Like the film from an old movie reel, which flutters and skips across the screen, so too are my memories of that day long ago. A sepia tone replaces the color that day once held. My co-worker Jim, has been blurred by time, but his unbelievable story still resonates, pierces and shakes me to the core. He must have been full of shit! Jim was a prankster, but certainly he would never go this far with a bad joke…would he?
Damn he wasn’t joking.
I think everyone above a certain age can tell you where they were and what they were doing at the time the towers were struck. We all have a personal connection, whether we lost loved ones or not. I remember calling my mom to find out where my brothers (traveling sales) were–if they were home, if she’d heard from them. Once everyone in my family were accounted for I prayed a thank you to the God I hardly knew and asked him to love all those families who lost everything.
At the time of the tragedy I was six months pregnant with the doll. I worried about what kind of world we were bringing this child into. I remember wanting to leave work, to go home and snuggle with the boy and his dad, to reassure myself that love would win out in the end. Yet management wasn’t keen on the idea. They had a business to run, to keep the American spirit alive, to show the world you can knock us down, but you can’t keep us there long.
So my 9/11 is wrapped in old and worn memories of my days at Best Buy. Watching record numbers of people enter the store, not to purchase TVs but to watch the horror playing out upon them. Listening to coworkers conjecture about a plane over Cleveland turning around and heading back toward Washington with National Guard jets in hot pursuit. Wanting more than anything to find a way to start the day over again.
When I arrived home from work, I found a blissfully ignorant husband and son. They had spent the morning watching the Disney channel. We decided to take our 2 yr old boy to the park and push him on the swings (his favorite). We marveled at the brilliant blue hues of the sky overhead; the quiet surreal feel the day now held. The beautiful joy emanating from our son, as he swung higher and higher, reaching out to touch that sky.
Which in the end is what should have mattered most that day.