love and 9/11

fifteen years ago today, i was almost six months along with my youngest, Samantha, living in Omaha, Nebraska, pulling into the tree-lined lot at UNO, on my way to class, pregnant belly beginning to near brushing the bottom of my steering wheel. i was listening to NPR, drinking the last bit of coffee, when i heard the confused reports. it took a few minutes for things to register, and it was very early in the reporting, when we didn’t know much or when or if it would even stop. i tried to go to class, our professor tried to keep us together, but i just couldn’t. i wanted to keep trying to reach out to my then husband, he was on a deployment overseas, and i wanted to be with Valkyrie, my oldest. so I left campus, went through many security checkpoints to get to Val’s school and our home on the local military base. and then the waiting. when i regained some sense, i shut off the news, the repeated heartbreaking visuals. it was eleven days before i heard word on my husbands safety and many months before our local military community regained some semblance of normality.

every year, i recount the story to my youngest, since she was not yet fully in our world. tonight, after i brought it up, sitting outside eating ice cream in the sun, we both gazed off, saying nothing for a few minutes. she said, man those people that took that one plane down were really brave. I think we would do that too. i said, i was just thinking that. then she said, and what those guys did, that did the attack, that was really really bad and yet i can’t help but feel bad for them too, they must have had a crazy life to grow up like that, and then being trained for that. we talked about the impact and what’s missing and how it made us feel and what we were grateful for….

today i went into my university office, worked a bit on analyzing some educational legislation i really believe in, had lunch with a good friend, followed with ice cream and dinner at home with Sam. i took a nice long jog in amazing weather at sunset and exchanged texts and special photos with val and several friends.

i let myself cry as i ran our beautiful city, i let myself feel joy, and love, and sadness and heartbreak. i felt overwhelmed thinking of the bravery and heartache and felt, for a moment, a morsel of the still enormous impact of that day.

friends, love today. love tomorrow. question when you feel something not from love. most of all, i feel, remember to share your love, your stories, your hopes and dreams, your sadness and fears. all of it.


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