Sunday, September 10, 2006

Remember

Tomorrow, I will hang our flag out on my new front porch. It is six feet long and four feet tall. We bought it on September 11, 2001, around 4 pm. We bought it online, taking advantage of a rare open phone line to dial into AOL, and paid for next day shipping. It was the last one in stock - besides the twenty by ten foot model for which my husband lobbied. I warned him that it would cover our neighbor's window when we flew it out of our own.

Little did we realize was that, in Manhattan, we wouldn't be receiving any packages for quite some time. When it finally arrived, maybe two weeks later, we hung it from the top of our six-story apartment building on First Avenue.



As time goes by, it is more difficult for me to watch. I used to need to see the footage and photographs, to convince myself that this was true. I used to have panic attacks and nightmares. But now? I can't watch. It is more painful now, in my head, to hear the panic in my father's voice tell me over the phone line that I needed to leave the city right away, than it was then.

I've told my story here before. I was pregnant with my first child, like Julie. I didn't know her then, but I wish I could have spent the evening celebrating a birthday with Liz. I agree with Nancy, that Oshee offers a fitting reminder in her own story of loss of how to conduct ourselves with our loved ones. I've told Binky that I watch the skies, still. I've told Kurt that I don't agree that we could have done this to ourselves. I can't wrap my mind around the possibility. It is true. As I told T'pon, there is nothing so real, or true, as loss.

10 comments:

blair said...

My biggest memory of that day, after the utter shock, was being afraid for you. Love you.

oshee said...

I went back and read you thoughts on becoming a mother. That is a beautiful post. Thank you for visiting and more thank you for sharing your own experiences of loss. Loss is such a personal thing, it would be easy to get bogged down in the wallow of being alone in it. But the truth is that we can gain and grow from each other's experiences. Knowing there are shoulders to lean on that have weathered storms before is sometimes enough.

lynsalyns said...

Yes, what Blair said. I was never more afraid that I wouldn't see you again. I know you love NYC, and I do, too. But I love you more and I prefer you in a place where the bad men are less likely to strike again.

mothergoosemouse said...

What you said about the footage really struck me. Perhaps that's why I needed to watch every scrap that day (and for several days afterward) - because it seemed so unreal. But I can't watch now either.

Kurt Schroeder said...

I remember being at work that day and talking to customers in NJ who could see the smoke. Good post. Nice flag.

Kara said...

Good post. I wrote about this on my blog too. We are flying out this Thursday and I'm nervous. Leaving two little ones behind.

tpon said...

thanks for visiting and commenting on Monday...

I was struck this year at how it seems like a lifetime has passed in the five years (N. and I weren't even engaged, let alone parents of a toddler) and yet everything about that day is frozen in time. Ready to be reopened, year after year...

Great post.

Nancy said...

Wow. I read your post about 9-11 -- I was 6 months pregnant, too, and here in DC watching the smoke from the Pentagon travel outside my office window.

I didn't think I could relive those days, but Monday I watched the replay of the "live" footage from 2001. I think I'm still really trying to wrap my mind around that incredible loss, not even just in tangible loss of life, but in the innocence of the country. Things will never be the same again after that.

And thank you too for linking to Oshee -- thank goodness for her post, which kept me grounded through this difficult week.

Mom101 said...

Beautifully put.

I agree that it is more difficult for me to watch even now. And so I don't. I'd hate my real memories, horrible as they are, to somehow be replaced by the footage detailing someone else's memory.

Sandy said...

Karen, I tagged you. Grab your purse and dig deep!