Today, 9/11, is a day that won’t ever be forgotten, especially not by those of us old enough to hold distinct memories of the towers crashing down. I remember where I was when I finally saw the images on TV and the complete and total silence of the classroom, everyone holding their breath as if to not breath in the smoke billowing on the screen. I feel the horror and the loneliness and the fear that lived in me that day, and the collective memory of all those who mourned and are mourning the tremendous loss that happened that day.
I also remember that one year after the attack, when my dad died from cancer, we had to push back his celebration of life one more day because of the 9/11 memorial service happening where my dad’s celebration was going to be. I remember feeling both incredibly disconnected from the pain around me and so choked with anger and loss that I could barely breathe.
And every year, like clockwork, these memories come back up. Some years they hover, threatening rain but never doing anything more than spitting. Other times, they roar in, a massive train barely staying on the rails that screeches to a halt with a rattling crash that means it’s going to be awhile before it’s pieced together enough to be on its way. My least favorite is when it winds itself deep into my chest, squeezing, tightening until I’m trying to remember to breathe, snapping at those I love, and struggling to get unstuck, not even realizing that’s how I feel in the first place.
Why, you might ask, am I talking about this stuff? Because it’s necessary.Read More