I remember. 10 years later.
10 years ago on this date, an unimaginable thing happened, a safety shattering things happened.
I remember the first time I felt unsafe in my home. When I was a child, our home was robbed. Things were taken, broken, touched by people who had no right. We were not home during the robbery, but it was still scary. It took months before I felt safe again. Months before I went to bed without worrying about people breaking in. Months to be okay.
I remember the first time I felt unsafe in my Country. I remember, clearly, watching the live CNN feed when the 2nd plane hit the Twin Towers. I was sitting on my bed, getting dressed for a MOPS meeting.
I remember bringing my children into my bedroom, cuddling them, being so thankful for them. I remember the frantic phone calls to my husband, from my Mother in Love, from my Mother. Everyone checking on family and friends.
I remember the quiet comfort of the MOPS meeting that morning, the normal meeting canceled….we sat in large circles praying and comforting each other. Most of us left early, to return to our homes.
I remember my husband leaving work and returning home to his family.
I remember not wanting my family to leave home EVER again.
I remember fear, shock, worry and tears; so many tears. I remember the bravery the media reported, I remember hearing about the last phone calls people in the towers and on the planes made to loved ones, the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93, and the heroic fire and rescue teams.
I remember the hope for survivors, the sorrow for those who were lost, the feelings of loss and grief were almost palpable.
I remember crying, worrying and so much fear. How could this happen? Why?
We, my husband and I, like many others watched the non-stop news coverage. It’s practically all we watched in the evenings.
I remember how my son began showing fear of airplanes. To my three-year old, all planes became “bad planes”. At that point, I became aware that he understood much more than I had expected he could and our terror attack news coverage became an after baby bedtime thing.
I remember how afraid I was. How could I possibly protect my precious babies in a world where planes were weapons used in city centers? For a long time I lived in fear. Fear of another attack. Fear of terrorists. I was afraid for a very long time. It took over a year.
I began to notice that every single person who looked middle eastern made me anxious.
My “out of control” fear was turning into racism.
That’s not me. That’s not how I roll.
THAT. HAD. TO. STOP.
I remember the day I took control of my fear, the day I stopped judging the many by the actions of the few. The day I stopped judging people by the way they looked or the faith they practiced.
I will probably always feel a little anxious on 9/11. Every year, on that date, I feel the loss. I will probably never feel as safe as I did before the attacks, I’ll never, again, naïvely believe my country is untouchable.
We are touchable. We are breakable. We are human. But, We are also brave. We are resilient. We are adaptable. We are loving, helpful, and kind. We mourn with each other, we help our neighbors, we rebuild and we heal.
I will continue to remember to never again judge a person based on their manner of dress. On their region of origin. Or on their choice of religion.
I will never again live in “out of control” fear.
I will never forget.
I will remember.