28 years old and I am living a dream. I am married to a wonderful man, have a job that I love, and am seven months pregnant with my first child. We live in a quiet suburban neighborhood, we live in a brand new house, we drive nice cars, we are truly living the American Dream. I love my life. I am on bed rest for pre-term labor but my friends have been very supportive, in and out, visiting and keeping me busy. While I am slightly concerned about my unborn son, I have faith that he will be fine. I enjoy catching up on the latest Hollywood Gossip and television shows, reading books I have been meaning to read for ages, laying in the hammock in the back yard, enjoying the sunshine. That was September 10, 2001. I had no idea that tomorrow my life and every American's life would change forever.
September 11, 2001, 8:46am, I awoke to the sound of the phone ringing...groggily I answer, 'hello?'. It is my husband, 'you need to get up and turn on the tv, it might be the end of the world.' I don't understand what he is talking about. I lazily roll over, hit the remote, and watch as my life, my outlook on life, and the world change forever. I watch as this tragedy unfolds and this pilot's 'mistake' is determined to be a terrorist plot against our nation. I am stunned, yet the gravity of the situation has yet to sink in. I attempt to go about my daily routine but find that there is nothing on tv except news coverage and I am unable to concentrate on my reading. I do manage to make a few calls to verify that my friends in New York are fine. At roughly 9:15pm that same evening, my telephone rings. It is a classmate of mine from Wellesley. She is in tears and clearly inconsolable....'are you ok?' I ask. 'No, Rahma was on the first plane.' Rahma, her husband, and her unborn baby, due only days after mine were on the first plane that hit the twin tower. Not until this moment did I break down. I question everything. How could I bring a child into this world? A world where people needlessly murder innocents all in the name of 'Allah'. A world where people are trained to kill Americans solely because they are American.
I now live in a constant state of questioning and in a sense, a constant state of fear. I am afraid of flying. I will only get on a plane if either my whole family goes or if my husband is staying behind with some of my children. I will not risk that my children are left without a living parent. I panic if I am caught in rush hour traffic on a bridge. What if someone ahead of me has a bomb in their car and is prepared to take his own life to kill hundreds. I think about where we would run if the terrorist hit even closer to home ... what is the best route to Canada, Wyoming, my hometown even...anyplace far away from the city. I grieve for my friend and her loss of experiencing her child, those first smiles, first words, first steps. I grieve for my own children knowing that they will never live in a world that is safe, where people treat each other as brothers and have an inherent sense of trust in each other....before it was forever changed.
Wow! This is powerful stuff. I remember the UK news being full of this tragedy too. I first heard about it while out shopping for a wedding dress with my MIL. For me, it was a distant event in part of the world that seemed so far away ... long before I 'knew' anyone there. But now you guys don't seem so far away and your account, Aubree, seems so real and ongoing ... not a memory of a single event but a tale of the impact that lives on ... always.
So, I'd like to round up this first challenge by saying:
Thank you all sooooo much for playing along with us. Colette and I have really enjoyed sharing in your stories and hope that you will all keep on joining in. The new challenge (#2) will be posted in just a few hours and we'll be announcing this week's winner on Saturday! If you have just missed the deadline but have your entry finished ... send it in anyway, I'll be checking e-mail for stragglers in the morning!