Saturday, September 12, 2009

Post 9-11

9-12-09 altered brain
In 2001, Greg was the building director of the Iowa Federal Building in downtown Des Moines. I remember on the morning of September eleventh, I was working from home and Greg called me and told me to turn on the TV.

I asked, “what channel?”…. he said something like “any channel” and he hung up. So I walked downstairs, feeling curious, and turned on the TV. I saw a plane sticking out from a tall building in NY. It looked like a small plane to me and I thought “that is a strange accident”….

As I was standing there watching, another plane flies into the picture….. HOLY COW! What’s going on here? That’s no accident!

One of my strongest memories from 9-11 was how beautify blue and clear the sky was in Des Moines that day. I later heard that the sky was clear all over the country that day. During the morning, I walked outside feeling strangely disoriented, wondering what was coming next. I saw squirrels out in the back yard and my cats sunning themselves, and I longed to be unaware and carefree like them.

The world outside my house looked the same, but everything about life seemed to be totally different from that moment on.

Later Greg called and said they were sending all the Federal workers home and clearing the building just in case other buildings around the country might be targeted. However, Greg stayed and did’t come home until later that afternoon. Was he in danger staying there? I tried not to worry but felt enormous relief when I saw him come through the door later that day.

I can understand the worry and anxiety of the families waiting for their love ones to return home that evening…… but some never did return.

Eight years after 9-11, my life has gone back basically to normal….but a "new normal" of being more awake about not taking anything in life for granted. These families who lost love ones never will get their “normal” back. But life does go on, one day at a time, one tear at a time.

I wonder if they have healed?

It doesn't feel, over all, like our country is healing very well.

I highly recommend this book: Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy , it's an uplifting story of grace. If we all could love and forgive like these Amish, the world would contain more peace.

It's good to remember out of respect, but we need to also remember to forgive. Forgive like the Amish forgave the shooter of their school house killing of children a few years back. A person forgives to release themselves from the pain, it doesn't mean we condone the act.

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