I Remember

If you have the opportunity, go and see World Trade Center.

It opened tonight. My husband and I decided that we needed a break and went.

It made me remember.

I remember that I was making waffle batter for waffles for my firstborn daughter and I. She had turned one ten days earlier. I still had the streamers up and the balloons up from her party. I remember thinking to myself "Should I take those down today?" I was wiping the flour off the counter before I was going to wake her up. It was about 8:15 in the morning. I was wearing my jack o' lantern pajama bottoms and a yellow t-shirt. My phone rang. I remember thinking "Who would call so early?". I picked up the phone and it was my friend Cathy on the other line. All she said was "Turn on your T.V. to a news station." and then she hung up.

So I did. I turned it on and started to walk out of the family room to put the waffle batter on the waffle iron, when the reality of what happened hit me. I sat on the stairs leading to our dining area and just watched. I just sat. I sat as I watched the second tower get hit. I sat as I watched both towers fall. I sat as the ash and soot and dust filled the streets. I sat as they played the footage over and over again. Here I was, in my quiet safe house making waffles and the worst thing to ever happen on our soil was happening. I wanted to help. I knew that in all reality there was nothing I could do to help besides pray. I think I prayed more that day than I have any other day before or since.

I made a sign that day. A wooden sign for my front door. A sign that said "God Bless America." A sign that I will never get rid of because it was the only physical thing that I could do (I couldn't even give blood because of a medication I was taking). A sign that helps me remember where I was and what I was doing and how I felt.

During the movie there were these two 16ish girls behind us. They were giggly and silly the way teenage girls should be. My husband and I would share knowing glances when they weren't as reverent--is that the right word, respectful maybe--towards it as they should have been. When the movie was over, we discussed the girls briefly. I brought up that they were maybe eleven when 9/11 happened. That to them it was a distant far away thing that their parents were talking about in hushed tones as to not worry them. That they didn't really grasp yet how precious and fleeting life is. To them it was a grown-up issue. I grew up a lot that day. I think that is the day I realized how beautiful and sacred life is and how it only takes an instant for it to be over. That is the day that I truly became a parent. I held my baby and snuggled her so much more from that point on. The way the families of those fallen wanted to hold their loved ones.

I don't know if those girls will remember that day.

I know it is one I will never forget.


Dawnyel said...

I think "reverent" is the PERFECT word to describe the feelings that I have toward that day.
At that time I had an ALMOST one-year-old and I feared that his life would be filled with fear and hatred. I can relate to EVERYTHING you've said.
Thank you for your thoughts...I can't wait to see this movie!!

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

I agree with "reverent" too. It's an occasion for reverence.

I remember crying that day, so much, and just being so shocked that anything could happen to my country - even NYC, which half the time I consider to be its own little world. The world just seemed turned upside down. The newscasters were as beside themselves as we all were. I had kids in school that day and the thought crossed my mind - it was so scary - that what if something happened where we were? Should I go pick them up and keep them safe at home? WERE we safe at home?

I remember being glued to the TV for days on end, and by day 3, hubby and I both decided we had to turn it off. So horribly shocking.

I still can't believe it happened. I was a little freaked to see the movie being advertised. I know it's been 5 years but it still seems too soon. It just doesn't seem possible.

Amber said...

It's one of those things that you'll never forget where you were and what you were doing. I was swingin' single and had heard about it on the radio on the way to work. It wasn't until I arrived that we got the true magnitude of it all. My co-workers and I spent the morning glued to the TV....

Michelle said...

I was at work, here in England, and my husband sent me a text message that said 'America has been attacked' I almost fell over in the staff room. I didn't know they'd made a movie.

Bright One said...

I'm almost afraid to see it, I have buried so many of those feelings. It WAS a frightening day, I too remember everything I was doing. It WAS my daughter's birthday, she turned 9 that day. I remember feeling so sad that her birthday would always remind her of how sad everyone was and how no one could pay attention to her at her party because they were all watching the news and talking about scary grown-up stuff. I think we all changed that day and I, like you have appreciated life, love, and family so much more than I ever did before. Loved the way you expressed yourself.....it is good not to forget.

Sketchy said...

