Many excuses and a hopefully non-offensive 9/11 story

Well, Blog, I haven't written on you (in you?) in a while. Mostly because I've been busy. First I hurt my foot, then Texas caught on fire, then I found out my foot was hurt worse than I thought, then Texas stayed on fire, then it was my birthday, and now it is today. In the middle of all that I read some books and inhaled a lot of ash.

And now it is today. Forever, 9/11 will be the day after my birthday. And while my birthday is a good day for reflection, it seems to take on an even deeper meaning when I reflect on how the world changed the next day.

As a person who was safe in her apartment in Texas, far from the onslaught, it feels ridiculous to write about feeling scared and confused and not knowing what was happening that day. Everyone felt that way, but I think the people of New York, and the people of DC and the people who had friends and spouses and parents and siblings and cousins and coworkers and children directly involved in the events of that day (and the days after) are the ones who really get to own the visceral feelings of that time.

What I will tell you is that 10 years ago today I was just into my third month of unemployment after having been laid off from a dot com gone bust. I was still emotionally recovering from my second miscarriage. My days were spent watching Martha Stewart, playing video games with one hand (my other hand was in a splint from a torn ligament, cause: trying to flatten chicken for one of the fancy dinners that's next in this list), planning fancy dinners for when my husband came home from work (dinners that were often abandoned mid-way through in lieu of a trip for migas at Trudy's), and half-heartedly job-hunting.

In short: I was a mess.

On that morning, I was sleeping off a lovely birthday dinner I'd had with friends, when my husband called and told me to turn on the TV. He said a plane had hit a building in New York and he didn't think it was an accident. I couldn't understand what he meant. Of course it was an accident. How could that NOT be an accident? I went into the living room, turned on the TV, called my dad who works for a newspaper, and watched the second plane hit right there on television.

The rest of that day, and the days after, I spent on the couch, crying. I was crying for New York, for DC, but I was also, finally, crying for myself. Mourning the pregnancy losses, mourning how directionless I was, mourning that I was alive and safe and wasting away my days on the freaking couch.

And while I cried and watched everything unfold on TV for days afterward, I thought of all the souls lost. So many souls set free in one big whoosh, and I thought about how many of those souls weren't ready to be set free; and about how some of them might be clamoring to get back to their lives on this small planet, or at least to *a* life on this planet. And I wondered if one of those souls might find a way to fix my broken uterus and be reborn into this new world.

This was the week 10 years ago that I got pregnant with my sweet Sam. A baby born with an old man's face, and old soul eyes. A kid who surprises me everyday with his ingenuity and startling questions and ability to make friends with anyone.

I don't know if souls are transferred from one body to another, but I do know that the soul of my oldest child was created at the crux of a changing time. He was brought into the world with a combination of love and sorrow and fear and hope – feelings that 9/11 brings up every year, and feelings I see written on his face at various times everyday.

Today is the anniversary of a lot of things for a lot of people. For me, it's the anniversary of the end of being lost, even if it started with feeling even more lost than before.

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3 thoughts on “Many excuses and a hopefully non-offensive 9/11 story

  1. My oldest daughter (2nd child) was conceived that week as well. An intentional act of hope and faith in the midst of deep grief. We were part of a mini-boomlet 9 months later, so we weren’t alone in that hope!

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