I was reading my favorite blog as usual, Pioneer Woman and came across her recent post about remembering September 11, 2001. She has been watching the History Channel’s coverage of 9/11 for the last two years. She finds it riveting and highly recommends it as a very non-biased coverage of the event. She concludes the post by writing that moving forward is good, but so is remembering.
I felt a little guilty reading her post. I spent the whole day having fun and trying not to remember.
Nine years later and even a hint of remembering makes my heart race. I feel that heart-in-your-throat and the sick-in-the-tummy sensation all coming back. My eyes start to tear up. But mostly I feel the absolute terror of feeling helpless and hopeless.
Helpless and hopeless because my best friend was somewhere near the World Trade Center. Because both my parents were in the city. Because so many other friends were working and living in the city. Because no one knew if the attacks would continue elsewhere. Because I couldn’t get in touch with anyone for hours and hours to know they were safe.
Even if I let the feelings come for a few seconds, it is too much. I feel like I can’t breathe. Which is why I try not to remember. I’m trying to write this post as quickly as I can so I can get back to not remembering. I have to take deep calming breaths as I type this.
I didn’t go back into the city until 2003. I still haven’t visited the site. I hate looking at the NYC skyline.
I don’t know why I have such a strong aversion when I wasn’t in the city and I haven’t lost even the remotest acquaintance.
I’m sure the HC’s documentary is riveting. But, I spent the day laughing with other parents while watching our 6-year-old daughters play soccer for the first time. I spent it listening to 90’s music at a music festival. I spent it vicariously enjoying Soso go on her first big ferris wheel. I spent it watching her run, laugh and have the time of her life with her friend. I milked every possible joy and laughter out of the day and fell asleep exhausted.
Because, while I can’t remember, I can never forget. I was watching the news when the airplane hit the second tower. I was watching when the buildings imploded. I couldn’t turn my eyes away when the buildings collapsed and all hope died. The images are seared in my brain.