I suppose it is sacrilegious but I am not going to church today. It is September 11 and everything on the TV, radio, internet, and even church will be totally focused on reliving the nightmare that happened 10 years ago this morning. Yes, I am still aching inside at the horror of it. My stomach is knots at the thoughts of another planned attack, set to take place today while everyone is still mourning and gathered together. I can't wrap my brain around that kind of insanity but my heart doesn't seem to have a problem understanding that level of fear.
I know many people go to church to find comfort and peace in the words of the Bible and the sermons of the minister. I can't bring myself to do that today. I am having enough trouble fighting back the memories of my own. I do not want to be regaled with the stories of the heroic, the brave, the tragic, and the shocking. For ten years I have heard stories piled upon stories of those who died, survived, helped, got sick, and lost loved ones. It doesn't bring me comfort. I don't need another reminder. I have plenty of my own.
It was probably the most stressful time in my life. I was staying in the hospital with LH while she was recovering from her third open heart surgery. TD was just three months old and I was trying to nurse her while caring for the other one. I hadn't been home in over a week. DH had been coming to the hospital after work to keep us company for a few hours a night but he was spending half his nights at home so he could get some sleep and still get to work on time.I woke up to the commotion of the nurses turning on TV's to watch the coverage. I called DH on the cell phone and he turned on the car radio. No one worked. Everyone just sat, staring at the TV, wondering how much worse things were going to get.
I am so very thankful for the medicines LH was taking at the time for pain. They have caused a sort of amnesia of the time so she doesn't truly recall that morning and the events that were replayed over and over on the television in her room. She only remembers flashes here and there of that entire hospital stay. I remember every minute of it, but she shouldn't have to.
That day was just the start of a horrible downward spiral in my life. Because of the attacks, my husband's company lost a lot of money. He was laid off less than a month later and it took him a long time to find a job. About a year after that, just when we thought things were getting better, I was laid off. Of course this was right after we signed the papers on our first house and then found out I was pregnant with EG. I never did find steady work again and we lost the house, the car, and fell into a downward spiral that we are only just now starting to stabilize.
That day marked the end of a lot of hopes and dreams for me. The fear and shock and the affects of it have lasted throughout the last ten years. In many ways, the terrorists got exactly what they wanted. The goal was to cause fear, panic, and financial stress for the most powerful country in the world. They did all that and more. I am ready to move on and move up and stop giving this moment in time so much power over my life. I don't want this fear and pain to continue on day after day, aching and stabbing.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with the memories of that day. I prefer to spend today in peace and quiet with my family. I don't want to turn on the radio or TV. I am staying home instead of attending church. It may seem like I am hiding from the truth and ignoring the reminders. That is not my intention at all. Rather, I want to have time and space to process all my feelings at my own pace, in my own place.
I can't protect them from the media and the constant reminders of what happened 10 years ago today. I can't stop them from hearing about the atrocities of the world and wondering and questioning and fearing. I would not attempt to hide from it, and I should not attempt to hide my family from it either. It is important to acknowledge and respect and honor the loss of that day. That doesn't mean, though, that I want to sit through a sermon about it or watch countless memorial specials on TV on it. We will talk about it together later this evening, but it will be done carefully and truthfully, and without images of people falling out of skyscrapers.
Above all, I do not want to help perpetuate the commercial gains of the companies and individuals that are benefiting and profiting from the attack. Flags made in China to decorate the yard, commemorative plates painted overseas, t-shirts made in sweat shops in Mexico - these are not ways I want to honor the memories of the thousands of PEOPLE that died that day - whether American or foreign. Certainly, I do not want to watch any TV special where every five minutes I am bombarded with commercials paid for by corporations that I wouldn't buy from to begin with.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day in bed, relaxing and recovering from a very stressful week. Today I am planning to spend the day at home with the kiddos, enjoying the thousands of little pleasant moments that happen by watching and listening to them when they don't know I am paying attention. I love every moment I get with them, from funny and exciting, to boring or frustrating. Even though there is a long list of chores and duties to be done, we are all going to do it together and that is my entire goal for the weekend. I want to have a little bit of family togetherness and normalcy to balance out everything else that is out there.
Deb "The Mom" Lollar