Tuesday, September 11, 2012

then and now

Eleven years ago, I was checking out at Express. They were running a huge sale, had opened early and I had stopped there after spending the night at my friends. I bought two things. A plaid skirt and a pair of leather pants. For those of you who know me now you find leather pants to be in the same unbelievable category as yellow-blonde hair that was straight and halfway down my back. But yes, leather pants and a plaid maxi skirt were my purchase for the day. And I was excited about rocking the pants. My total was $211 and some odd change. I was swiping my debit card when another girl came out of the backroom crying. Hysterically crying. Transaction completed. I found out about the first tower. And then the second. And I stood there with the stupid leather pants and the now hysterical girl, dumbstruck. Thinking surely someone this hysterical could not know what she was talking about. No one accidentally flies airplanes into buildings.

And I got out of that store as fast as I could and found a TV and then I saw it. But they weren't little airplanes. They were jets. And the smoke and the fire was enormous. Little did I know how much I would see those two burning buildings that day. From every angle, from every news station. That I would actually later see the plane hit the tower. Again and again and again. Until I was almost numb from the shock. But I started driving. And trying to call my mom. And my brother. I was driving when the first tower fell. And still driving when the second came down.. And I called my friend, who was also sleeping in on her one day off and told her to turn on the TV and see if what I was hearing on the radio was really true. And it was. And we sat and watched the news forever.

And in New York, there was a soldier who watched it live on television, on a base. A soldier that was supposed to get out of the army and move home. Maybe get a job, get meet somebody and get married. In Oklahoma. And then those planes hit. And so he stayed. In New York. And was deployed with the first units that were sent over. And he was sent again and when he came back, again, I met that soldier and six months later I married him. And a year later, when he had a baby that was six weeks old, back he went..

This morning, at our school we held a small program to honor the lives of those lost and to support those continuing to fight for our freedom. To honor my sweet, humble and dedicated husband. Who has been on more deployments in eleven years than I like to say realize. I think of 9/11 more than most because, well, it affects our daily life. It has affected our daily life for the passed 9.5 years. This one act of horror made Jason's and I's paths cross. And while I am shocked and upset every year when I remember, I am also forever grateful. For the kind and humble and selfless man that I call my husband. For the greatest love.

Tonight I drove home with Isabella from dropping off Amelia at dance and we passed a local fire station. Two of the engines had ladders completely raised and crossed so that all cars had to pass under them as they drove. Bella said, mama look at the fireman! They remember too. Then she was quiet. And said, did you know that bad men flew airplanes into buildings mama? And people died. A lot of people died mama.

And I was quiet and for the first time today, at 3:45, I cried. It was longer than I have ever made it without crying on this day. And I certainly didn't think this would be the year I made it until the afternoon with dry eyes. I explained to Bella about the attacks. I explained about the firemen that ran, literally ran, into burning buildings to bring people out. And I explained what is her reality everyday.. that her daddy is away protecting us from men that fly airplanes into buildings. And soldiers have to keep going to keep fighting and keep going and it's a never ending job. It's always somebody's Daddy, somebody's job.

So we just keep remembering. We just keep praying. For peace. For freedom.

Until they all come home.

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