The day the towers went down, the day a plane crashed into the Pentagon, the day those people became heroes of flight 93, the day that changed my country, I was running late. I had just started classes at Arcadia University and was rushing to drop The Bee off at daycare. The dad had left hours earlier and I was exhausted after working an overnight shift and having to start school and worried that despite The Bee getting used to being at school she was going to pick this day to start missing mommy again. With a wave and grin she toddled off to be with her teachers and it was such a comfort to drop and roll and then focus on class and hoping that THIS would be the time that I would get it together.
The day was beautiful, the sun shining, the sky clear and while listening to KYW heard something about a plane crashing into a building. I thought it odd but continued on to class thinking that I would hear more about it later however as I parked and headed towards the building I saw students standing in clusters watching televisions placed around the hall. I hurried to class, received a call from The Dad and was admonished by the instructor to put my cell phone away. For the next 75 minutes I sat in class going over a syllabus and reading a poem, oblivious to the terror happening.
After class I clicked on my phone and was met with a frantic message from The Dad: Why had I cut off his call and had I heard what happened? I then got a call from the daycare asking me to come as soon as possible to get The Bee. Rushing through the streets of Northwest Philadelphia, I listened to The Dad who promised he would be home soon, punched the radio dial as I attempted to find some more news and risked a speeding ticket hoping that I could get to my child sooner. Rushing through the doors of the daycare The Bee had no idea of what was going on, she was just excited to see me. She hugged me, helped me put away her toys and we headed home where The Dad was waiting for us.
The rest of the day was spent calling family, Mom and Charleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeene were still working at this point and as a hospital personnel they had to stay at work. Buffy and her family were good, The Dad’s family were good. We watched over and over as the planes crashed into the towers, as the towers crashed and experienced the sickening horrible sensation that those things falling from from the towers were people.
In the years since I have felt anger, sadness and loss. Selfishly I am not mourning the people that have lost their lives but I feel sad that the free country I lived in no longer exists. I am angry that when my family travel Philadelphia Airport’s ass backwards setup means I have to park on the highway until the family members are ready to picked up. I am upset that there seems to be a divide in this country. Our country, the melting pot, is so afraid of differeness that people are abused and bullied.
But today as The Bee and I watched some of the coverage I realize that like all things, sometimes its not about me. The Bee sat closer to me on the couch as we listened to the reading of the names. One teen reading names choked as he said his dad’s name and said that his dad would be proud of him. It struck me: This day is not about me. It’s about the families who lost their loved ones, about the people who lost their lives and the changes in our country. So while I wait on the side of the highway or have to have my bag searched while visiting Independence Hall I will remember that this mild inconvenience is nothing compared to people who rushed into a burning crumbling building, nothing compared to people who chose to jump from the tower and nothing compared to people who kicked ass on a plane and died to protect the rest of us.
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