Monday, September 10, 2007

Remembering



I remember that morning clearly. I was working in the elementary school at the time. Newly married and full of hope, I waited in my khaki capris and sleeveless white tee for our special education students. There were a few of us, most of whom I am still friends with today, who stood in that sunshine filled doorway, never imagining what was happening in our world.

First a woman talking under her breath, whisked past us and turned just inside the building to say, "Something has happened, did you hear what happened?" We stared at her blankly, we heard no sirens, saw nothing amiss. She kept going. Then, a man, "Do you have all the TVs on? We need to see what's going on." Our curiosity peaked, we knew we did not have the time to venture back to find a television set, so we continued to wait for our students. That was the first of the uneasy feeling.

Once our kids had been escorted off of their buses, we led them back to their classroom, only on the way, a sixth grade teacher had set up a TV in the hallway and in full color, we could see the devastation, the despair, the complete chaos that affected not one city, but three. It affected not one human life but millions. The hall fell silent and we were forced to turn off the television and move, as not to scare the children that might pass. The parents reserve the right to speak with their own children, deal with it in a manner consistant with crisis, in the privacy of their homes. Within moments, SUVs and station wagons, sedans and vans, even a motorcycle came up the drive chock full of parents to retrieve their little people and hug them, assure them, assure themselves and wait and watch. Children were signed out all day. I'm not sure I "got it" then, but I sure "get it" now.

There was an irony to this whole scenerio for me, I had discovered the evening before that I was having a baby. A life, a child...I was going to fulfill a lifelong dream and bring a child into this crazy world. We were going to be parents. The anniversary of September 11 will never go unnoticed in our family because it marks such a critical time for us - for others, it marks the worst, for us it marks the very best.

Dismissed early, I arrived home to the cacophony of images that still plague our nation. I cried, I prayed, I thought. I was blessed to not have lost loved ones, but I prayed for those who did. I prayed for the families who had not said goodbye. I prayed for all the mommies that were pregnant,like me and the strength they would need as they faced those pregnancies alone. Like our Emily, they have five year olds now. It occurs to me the hope that weaves itself into disaster. The hope of a life, of a child. I prayed for all the parents, as I wrapped myself around the joy that would be our child, it occurred to me how many parents had lost their sons or daughters to terrorism. It challenged my faith, my spirit, my very core. But, at the root of all challenges lies hope and I held that hope, within my very being, I held that hope.

Emily likes to sing a christian children's song, "I am a Promise". Someday, when she is old enough, I will be able to tell her just how much of a promise she was to many that year. She continues to represent all that is good and right with the world. I remember what was lost that fateful day - it is more so because I remember how much I gained that year. May we never forget the tragedy that shaped a nation, caused us all pause and remain thankful for all who serve, in the name of freedom. May we never forget that even in the darkest of hours, hope presents itself, sometimes small and beating, but ever present.

8 comments:

Jen, Dave and Leah said...

Heather, Very well said. Never forget those who protect us every day and those who lost their lives on 9/11.

Angie said...

I agree...very well said. May we never forget....

I LOVE the song "I am a Promise"! I sang it all the time when I was a little girl! I have it on CD in my car but haven't listened to it in a while. I think I will get it back out!

sheryl said...

What a beautifully written post!
I also remember every detail of that horrific morning. I was teaching preschool and my husband was on a plane to Memphis. He called on my cell phone when he landed and I ran out of the room crying with relief that he was on the ground. I was one of those moms who rushed to my kids' school take them home and hold them tight.

This date is also a reminder of very happy times for us too. It was on this day three years ago that we were on the Great Wall in China, counting down the hours until we met Linzi the following morning!

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Heather,

What a poignant post. Thank you for remembering and reminding others to, as well. Sometimes it seems like people forget--even when they don't mean to.

God bless you,
Lisa

Danielle said...

Heather,

You are so kind and compassionate. I love this post. It is so easy not to think about 9/11, but we must remember that there are thousands who lost their loved ones and can not go one day without thinking about it. My heart breaks for them. That day changed our lives forever.

Danielle

Lori said...

Heather, what a beautifully written post. It is a sad day to remember, but an important one.
Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts.

Leslie said...

You always write so beautifully. How amazing that you were pregnant during that time. Something you will never forget!

Lisa said...

Beautifully written post.
I too was teaching that day. Our school kept it very hush so the children knew nothing of what was happening. Some parents came and dismissed children but many remained. My husband was working in Boston in the financial district, at the time and they were evacuated. Many New Englanders perished on flight 11.
My friend's husband one of them. You are correct... those who lost loved ones can never forget or 'get over it' Thank you for blogging this post.
Lisa

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