Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mimi Remembers 9/11

Reposted from 9/11/06

Note: I meant to post this earlier today but the entire post had disappeared from my blog. It took a while to locate another copy. As it got later in the evening I started to forget it and skip the entry altogether, thinking that maybe folks were getting weary of reading so many recountings of such a sad and tragic day. Then I realized how selfish that was. I read Bond's chilling post about his day in New York City on September 11, 2001 and other bloggers......people whose loved ones will not come home.
It is for them we keep the memory fresh on the page.I recently unearthed a handwritten journal entry in my diary penned
September 10, 2001.
That year I was in the midst of a painful personal life-altering divorce and feeling philosophically Mimi-like. Little did I know that a few hours later, none of the problems I thought I had would even measure a speck of consideration for quite some time. Fall 2001 was not a time to take leave of one's family.

Home. My corner of the world. Safe and secure and unharmed by violence. My garden. My books. My things. All reasons to take stock of what I was grateful for and why.

There are images that strike me now as profound and earth-shattering in their own way to my psyche and spirit.
Here are just a few of my vivid memories of that day.
A phone call from my son, "Mom, people are jumping from buildings." as he watched the unedited raw footage unfold before the shots were censored.

Something about the way he said my name that day made me want to forever scoop him up and protect him from such visions. I called or emailed everyone I knew who meant anything to me to make sure they knew I loved them.

Not such a bad idea today, September 11, 2007 either.

Sitting with my then-husband and openly sobbing as we watched the evening news in silence. Suddenly, who gets to keep the SUV didn't matter.

Watching the second plane hit live in real-time broadcasts and the Towers fall. Every night for six weeks I had nightmares about flying planes.

Sitting with a colleague at work and watching the early reports. I remember the feeling of helplessness. "There's nothing we can do," I said. " Somebody please help those people."

"All we can do is pray," he said.
And so we did. Out loud and unashamed and unaware of denomination. To me, my friend became the-person-I-was-with-when-it-happened and to this day I still remember the power I felt in the room on that morning. Just as we finished, a co-worker across the hall walked in to see what was wrong. He heard us say "The Pentagon has just been hit."

"My son is in Washington," he said. "He's a runner at the Pentagon." 
He left to make a phone call. More praying in room 18.

Patriotism. Who cared what Party you belonged to. I often say "I became an American that day." My only regret is that up until that horrible morning I had little understanding of what that meant. Not really.

Silences. People wore unspoken pain like a garment.
No chattering at the post office. No small talk at the grocery store. What kind of evil could silence a nation's soul?

I remember the sound of no music on the radio for days.

The sky. It was a picture perfect day.

Today, I am more politically aware, unfortunately resolved to
disastrous uncertainties in the world around me and more than ever willing to
run headlong into a very precious span of time called my life.

My one-time comfortable corner of the universe has changed - peacefully so - and we have all happily moved on in our private lives, making new memories on new soil. September 11 didn't change my ultimate direction but it did alter the way I moved in it.

After 9/11 I heard stories of people mending fences. We all witnessed ordinary people do extraordinary things. Those who had nothing to offer people in need gave all they had anyway. Collectively.
We were caught in a time warp of kindness for awhile.When the anger came later, as it did for me - as well as a newfound surge into patriotism - as it did for many people of varying political opinions, it was fueled with a stark understanding of how precariously we walk.I, for one, do not intend to sleepwalk.
I think we are better prepared to face and debate opposing views today because we're better informed by necessity. There was a certain universal passion that dropped in our laps for the things in our lives that really matter. I have found ways to celebrate our differences and probe deeper into what is going on in other parts of the world - with new friends I've found here as well - who offer contrasting viewpoints and strength of conviction for issues in their part of the globe.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some phone calls to make.


Travis said...

I thought I would check in once more before I logged off. I'm glad I did. This post feels like the hope I always look for at the end of this day.


sfgirl said...

Well, it's still Tuesday 9/11 here in BC...many of your feelings mirrored my very own: feeling suddenly very protective of my son, who was glued to the TV, unable to stop watching the terrible unfolding of events, knowing that this horrific moment would mark all our lives in a very special way. You said it beautifully. It's good to remember. Like the Jewish monument in Paris says of the Nazi slaughters: Forgive; but never forget...

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - You're welcome. Hope is a collective phenomenon.

SFgirl - There were a lot of personal life lessons that day for millions of people. Thank you for commenting.

Bond said...

ty for your personal words about that day

i needed to wait a day before visiting my friends..yesterday i could not read these..today i am

Peg said...

Excellent post, Mimi...just excellent. Thank you...

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Excellent Mimi. :)

Anndi said...

I have felt much of what you describe, and as a Canadian, some of those impressions are different. But I did find myself saying, that day made me more human... Fundamentaly, it isn't about a country, or a political party.. it's about human decency, about the fact that we are all the same. That we should strive for what's good and true... for Peace.

Thank you for sharing this.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - Your post on 9/11 was wonderful. I hope others will read it.

Peg - I've missed you! So good to hear from you again.

Sandee - Did I tell you how much I love that new pic of yours?

Anndi - I couldn't have said it better.

Mauigirl said...

Excellent post, I'm glad you did post it. It's so true, I think 9/11 did make us all appreciate our lives more.

Deana said...

Well said Mimi.

katherine. said...

yes..to keep the memory fresh.

this was wonderful to read.

Patti said...

You captured the feelings of many of us on that day. Excellent post.

exskindiver said...

excellent post, indeed.
i will bookmark this page, for i intend to return to it often.
hi mimi.

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