Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years ago


11 years ago today I was a sophomore in high school. I was walking into early morning Algebra 2/Trig with some chocolate chip Poptarts and a yellow Tupperware sippy cup full of milk. I remember being wet. Mr. Eagan and the handful of other students in the room were staring up at the Chanel 1 TV. I stared and stared and I still didn't know what was happening. World Trade Center. Planes crashing. Followed by days and weeks of uncertainty and mourning. 11 years ago today was a very different time. No planes in the sky and so much change ahead.

There's a piece I wrote back when I was a freshman in college about September 11th and I think about it every year when this day comes. I've looked for it and looked for it on the computer, but I can't find it.  I know I have a hard copy somewhere. I want to find it and pull it out and read it.  Because there are some days we should remember.  And I just feel like September 11th is one of those days.

I was surprised, in many ways, how much I went back and forth today between remembering what happened ten years ago and then forgetting all about it in the course of my daily routine.

Dropping Olivia off at preschool.  Heading to the grocery store.  Working on my laptop.  Marking off projects in my notebook.  "Typed up!  9/11/12"  Oh.


Driving to the doctor's office.  Sad, cranky Olivia in the back seat.  Feeling like an idiot first-time mom for taking my kid in just because she had a fever for two days in a row.  And then realizing what a blessing it is that the biggest worry in my day is taking Olivia to see the pediatrician.  No buildings falling.  No empty skies.  Oh.

The world now is a different place than it was ten years ago.  But, in many good ways, still very much the same.  We carry with us the memories of lives lived.  Of tears shed.  Of days that pass.  With a seemingly infinite amount of moments in our lives to remember, I find it easy to forget the hugeness of the world, the collective history of all of us.

Next year I'm going to dig out that piece of writing and type it up and share it with you here.  It shares the details of memories that have faded in my head.  It remembers so much better than my brain that's too muddled with doctors appointments and preschool pick-up times and book writing and sewing and antibiotics for ear infections and what we had for dinner.  It's healthy to move on.  But it's also important to remember.

What were you doing 11 years ago?

3 comments:

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

I remember assignments in school to go and ask our parents/grandparents etc about where they were when they heard about the Pearl Harbor bombing or where they were when they heard that JFK or Elvis died. I always thought those were weird assignments. Why would our teachers expect that everyone remember exactly where they were when they heard a piece of news?!? Now I get it. My kids or grandkids will likely have assignments to ask me where I was when I heard about 9/11. I was driving in the car on the way to go teach when someone called into the radio station to tell the DJ about it. Then the DJ started announcing it and talking about it and I thought, "How irresponsible is that to announce news that a caller called in without confirming it?" Turned out it only got worse from there. I was probably the meanest teacher ever because I still tried to have lessons that day...but then I didn't have a TV in my room to let kids watch.

Kathy Haynie said...

That's interesting that you remember being wet, because I'm sure it wasn't raining in Oregon City that day. I remember the clear skies on the way to school that morning, with 2 jet contrails in the sky. Later I realized they must have been military planes. Everything else had been grounded by then. I had hall duty (at the freshman campus of the high school) that morning, and when I saw the principal I started asking him about details for an upcoming field trip. He looked at me with a weird expression, and then he said, "Kathy, don't you know what's going on?" Um, no. I don't watch the tv in the mornings. We had it on our classroom tv's intermittently throughout the day. Trying to keep a calm feelings for the students.

Yesterday I asked my students what they remember, but they were only 5 or 6 in 2011. They don't remember much.

I DO remember where I was when Kennedy was shot.

Melia said...

I was at work. And we were questioning why it was so slow. Our ad had just dropped and our phones should have been ringing far more then they were. Then one of our guy called in asked if we had heard. We immediately turned on the radio, we tried our small tv but we couldn't get good enough reception. We listened in awe the whole day. I remember wanting to cry the whole way home. But the tears would not come. I got home and no one was home. I turned on the tv and watched a few minutes. I don't remember what they were talking about when I first turned it on. But I remember them saying that the station had sent out all of their interns with cameras to get more stories. The next story was about this guy who had put his elderly mom in one if the last cabs out of Manhattan then couldn't find her. He had called all the hospitals, and Nothing. He wasn't able to get through on her land line. He had no idea what had happened to his mom. when he made it to her home that is where she was. Their reunion is what made my tears start flowing. My thoughts then went to my friend who was serving in the Navy. All of a sudden I had this overwhelming feeling that I was never going to see my friend again. I got in my car and went to my best friends we cried together. After that things get blurry. But those events are clear in my mind. I don't know that those events I am sure will be clear in my mind forever.

Good luck finding your paper.