Ten years ago I had woken up around six-thirty am, so sick I could barely see, and called my upstairs neighbor whose son and mine went to the same school, to ask her if she could bring my son to school.
I woke my son up to get ready for school, telling him our neighbor would bring him in. Not only was I physically sick, but I was so emotionally distraught that I was telling my son how sorry I was for anything I had ever done, or that he was sad about, and that I loved him and wanted him to be okay in his life. I’m sure it frightened him but I had no control over what was happening to me and thought I might not make it through the day. I was sobbing and hugged my son goodbye, telling him I loved him. I suppose I should have gone to a hospital, but I just wanted to go back to bed.
Several hours later I woke up feeling much better, and realized I had missed an appointment so I called to apologize and reschedule. The woman on the phone sounded incredulous that I’d be calling over something so petty as she said “don’t you know we’re under attack?” I said, “What?!”, and she said, “Haven’t you been watching TV, or listening to what’s happened?!” I felt defensive and responded that I was ill and just got up and hadn’t done anything yet except to call her office. She softened her tone a bit and told me to go turn on the TV, and then we hung up.
It was just after ten am, and I couldn’t fully grasp what had happened for quite a while, and in a daze from whatever strange illness (now gone) that had overtaken me, and the events that had happened while I slept, I got dressed and drove to my son’s school to bring him home early, and went to pick up my mother to come be with us, and then I rented four comedies that I cannot remember the titles of. I find it interesting now that in my shock I wanted my son, and my mother, and to laugh.
There was a gathering in the local park for anyone who wanted to process the attacks as a community, and I went to that, still in shock. It felt so incongruous that it was such a gorgeous, sunny day. It seemed that it should have been raining and dark at the very least.
It took several weeks to really process it all, and I canceled going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park within the first few days of the attack because Boston was on alert for terrorist attacks, and Fenway Park was a target – as was anywhere with a large gathering of people at that point. Nothing happened, of course, and I’ve always regretted not going as though by that act I let the terrorists win, but I wasn’t willing to put my son or myself in danger for an ideal.
During that time I found out how much my son was affected by the attacks when he told me he was afraid that the terrorists were going to blow up the bridge we drove over every day on the way to and from his school. I told him that the terrorists wanted to harm what they perceived as our money and power centers most of all, and that I hoped he could stop feeling afraid because now that we were aware that some people wanted to cause America harm, it would be much harder for them to do that again.
I think it took about six years before I stopped being so hyper-vigilant about traveling, especially because I flew to San Diego in 2005 and there was a high terror alert when I changed planes in Maryland. I suppose it was good to be aware, but unless I wanted to take a bus home from there, there wasn’t much I could do about it. It was a very anxious plane ride back to Hartford that night, and while I love flying, I’ve not been able to relax on a commercial flight since September 11th, 2001, and that fear has only been reinforced by the various attempts at blowing up a plane since then.
I thought about my sickness that morning of the terrorist attacks, and how utterly emotionally out of control I was, and I believe I had an empathic premonition of the attacks. I have no other explanation for the extreme state I was in, and how it was gone a few hours later when I woke up, except for feeling somewhat groggy.
I am so sad for the loss of life that occurred, and sadder that it led our country into a war on false premises. We lost far more people in Iraq through the actions of a President and politicians opportunistically ramming through their agendas while the populace cowered in fear and allowed actions to be taken in our name which we would never have allowed otherwise.
If there is a prayer-answering God, I pray that will never happen again, but I understand humanity well enough to know that we’ll always be duped when you drape the flag across whatever crisis you’re trying to sell and shame people into feeling unpatriotic if they disagree. Now I need to go get some Freedom Fries and slap a magnetic yellow ribbon bumper sticker on my car…
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.