The day that I was trying to scrub out was so surreal to me for so many reasons.

5 years ago, yesterday, I had just moved to Hawaii. I think I arrived on the island the last week of August, so it had really only been no more than 3 weeks. I moved there, from Germany, with a man I had been dating for 6 months. I had also failed to mention this man to most of my family and especially left out the “14 years older” phrase.

So in Hawaii I was. I had just celebrated my birthday, a whopping 24, only 6 days earlier. That night, I did what most of you had already done hours earlier, I went to bed. We were 6 or 7 hours behind EST. At 1 or 2 am our phone rings. On most occasions, I’d leave it be. You never knew when that lovely boyfriend’s psychotic ex wife would decide to call. I rolled over and picked it up anyway. It was my mom. Nothing ever good comes out of your mother’s mouth when she calls you at 2am! She proceeded to tell me what was going on and that the World Trade Center had been hit. Turn on my TV, she said. Ahhh, the TV.

Remember, we had only been on the island for 3 weeks tops. We had just moved into our house on the mountain. We only had military issued furniture until our Germany shipment arrived. There was no TV issued. We had a radio, but that was it.

After getting off the phone with my mother, I told my husband what had happened. He called his office (he was working at Pacific Command at that time) and in to work he went. Of course going into work at 2:30am, meant taking our one and only, newly purchased 1980 something Volvo. I was trapped, at home with no TV, only a radio and no way to get any further information until my husband came home. He didn’t come home until late that evening, around 10:00pm.

So, the point of that was, I didn’t watch it unfold on CNN like most. I didn’t see the second plane hit. I didn’t see the towers fall. I saw nothing. If you see nothing, it couldn’t have happened, right?

We went out and purchased a TV the next afternoon. As we stood in K-Mart, outside of Honolulu, we watched the TV selection show image after image of what had happened the day before. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As we stood at the checkout with our TV choice, I watched the towers fall over and over and over again. In my head, though, it was just a very good special effect, like when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. He must have had a bad day.

I couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened. Like a lot of people, I did the “Six Degrees of Separation” as to how I knew people effected. Going to a military college and being married to the military, it wasn’t hard to find someone, somewhere that you knew, or had someone you knew know. It was surreal.

I honestly think that it wasn’t until this year, 5 years later, that I finally started to mourn and cry for our loss. I found myself glued to the 2 Frenchmen’s documentary. My husband tried to get me to turn the channel, but I had to cry. I had to get it out and by watching this documentary was the only way I knew how. So, the other night I watched and cried. I read tributes and looked at pictures that were too graphic for my own good. I need to mourn and this was the only way I knew how.

So, the day has passed. We’re on to the next day and on to something else. I’m honored to be a part of this country, on most occasions. I’d choose some politicians differently, but for the most part, I’m glad I was born here and given the freedoms that aren’t allowed in other parts of the world. I honor those who have sacrificed so much just to maintain our freedoms we sometimes take for granted. Without Freedom of Expression, how long would this have been kept inside me?


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