September 11, 2011
9/11, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 37
I have so many fun and good things to tell you about: cats and plans…
But last Thursday night, I found something that changed my course for this week. In a box, the same one in which I found some pictures I had thought lost was a stack of folded papers clipped together with a dull paper-clip. On top, was an email. I glanced over it quickly at first, and then stopped and started again. I checked the date and stopped breathing.
On September, 11, 2001, I was at work. Without a TV, and only getting occasional radio reports from co-worker’s who had desk radios, it took me a while to find out and figure out what was really going on. I remember swinging into crisis mode, sending off frantic email, trying to place calls that never went through. I couldn’t even get through to my husband, who was working just across the street from me. Traffic was lined up as far as the eye could see on the two lane road between us. Everyone was trying to get home to somewhere. We drove straight to the bank, took out as much cash as allowed. It was 7:00 PM by the time I was finally able to sit by a TV. I was in shock and shaking, but on September 11, 2001, the tears never came. We shifted from channel to channel hearing that, for our own good, much had been edited out as too graphic or too scary. In an uneasy way, I felt cheated by that. In a easier way, I now feel a bit blessed by the limited and filtered information.
The first email was from a friend in Massachusetts, “I am still coming to your wedding,” she wrote. “I am not afraid, and if the flight goes, I’ll be there!!!.” Second down was from a military friend stationed in Japan who reported, “In one sense we feel very grateful to be on a military installation where they have the capability to protect us. On the other hand, we feel like a target. As I told the children this morning as we sat in front of the TV, material things don’t matter when you’re facing eternity.” Third was from a friend in Ireland who wrote, “I don’t ever want to lose contact with you!” The fourth was written from New York City. “I was en-route to Midtown during the plane crashes and in the office for the rest of. I did not see, hear or feel anything. I can’t get over this. My father keeps telling me that my room at home is ready, if I want to return.” Next, from Georgia, was the note, “I’ve wanted to cry but the tears just aren’t coming yet. It’s all just so unbelievable.” And sixth, from New Jersey, “I’m fine. Thank you for checking up on me. I’m fine. My sister who works for the Fed Gov got home ok. God Bless and stay safe.”
Re-reading them now, I realize this: 10 years ago, within a short 24 hours of panic, grief, uncertainty, and email, my world suddenly became smaller; closer. In an unbelievably intimate way, from far away, we were able to let out our breath a little as we sent and received notes of assurance and gratitude.
Posted by jaselin at September 11, 2011 05:01 PM