Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Years

There is a radio show in Atlanta that every year on 9/11 used to re-play their broadcast from September 11, 2001 when they were on the air when the planes hit and then when the towers fell.  I don't know if they still do it because I haven't lived in Atlanta now for five years, but as of 2007 they still did.  I would listen as I drove to work and it would transport me back to that day and that morning and the fear and the horror and the confusion.  

I remember one year sitting in my office parking lot, not wanting to turn off the radio, tears streaming down my face. Eventually, the broadcast ended and I pulled myself together and walked inside the building.  I was expecting everyone to feel like I felt, to see red eyes and vacant expressions.  I was expecting a heaviness, a pallor, for the weight of the day to be felt.  So when I walked in and everyone was normal, it felt wrong.  The same chipper hellos, the same phone calls coming in, the same appointments, the same e-mails.  I had a hard time that day.

I still do.  I didn't lose anyone I personally knew that day.  I was 2000 miles away in Dallas.  I didn't even see the planes hit or the towers fall until I got home from school that day and watched with my mom.  

But every year on this day, I have a hard time.  It feels wrong to me to schedule things for September 11, no matter what they might be.  Court dates, client meetings, dinner with friends.  It just has never sat well with me to be normal today.  The day should feel more sacred, should be treated more sacredly, it's not just another day.  But on the other hand, I know, life goes on.  We shouldn't be sitting around sad and dwelling and feeling broken.  So, I don't know.  I don't know the right or wrong way. I don't know how to act or what to expect from others.   

I just know I really appreciated that broadcast.  I appreciated being transported back there, as hard as it is, as much as it hurts.  I appreciated being reminded, and not just in a tribute and a nod way, but in a let's go back and sit in that space and remember what it felt like, remember how scary and how horrific and remember that pit in your stomach and remember all of it and here's that feeling again so that you really never forget.  

Now internalize that feeling, try to process it, carry it with you, keep your head up, and go on with your day. 


saclutter said...

They still play the broadcast :-)

Christina said...

I'm so glad! Thanks for telling me.