Sunday, September 10, 2006

Reflections

I apologize for this, but I need to let this out and with Angela gone, you guys are who I have to talk to. This is not going to be an uplifting post - or even a rant.

We're inundated with 9/11 anniversary stuff - tv specials, news spots, radio, etc. I'm having a really hard time tonight and generally just try to ignore all the hype around me. There was a piece on tv tonight with Robert DeNiro hosting (I don't know which channel it was) - it began as a documentary of a probationary firefighter with the camera crews shooting in the firehouse that day so that it quickly turned into a documentary about 9-11 itself. I didn't intend to watch it, but had been looking for local news to see if the NCCJ Walk as One was on there (I walked with the SPST crew and there were a bunch of news cameras out) and I just got sucked in.

It was amazing - good and bad. To see so many firefighters afraid, freaked out, crying, puking, etc. was just unsettling. I used to work 911 dispatch and I couldn't help but imagine that they were any of my Midwest City guys, or even Angela's cousin who works for Oklahoma City FD. As much as the OKC bombing left an imprint on me, I know this was something so much more devastating in quantity, although perhaps not in emotional turmoil for those working the events themselves. My mom is a civil engineer and happened to work for a company hired by the Port Authrity of NY. She used to regularly attend meetings in the World Trade Center and even though she wasn't there that day, she could have been and knew plenty of people who were. I wonder how my mom is doing, but don't want to ask her about it. I'm not sure I want to hear it and I'm not sure I want to push her to talk about it.

A few months later, in December of 2001, we went to NJ for Christmas and spent a day in NYC. My family regularly made the 2 hour drive to see a Broadway show or do Christmas shopping and I remember very clearly gasping at the gap in the skyline as we came up to the city on the highway. Little did I know that our day in NYC would be the last full day I'd spend with my dad. He died in a motorcycle accident down the street from his home on December 23rd. It's strange that 9-11 and my dad's death get linked so closely together, when logically I know there was not connection.

5 years - it seems so long and like only yesterday. I had worked a night shift in dispatch the night before, so I got home around 7:30 am and went to bed. A phone call around 9:30 (10:30 Eastern) woke me up - a friend asking if Angela was being called up as part of her Search and Rescue group or the National Guard. We didn't know what she was talking about and turned on the tv to just stare in horrow for the next hour. Angela's birthday is September 12th and I had been planning a surprise birthday party for her that night (her 25th) - the party kind of fizzled out although a bunch of us did get together. Now we're at her 30th birthday and she's overseas in a war we never imagined back then. Who knows what another 5 years will bring....

To all those who lost their lives, their family and friends, their health (physical or mental), and their feeling of security, may God grant us all peace and comfort as we grieve and remember that horrifying day. May we also remember that there are people in the world who deal with that kind of fear and destruction every day...

2 comments:

Andy B. said...

Hey, good post. Gritty and real, no hype or anything. It made for a refreshing change. Thanks.

hipchickmamma said...

wow.

with all of the politics surrounding 9/11 i tend to forget the real people and lives that were affected and altered forever. i'm sorry for that.

thanks.