Friday, September 23, 2011

10 years later

2001 was a big year for us. We got married in May, moved into married student housing and Hubby started working at Church in September. It's hard to believe those things were all 10 years ago. I still think of the 2000's as not that long ago. A lot of other 10 year anniversary events will happen next year like my graduation from college and buying our first house.

But it's really hard to believe it's been 10 years since that Tuesday morning. I celebrated my 21st birthday Monday night by drinking a glass of wine with our dinner in our little student housing apartment. We didn't do anything big, but Hubby had planned to surprise me the next day by going up to celebrate with my parents. Tuesday morning came just like all the others, starting my day by getting up and catching one of the buses over to my Psychology lab class that started at 9:30 and went for two periods. I remember the room and a little something of what we were discussing that day. I remember taking our break in between periods and seeing people chatting about something in the Psych building hall. The class got out around 11:15 and I headed over to the Reitz Union for some lunch before my 'Meat We Eat' class at 12:50. Things were kind of buzzy when I walked in the Student Activities Office to say hi to my friend. She looked pretty busy. I still remember our words. 'Heya, how are you doing today?' She passed me a sheet of paper and said, 'I'm doing better than people in the rest of the world.' I was quizzical but then looked at the paper in plain black and white at the top it stated, 'This is what we know right now...' That's how I learned about what had happened while I was in class. I looked at her and said, 'This is bigger than Oklahoma City.... Is this bigger than Pearl Harbor?'

10 years makes a lot of difference. The world was so different from today. Before smart phones, before Facebook and Twitter. News traveled so slowly then in comparison with now. I didn't even have a cell phone then. I watched the TVs they had set up in the Student Activities office, the news media all in confusion about what was happening. I was glued to it until it was time for me to go to my class. How could I think about cutlets of beef today? Would I remember anything from that lecture except exchanging sad glances with my teacher, showing that he too was informed while the co-eds around me seemed blissfully unaware? Walking out of class, somehow I heard that classes for the rest of the day had been canceled. Didn't matter to me anyway since I was done for the day. I got back on bus and held my sheet of paper so that others could read off of it, I was hungry for information and knew others hadn't even heard yet about what happened. I wanted to talk with people about it. I couldn't wait to get home so I could call Hubby.

It's funny, I don't remember talking to him or when he got home, but I remember just watching TV all night long. We'd switch channels to see if the other stations had any new information. Were there more attacks coming? Was it done? What had happened in Pennsylvania? Were there other planes unaccounted for? And over and over again I saw the plane crashing into the building. I sat there for hours, speechless, shocked. I couldn't pry myself away from the news coverage. Tears came when President Bush gave his speech that night and I so wanted justice for all the people who died. The country came together.

We didn't go to my parents' house that night, sticking close to home was probably safer. For most people flying was out of the question if it wasn't totally necessary. All the football games were canceled. I still blame the terrorists for UF's loss against Tennessee that year. Well, the terrorists and Darnell Dockett. If we'd played the game in September we'd surely have won. But having it in December after Earnest Graham's knee had been wrenched by a foul FSU player and we couldn't get the win.

I remember crying a year later at our church's remembrance service, now everything was more clear. We knew who was responsible, we'd seen video of the terrorists arriving at the airport, we'd heard phone messages from people on Flight 93. They stopped showing the videos and pictures of people jumping from the towers because the networks were afraid of distressing people. By then we'd seen footage of the first plane hitting and security cameras showing the crash at the Pentagon. People had shared all their personal accounts and how many times did I cry?

Even today when I see a plane in the sky I think about that day. After having watched it happen over and over on all the news reports, I see a plane now and think it would be natural to then see it fly into a building.

So much has changed since that day. The world is not as naive as it was. I have changed since that day. Then I was just establishing myself as an adult. I can't believe that freshmen in college this year were in 3rd grade when it happened. Now I'm a mom of three (whoa!), have a mortgage and am no longer a newly married girl. I wonder at what kind of world I've brought these kiddos into and at what age they'll learn it's full of sin.

I'm reading a new mom devotional and thought the poem this mom wrote for her son was appropriate for how I'm feeling:

For Matthew
by Miriam Sieber Lind

Dear Little One,
Our newest, tenderest son,
What world we brought you to, we cannot know.

Neither did Hannah know
As on her happy heart sweet Samuel lay
A very Yes of God

Neither did Eunice know
As, prattling prayers, the tiny Timothy stood
Within her circling arms.

Nor did the saintly Monica forsee
If her Augustine's world should thrive or split;

And that unique Susannah, tutoring
Young John, small Charles,
She knew nor more than they...

Than I. But I do know,
As faith-filled they too knew,
That if your times be anguished or be still
It is God's will
That you should live therein to his high praise.

And so I singing hold you to myself.
In strong sweet faith I sing;
Our little son,
Dear, newest, tenderest one.

No comments: