Absolute Retrospect

Today is the 10th anniversary of what I refer to as my generations Pearl Harbor.  September 11th, is no longer a date, it's an event and a memory.  We will one day recall to our children and grandchildren exactly where we were when the planes hit and the Twin Towers fell.  Every year whether we knew someone or not, we will grieve as if it were yesterday. 
What I remember about that day was the information available to us on our TVs, radios, and computers.  It was unending and unedited.  I remember being glued to my TV until the last possible moment when I had to leave for work.  Then discovering that every single radio station was streaming live news.  That had never happened before. 
If you know me, then you know I am a serious news junkie, not just celebrity news, but ALL news.  If my kids would let me I would watch CNN all day.  Major news events stop me in my tracks.  9/11 was no exception.  My dad woke me, to tell me what was going on.  He said he figured one plane was an accident, two planes were war.  He was right, in a moment that I wanted him to be so wrong.
Ten years ago I mourned and grieved for the people who had lost their lives.  Husbands, wives, fiancees, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.  It's what I could relate too.  I was  23.  Even as I type it I can't believe I was only 23.  At 23, I could relate to those losses.  I thought about what it would feel like if I lost John, my mom, my dad, or my best friend.  Unimaginable.  Still today, it's unimaginable.  On that day I was heartbroken for the broken hearts.  The people whose love of their life would not come home, share Sunday pancakes, or watch SNL on Saturday night.
Ten years later my mind is elsewhere.  Today I grieve for the children of 9/11.  My grief is different, it's a consequence of motherhood.  Ten years later I struggle to grasp a concept I have never really thought about.  How does someone explain a parent to a child?  How in the world would I explain John to Caitlin and Mackenzie?  To know him is to love him, and laugh with him, and be loved by him.  How on earth could I do that?  Explain that?  Make them feel that?
My heart breaks for those children who lost their fathers before they were born.  I watched a CNN report on the Children of 9/11 and was struck at the simple things that are missing from these childrens' lives.  Those babies born after 9/11 don't even have one photo of them in their father's arms.  How heart breaking is that?  The children that were just babies on 9/11, have only photos and videos of their mothers and fathers.  They too have missed out on Sunday pancakes.
I was struck by how quickly these children were forced to grow up.  One young man, about 12, commented that he wasn't sure what was better, that he was too young to remember, or just old enough to have distant memories and old photos.  At 12, he just wants to be known for who he is, and not because his father died in the towers.  So young, yet so old at the same time.
Another young woman, 19, commented that the children of 9/11 are in a unique group of children that watched their parents die on national television.  I never thought about it that way.  How horrific and chilling that while glued to my TV that day ten years ago, I watched her father die.  I think I knew that deep down, that I was watching people perish.  It's what shocked me and grounded me and silenced me.  Never did I think that those people where fathers and mothers.  Until now.
It's very hard for me to think about the little cutie in People Magazine.  Her mother commented on their heartbreak and her questions about her father.  A father she never met.  She asks "Do I smile like Daddy?", "Do I look like Daddy?", "What was Daddy like?".  Her mother answers every question, even through her own grief.  Like a soldier or a hero her mother pushes on through her own grief, to make memories for her daughter.  Her mother's last comment however, brought me to my knees.  She said that for years her daughter carried around her ultrasound picture, because she knew it was the only picture her father had ever seen of her.  She still has the photo in her room today. 
Today my heart breaks, shatters even, for those sweet innocents that knew nothing about hate, or violence or war 10 years ago.  Some weren't even born.  My heart breaks for the mothers and fathers that have to share bittersweet memories to make sure their children never forget.  My heart breaks for those still losing parents because of the consequences of 9/11.  This war, like that day, is still fresh for many of us.  Men and women are still leaving home for a war that began on a bright blue Tuesday morning 10 years ago today.
Hug your babies, tell them you love them, kiss your spouse.  God bless the Children of 9/11, and all the children after 9/11.  An unforgettable day, an unforgettable event with unforgettable loss.  It's a different world today, but love, faith, and hope remain... I don't have to tell you the greatest of these... After 10 years you already know...
Happy Blogging,
Megan

2 comments:

  1. Megan, where can I send you an e-mail?

    ~Kristina
    Http://www.yomichaelmichael.com

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  2. My heart breaks for all the children as well. I was just talking to my mom about this earlier today.. There really is not good way to explain to a child how they lost a parent like that.

    And it was 11 years ago now, yes? Or am I just horrible at math?

    Thank you for posting this. I love seeing others take on what happened and how it effects them today.

    Katlyn
    www.thedreamymeadow.com

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