Every year, when September rolls around, I am filled with so many emotions. Time has changed some of them, but so many are still very raw.
Excitement – the school year is starting, the weather is cooling.
Joy – my baby boy, the little one who made me a mama, has his birthday this month.
Anxiety – because I know the day is coming. I know that the anniversary is almost here.
Sadness – remembering that day, the lives lost, the incredible bravery and selflessness of those who ran in when everyone else was running out.
I am just typing this today – no editing, no polishing, no reviewing. It’s just my stream of consciousness on this anniversary I wish did not exist. A friend messaged me with a very simple heart this morning, because she knows that today is just not easy for me. It never has been and never will be the same.
But time does go on. Seven years after that tragic day, we welcomed out beautiful, healthy baby boy into this world on September 10. His arrival forever changed this anniversary for me. I remember waking up (not that I had really slept) the day after Mr. B was born, and turning the television to watch the reading of the names. I am sure that the nurses in the labor and delivery wing were puzzled (we were then living in MN), but I had to watch. What is on my television as I type this? The reading of the names at the WTC. I must listen. Every year.
The swing of emotions that I experience from September 1-15 is insane. I am so excited, counting down the days to my big boy’s birthday. He knows nothing of September 11th, only through pictures on our walls that show the gleaming silver towers and then show their absence. I work so hard to be incredibly happy for his birthday, and then my emotions swallow me up when I am finally alone on September 11th each year.
Today, I got in the car after daycare/kindergarten drop off, and turned to my favorite country station. Where I was hit with “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson. I let it wash over me. I listened. I cried. I remembered.
I came home and turned on the reading of the names. I paused when the bell tolled to remember the second plane hitting the south tower when it happened. Goose bumps. With each toll of that bell I could feel, I could remember the exact moment that plane hit. I remember the shaking of the building I was in, the windows seeming to buckle. I remember the realization that washed over all of us in that little conference room, realizing this was no accident. Realizing that life had changed forever, in that instant.
I have posted my story before. I won’t do it again today. But I have to remember. I have to remember my experience, and I have to remember the incredible losses suffered that day by so many. For all of those lives lost that day – whether in the Towers, on planes, in the Pentagon, or the brave first responders who gave their lives to help others – I remember.