Saturday, May 5, 2012

Memories from a Decade 9/11

What was I doing on that sunny blue-skied day? Teaching science-- Most of the nation's tragedies in my lifetime have taken place while I was in school-- a student, an aide, a teacher. The sky was spectacular. Who said turn on the tv? I cannot believe I do not remember that detail. I remember the full on horror as the second plane hit and the paradigm shifted. Was I wearing my feel good yellow dress? Maybe a student of mine would remember that--I don't. The day followed in stunned quiet. We had to go out for a bomb threat and stand, the entire school, on school property as far from the building as physically possibly yet within the "safety" of the fence. Did we do that twice in one day or twice in the week? At the end of the day as quickly as I could I went to the blood center and got in line where I stood for hours, was it dark when I left? I had thought of an act I could do. It was so difficult, I was still so very heavy. Some local business person sent pizzas to the people in line which was so thoughtful. Eventually my turn came and I was able to donate. Later it became clearer and clearer that the blood would help no one in that hideous pile of rubble. Maybe it only helped me to feel as if I had done something. There turned out to be no need for blood at all.

That was a week also wrapped in family drama. Larry was trying to drive to Texas before his dad died, he didn't make it and had to drive home. Rayne was on her honeymoon in Vancouver, Canada and the car rental company said keep the car, drive it home, do not try to fly out of Seatac. So they were trying to get home for Grandpa's funeral. Grandpa was on the very last plane to land in Indy before the skies were closed, he just missed sitting on the tarmac in Canada for the duration. Leah lived in Durango and needed to get home for the funeral. I was alone in Terre Haute handling the details of the funeral. Leah was on one of the first flights after the skies opened again, another terror filled flight for mom. Leah did a beautiful eulogy for her grandfather, not the last one for a grandparent, she has lost two more since then, the rest of the grandparents.

Have I said how beautiful the skies were completely empty of jet trails? I had no idea how much of what I see in the sky is from technology. It was so quiet for those days. Quiet and beautiful and hideous.

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