I remember a repair man...I don't even remember what he was fixing...coming to my house and asking me if I'd seen the news this morning. I turned on my tv and watched and cried and prayed. My daughter was 5, she had Kindergarten in a few hours. I was trying to shelter her from the news, but it was impossible, she'd heard too much from school. I thought she'd be terrified, but she wasn't. She just wanted a little reassurance, wanted me to put it in context for her -- that was hard. It was me who was terrified, I wasn't sure I had put it in context for me. We wore red white and blue for days afterwards.

I really remember the day of prayer and the solidarity I felt in our nation those days...it was a papable, powerful thing. I've often wondered if Satan knew we were too strong to attack at that point, but he quickly worked to divide us shortly afterwards.

Char said...

I remember hanging up on BC when he called and then deciding maybe I should actually get up and turn on the TV. Then I remember FREAKING out because my step dad was flying that day. He ended up getting stuck in Georgia for several days. He finally borrowed a car from one of his employees. I had a plane ticket for the next week to take my 15 month old to see Grandma and Grandpa. The feeling of flying within days of air travel being restored was surreal.

Gina said...

This is a great tribute, Stephanie. I hope we can always remember and have the correct and reverent perspective.

Valarie said...

I heard about it on my way to work. I had slept through my morning classes, so it was about 11 AM. I turned on the radio and they were saying something about cancelling an outdoor concert for that night because they were afraid of a terrorist attack. It was the alternative station and I thought it was a joke- then the national news cut in. I'll never forget that feeling.

utmommy said...

I remember too. My mom called me and told me to turn the TV on. I was laying in bed with my baby and got up to do it. The second I saw what was going on, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. I've been so much more aware of the freedoms we are blessed with every day since then, and am so grateful for all that we have. I guess before I used to take things for granted. I sure learned a lot that day. Thanks for your thoughts.

theresa said...

S, don't think I'll be seeing it anytime soon...It was one of the worst days/week of my life and I'm not ready to re-live it yet. Maybe sometime I'll post about it

Nonetheless, hubby was flying AA on a 757 at 6:35am that morning...nuff said.

I already getting emotional reading your comments.

Gabriela said...

I'm #12, my lucky number!

Great post Steph. I was in
Venezuela and spent the day with another American mom glued to the TV crying most of the day. I longed to be in my country and share the pain with everyone.

We lived right near the Embassy and watched as it filled up with flowers.

Unforgetable times.

Chappyswife said...

I don't think I could see it yet. Maybe when it comes out on video and I can watch it at home and cry my eyes out.

Chappyswife said...

One more comment...

Have a great day!

Jettara said...

I want to see it. I remember that day too. I can remember getting on the computer in the morning (which I never did at that time) and seeing the news on the first tower. I woke my DH up and we turned on the TV just in time to see the second tower hit. It was horrible.

I had already made an appointment to donate blood that day at a blood drive at our ward building. I went to it feeling even better about donating. There were alot of people there who had not even signed up wanting to donate, but they ran out of supplies, so they had to turn people away.

I was also doing an internship at the American Red Cross at the time. I can remember the phones ringing off the hook from people who wanted to know how they could help. It was really amazing to hear how so many people felt helpless because they wanted to go back east and help. So you were not the only one who felt that they needed to help in some way.

Kelli in the Mirror said...

I was on breakfast duty at the middle school where I was teaching. I had all those eleven-year-olds in my class that day. They truly were having trouble separating it from a video game and were saying it was cool and they wanted to watch it again. They didn't get why I was crying or why any of the teachers were upset. They kept asking me why I cared, and if I knew anybody in New York.

I was eleven when the Challenger exploded though, and I do remember wondering why my teacher was crying about people she didn't even know.

I definitely want to go see the movie.

Nettie said...

I don't think I'm ready to see that movie. Then again, lately I weep during beer commercials and my husband's sci fi shows.

I remember dropping my kids off at school that morning, wondering if I should. I was torn between trying to keep life normal for them and my fear that something bad would happen to them while they were gone.

I think it is good they are making movies about it. It is something that the American public should never forget. And there are still many inspiring stories surrounding it that have yet to be told.

No Cool Story said...

I know I'm late for commenting and all.

Just reading you post made me cry.
I know I can not see the movie. It's just too fresh and too soon for me. It was a horrible day, a horrible new reality. It still is, the worse part is that unlike you, a lot of people seem to have forgotten.