Saturday, September 12, 2015

The thing about 9/11/01

Disclaimer:  I'm not writing this to offend anyone.  I'm not trying to make a point.  I don't normally write about anything other than my life.  If you are offended about this post please DON'T let me know.  It seems that everyone is offended by something, and this is not something to be offended over.  This is just my thoughts on a tragic day.  I was 16 when it happened.  I'm 30 now.  I have a lot of opinions.  But, my thoughts are not to be harmful.

September 11 2001 Fire Truck Flag.jpg

Who doesn't remember where they were on September 11, 2001?  Maybe if you were under the age of 5 wouldn't.  But, everyone normally has a answer for the question.  The thing is do you remember what life was like before that?  I have a hard time with that.  A tragedy such as this is now a bookmark in my life.  After it everything was different.  But, before....

When you are a 16 year old, are you ever thinking about what the future will be?  Some think about going to college other's think about Friday night football games.  I was never really a good student.  I was okay.  I payed attention in class, I did class work... homework on the other had was a different thing.  I hated homework, I didn't want to be bothered by school at home or during my fun time (Marching band, color guard, pep band, football, or basketball games).  I could really paint you a picture of me at 16.  But, it's really a funny one.  I wasn't girly.  But boy was I boy crazy.  I wasn't allowed to date, but I had a few  boyfriends.  My best friends were two boys (one I married, the other was just as boy crazy as I was!!).  Being in your 3rd year of high school you feel invincible.   Considering you have made it through 2 years in high school, in a town that you are new to.  And you have adapted pretty well, with a great group of friends.  You are living the American Dream... aren't those two words haunting??  Considering that there was an American Dream before then... after, well I don't know that any of us are.

Before this day, nothing seemed real.  I was fun loving a care free.  My childhood isn't stapled by this day, I was no longer a child.  I was a teenager.  But I remember feeling really adult that day.  I just remember feeling so much hurt and sorrow.  That some person or group of people could hate so much that they would take innocent lives.  INNOCENT LIVES.  The thing is that I remember bits and pieces of my life before this, but much of what I know is after this.  I remember so many hugs that day, so many hand holdings, so many kids leaving school that day... because either their mom or dad worked at the Pentagon.  People that you may not have hung out with before you consoled.  

Tears... lots and lots of tears...  

The thing is, is many of us know what life was like before this tragic day.  But, now a lot of people don't know that.  All they know is 9/11/01 and after.  Kids grow up in a different world.  A world of war.  A world where everyone is hating on everyone else.  Where politically correct is the thing that is used to try and be "nice" to someone but it is really offending someone else.  I noticed yesterday...  On the anniversary, I try to be humble.  I don't know what it was like to lose someone on that day.  I have never talked to someone that did.  I cannot begin to understand.  I raise my American flag that day, although typically it is up all summer, due to the patriotic holidays.  I wear red, white, and blue...I always have.  But, I have noticed that there has been a shift.  Years after it first happened, on the anniversary we would pause our lives to honor those lost.  Gradually we have stopped doing that.  There, are less things on TV about it.  Less things on the internet.  Less time to pause... then I think about the day that it happened.  I was at school... we didn't pause.  In first block class we had no idea what was going on.  I felt as if we were one of the only classes that didn't know.  When I got into the hall to walk with a friend that I normally went to 2nd block with, she told me all about it.  I didn't believe it, and she told me to shake myself, this is real.  We begged our 2nd block teacher to turn the TV on.  She told us that she was going to teach for 30 minutes before she would (had I known then what I know now, I would have know that she was trying to distract us, however he effort to teach didn't work, more students went home, most wouldn't talk, and then there was more tears..), eventually she gave in a turned the TV on.  3rd block was different.  Our teacher told us that we could stay in class, that we didn't have to go to lunch.  When it was our time from lunch I ran to the lunchroom, literally,  I wanted to escape for a minute.  I wanted to pause.  I needed to be with a friend.  My hubby has always been my best friend, and he has always been this calming voice for me.  Even when we were just friends, he was always able to calm me down.  I still to this day, don't know what it is about him, that does that to me.  But, sometimes I know that it is what I need, and I naturally go and seek it.  That day I ran to it.  With tears rolling down my cheeks, I ran to him.  I don't really remember the rest of 3rd block.  I just remember crying.  4th block was band class, it was split into a history class too... this day was the only day of my entire public school career that I didn't go to all my classes.  I stayed in band class.  Our teacher told us we could stay, but at the end of the day we would have to go home.  I begged the hubby to take me home, so that I didn't have the long bus ride.  I just wanted to go home.  

I watched the news like a crazy person at home.  I even ate dinner in my room, so that I could continue to watch.  I don't know if I slept that night... I don't remember that part.  I know that the next day there was no school.  The rest of the week I don't remember at all.  I remember that I didn't want to go back to school.  Not because I was scared, but because I didn't know who was going to be there, and I didn't want to know if any of my friends had lost anyone.  It was all too sad.

This event has shaped our lives, in ways that we cannot imagine.  14 years later, life looks a lot different.  I don't care what side of the political coin you are on; (and this wasn't supposed to be political)... we have to pause.  And I mean pause for life.  We are so worried about who to offend, that we are not living.  We are worried that someone will walk into our home and be offended about what's in it.  We are worried that if we like this band, this person, this animal that someone will hate us.  We need to stop this.  (This has nothing to do with this tragic day.)  We just need to pause for life.  Take a minute for loved ones.  Nurture relationships, cherish friendships and loved ones.  We get one life (unless you believe in reincarnation), you have to live it.  It has to be something that you want and fight for.  Pause for it, pause to reflect.  Pause to dream.  Pause... take a break.  Dream... wish... hope.. love... live....

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