I’m not going to lie. 9/11 is really freaking me out this year. Maybe it’s because it’s the 10th anniversary and I can’t help but feel that something big could happen, or maybe it’s just because I’m a mom and I don’t want anything bad to happen to my son, but I can’t stop worrying about it. I was fine until today, and then something changed, but I don’t know what. I just know that I’m worried. Really, truly worried.
Not to flood the internet with yet another 9/11 post or anything, but I still, like every other American, remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news. I was sitting in 7th grade English, and we were studying subject-verb agreement. Mr. Fleer, the principal, came on over the announcements and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, and before our minds could consider the impacts of this, he informed us that a second plane had hit the other tower, saying that our country was realizing that this was an act of terrorism. As he was giving the announcement, he got word that the Pentagon had been hit. Our classroom was in stunned silence.
After he had given the announcement, my stomach started to ache horribly. It felt worse than I think it ever had before. I had this ball in my stomach, and felt like I had been punched in the gut. Hard. My mind started to go all over the place. Would my neighbor, who was in the Reserves, get called to Active Duty and have to go fight? Would he come home safely? He had two little boys at home… what if he went to defend us, and died? What if something bad happened to someone I knew? Did I know anyone in New York? In Washington? I just wanted to go home.
I did end up going to the office that day, and I did ask to go home, along with several other students. Most of the kids’ parents asked them to stay at school, but my parents came to pick me up. It was my brother’s first birthday, and both of them had the day off. My mother had been watching TV when it broke in with the news. When I got home, I watched the news with my mom, both of us stunned into silence as it played the images again over and over. We watched while we assembled my brother’s new playset in his bedroom. I was scared, I was frustrated, and it was a lot for even an advanced 7th grader to understand. Emotionally, at 12 years old, I was not ready to grasp the idea that so many people woke up around the same time I did, sent their kids to school, went to work, and never came home. Even now, at 22, I still can’t understand that. I still cannot imagine waking up, leaving home, my parents, my child, my brother, my pets, my life…and not returning to it at the end of the day. It’s just… too much. It brings tears to my eyes to even consider.
I do worry. I’ve always been a worrier. I can pray about it all day long, and that little bit of worry is still going to be right there in the back of my mind. And right now, so close to 9/11, it’s in the front of my mind, too.
I just want it to be over, for us to get past 9/11 without anything bad happening. Yes, bad things could happen after… but I think I’ll sleep more soundly if 9/11 comes and goes without a hitch.
I was originally planning on talking about other things in this post. That’s why it was titled “stream of consciousness.” I was planning on covering several topics and not just focusing on the 9/11 thing. But honestly, my mind was there and now after everything I typed, it wasn’t. I came into this planning to write a short paragraph, and I wrote much more than that. I didn’t plan on re-hashing where I was. I didn’t plan on discussing how I felt. I just planned on writing one little paragraph, and then discussing all of the other things that were happening right now.
I don’t know if I can bring myself to. I don’t know if it’s as important as I felt like it was before I started this post. I don’t know if it really matters if I talk about my excitement about my job on Monday, or my unease about school being just around the corner, or the fact that I have this really cool friend that I kind of accidentally met and didn’t expect to be as cool as he was, but now I’m glad I have him to talk to pretty much every day. I feel like all of that is on back burner. I feel like now I’m just writing a teaser for a future post I may or may not get around to writing. But mostly I feel like I just want to curl up in a ball and cry, because no matter how much I try to focus, to distract myself with this paragraph about things that AREN’T 9/11, in the back of my mind, that is still all I can think about, and I just really want to bawl my eyes out.
I need a hug.