On 9/11, (THE nine-eleven) I had just gotten up and was pouring myself an iced coffee, when the phone rang. I hadn't turned on the tv yet (I was that freshly awake). PJ was calling from work, where he couldn't get on the internet and had no tv access- he asked me what was happening, but I didn't know. I turned on the tv while I had him on the phone, and we watched things unfold. It was stunning- that is, I remember really feeling stunned, and it took me a while to really grasp what was going on.
I went in to where Scott was blissfully asleep, and woke him up. How do I wake him? What do I tell him? I woke him and said "something bad has happened" and we turned on the little tv in the bedroom and watched together, holding onto each other on our bed.
That day, we had lunch together and then went to our own parishes to get to work on how we could serve through this horror. It was that day that we decided to buy a cell phone, so we could more easily reach each other in times of crisis.
Just last week I realized how I'm still affected by this all. I was in the shower and heard a really really loud noise overhead. We live next to a small airport, and I thought maybe the Hood blimp was right over the house, but that really doesn't happen- then I thought it might be a plane about to fall onto our house. (that doesn't happen either, so far) I literally ducked in the shower. (I am great in a crisis) then I realized what it was- a lawnmower going by the bathroom window.
Before 9/11 I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have confused a lawnmower with a plane crashing on my house.
I have long noticed that God has put some near-misses with tragedy in my life, and I think it's been to teach me empathy. If I freak out at lawnmowers I can get a bit of a glimpse, however mild, of what the real victims of this tragedy must be feeling.
Although I won't be able to watch much of the tv 9/11-palooza that will be on tomorrow, I will be praying for all of us to heal and feel peace again.