>A Moment To Honor…..
I read a few blogs today and realized I had not noticed the date. Well, tomorrow’s date. September 11….
Because of the life I’ve lived, I’ve sort of developed a defense mechanism that works on auto-pilot. When something terrible happens, whatever form it may take, I tend to unconsciously tuck it, and any relevant emotions, into a box. Into a box in a closet. And I sleep. The tucking and locking away occurs while I’m sleeping. Once, long ago, the door to the closet cracked and all the locked away emotions began seeping out, like so much sludge….that was truly a dark time.
I was thinking about some of the things that had happened in my life that subsequently got locked away, taking the emotions with them:
Seeing my sister’s and my dogs get run over, literally in front of us when we were small children. We were going across the street to go sledding. The driver missed us by a couple feet. And the roads were perfectly clear…
Being kidnapped….there’s a post about it somewhere on here….
Talking to my sister, long distance, listening to her heart rending sobs as she told me my new baby niece was dying…she lived five days….
Talking to my brother, long distance, and crying together for more than 45 minutes when he told me my new baby nephew had died…..
Not understanding the coldness that swept over me when I shook hands with, and congratulated a student who had study hall during our English class. We all loved him. He’d gotten a baseball trophy. That afternoon, he and another student were playing on the steps of the bus and he fell off…..our whole class, and most of the school, attended his funeral and were unfit for our final exams. They had to reschedule them…
Watching my mom’s long struggle with several illnesses-physical, mental, and emotional, until she found peace, then watching her, after so very much suffering, bravely meet death….
And many other things that I won’t go in to….
Then, the public people: Elvis, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Challenger, Columbia, Katrina, Andrew, Jonestown, Steve Erwin….and so many others….
I was working third shift in 2001. I loved it, and I revert to those hours on long holidays. I had a new apartment. I was dating Honey. He talked all the time about ‘when we’re married’ so I knew it wouldn’t be too long. For the first time in a long time, I had something to look forward to….
I got off work at 8am and my sister in law, Pooh, called me as soon as I finally walked in the door. She told me to turn on the news. We talked on the phone as we looked at the smoke coming out of one of the Towers. I called Honey and we all talked on three-way.
We were talking and watched the plane hit the second Tower. And we learned about the Pentagon and the flight that was diverted and crashed. And we watched the Towers fall…..
I can clearly remember the complete, terrifying sense of awe. The dark sense of wonder at what I was seeing and hearing. And it became so much darker.
I could never be a doctor. Blood doesn’t bother me much. It’s the pain I can imagine a person feeling. It becomes real to me. I imagined all the pain and fear, and abject terror; the sense of loss, of regret, of never holding a loved one or a friend again. I imagined all the words that couldn’t be spoken or taken back. I thought of all the expressions of affection that were lost forever. I thought of the people who had lost friends and loved ones and all the things they wouldn’t be able to look forward to anymore. I imagined the suffering….
When I do this, I drown in it. I’m glad I never saw the people jumping. I stopped watching the news that day….
Tomorrow marks a dark and terrible anniversary.
As I wrote this, some of those emotions escaped….and it was okay. Sometimes, tears can be a good thing. Tonight, they honor all the dead…..