Sunday, September 11, 2011
10 year difference
Two of our little ones were only glimmers then. Juliana nearly 10. Nicolas 3. Joseph 18 mos. I had 3-wk-old Isabela in a snugly and was headed out the back door for a walk on a gorgeous, sunny day. My sister rang and told me to turn on the television instead. It was only a minute after the first plane had struck. Each of us, of course, remembers where we were. What we were doing. I know for certain what none of us was doing. None of us was waiting for an attack, not expecting the grief and mourning that is still the part of so many of our lives today. I feel like I am finally able to admit, perhaps boldly, even though I did not personally suffer tragedy on 9-11, that we all suffered. I was traumatized. I never felt it fair to feel that or certainly not respectful to say so. I still feel so much grief and sadness when I think back to those raw emotions of watching the story play itself out, changing second by second. I was transfixed nearly 24 hours a day with a baby who barely even knew she was out of the womb let alone think it appropriate to ever sleep more than a few hours. So it was myself, Isabela, and the television all night long, so many nights. I would not let go of her. I needed her to need everything from me. And even though the contrast of what I was holding and what I was watching could not have been greater, I am grateful that I was constantly reminded of the Good because of her precious, new innocence. Like a pill I had to take every three hours as I nursed her, to convince myself that there was still enough good, when I think so many of us questioned it. Didn't we? Thank God for good. So much of it all around us. It wasn't long after the tragedy that we gave up cable tv for good.
I piled a load of children into the car for an early pickup on Friday to get everyone + their Greek dancing costumes to the festival in time for their first performance. All of the children took turns explaining the bits of 9-11 history and the heart wrenching stories that were part of their classrooms all day long. And every one of us cried. We shared grief. In small stories, broken and paused with deep breaths and with little sobs. And though no one said so, we all said how much we love each other and how fortunate we are to have one another. We said so with sadness that doesn't belong to us- it is sadness that we are only borrowing from those who truly have suffered, surely they are glad to give up a bit. Acknowledging that hurt in others acknowledges at the same time a fear in each of us, the fear of losing what we love the most- each other.
Watching my children dance the same dances that I grew up performing, those same songs and dances that I know make my father's heart proud and maybe his eyes a little damp, I can't help but feel celebration. Even today. I am thankful for freedom. I am thankful for diversity. I am thankful for peace. I want more of all 3 everywhere.
I celebrate each of us today, and I remember those lost.
PEACE & LOVE,
(all photos from the still ongoing Greek Festival here in Nashville)