Thoughts on 9-11


I tried very hard to write a blog about 9-11 yesterday and couldn’t. The enormity of that event is engraved into our very essences. As a former reporter, I wanted to write and as a human being, I wanted to avoid any thoughts that might bring the horror back into focus.

Eight years ago on 9-11-01 the world as we knew it shook and collapsed. I was in bed in Richmond, VA., unable to move much because of a disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The pain was stupendous; the prognosis not good. I was probably going to die. I felt truly sorry for myself.

Someone left the television on NBC and went elsewhere to continue their day. Bryant Gumbel was talking about something. Little tidbits from other news stories drifted and droned through the room. There was no one to change the channel or turn it off. I really didn’t care.

Suddenly, commotion in the news room:  they were trying to piece together something happening in New York. A plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Maybe a small plane. The day was gorgeous, the sky almost painfully blue, with fantastic visibility. Fire licked the blackened scar. Then there was video, a good-sized plane, never wavering flew directly into the second tower.

Pandemonium was everywhere. The towers collapsed. Another plane hit the Pentagon, yet another crashed near Pittsburgh. I could go on and on, but those of you who would read on–well, you saw it all unfold again yesterday.

Through it all, there were heroes everywhere. What makes a person offer up life for a friend, or even more amazing, for a total stranger?

I think the most vivid images–the collapses, panic in the streets, fireballs erupting–will never leave us.

I would like to say I was inspired and got up from the bed, but I couldn’t. It has taken all of the intervening time to achieve the level of health I now enjoy and the possibility of recurrence is always with me. I am left to ponder why. Why, on that day when I probably should have died, did I live when so many others didn’t?

I felt this was almost too personal to post, but when I asked my husband what he thought he said I didn’t go into enough detail about me. I considered deleting the entire thing and going into more detail about the joys of breeding alpacas and how they soothe the soul. Perhaps I felt I needed to mention that there is more to life than just getting what you want.

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