Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where We Were

All the week before my son Sean, then 3 yrs old, had been asking me:

"Mommy, what would happen if a plane flew into a building?"

It was an odd question that came out of the blue, and haunted him all week long. Sean has always been a kid that needed to know the why's and how's of everything, and that week, that was the question that he wouldn't drop. I did my best to explain how something like that was very rare, but would be very devastating if it DID happen. I wondered why on earth he would even be thinking of such a question -- after all, he wasn't normally fascinated by planes, and we never watched anything other than PBS kids' shows, so he wouldn't have seen horrible images from the news...

On the morning of 9-11, we were in my bedroom folding clothes and listening to the local Christian radio station. The DJ came on the air to ask all listening to pray about some "accident" that had happened at the WTC. Curious, I walked into the living room to see if there was anything about it on the news. As I turned on the TV I saw the Tower on fire. Sean came into the room and I held him close and said we needed to pray for the people in the accident.

"See, Sean? THIS is what happens when a plane hits a building. We need to be praying for all the people, baby..."

And at that moment, I saw on live TV the second plane slam into the building.

I fell to my knees, cradled Sean in one arm, Reilly (who was a toddler) in the other arm, and wrapped them both around my very pregnant tummy, and cried my eyes out for the people who were dying before my eyes... for my country, which would never be the same... and for my children, who would now be growing up in a world that was VERY different from the one I wanted for them.

May God have mercy on our nation.

The readings for today were extremely appropriate, weren't they?


Barbara said...

Our pastor had designated every mass this weekend as a solemn mass for the dead. When I heard the readings this morning I assumed they had been chosen specifically for the occasion. Beautiful and sad.

Ten years ago my mother-in-law called to tell me about the first plane. I turned on the tv but didn't keep it on long, and didn't see much other coverage that day (more radio). I went to noon mass with 5 children ages 1-11. I think most people were still in shock, because there weren't more people than usual (big crowd the next day).

The loss and hatred are heartbreaking.

Ouiz said...

I think you did the most helpful thing you could have possibly done on that day. I was too stunned to do much of anything... although I do remember turning off the TV, because I knew I had to find a way to make that day "normal" for my two little ones.

Neither one of them has any memory of that day.

I talked to them briefly about 9/11 after Mass today, and I was surprised in a way... but then again, not really... with how much emotion it all brought up for me.

I didn't watch any news today or listen to anything other than a brief excerpt from NPR, because I needed to focus on my family today -- not spend the day in mourning, which I would be doing if I were living alone.