Friday, September 11, 2009

Do you remember the day?

For every generation there is an iconic day. For my husband it is the day of the moon walk. He remembers watching it in his house in Cuba as a 4 year old. I can see him sitting watching on that old TV looking very much the way Boyo looks but probably with a better tan.

But for me, my iconic day is Sept. 11, 2001. And like everyone else today I think back to where I was when I heard. I was 8 months pregnant working at Catholic University in Washington DC. Hubby was home on sabbatical watching the talking heads on CNN. He called me at work and told me about the first plane. Honestly my first thought was "What a terrible accident, I wonder what was wrong with the plane?" Followed by a brief prayer to protect the people and that there wasn't a child care center in the building. When hubby called back a little while later, he said there was a second accident, and still confused (like many women with a baby in their belly- my mind worked oddly) I thought, "Guess that pilot shouldn't have been rubber-necking the other crash." Then hubby said it was terrorism and he was coming to get me.

By the time the towers fell and cell service was cut, the University gathered in the main hall with the priests and there was a prayer service going on. All of the staff and I were in the balcony watching and praying when a call came into the receptionist desk. It was hubby and he was downstairs.

It is a terrible feeling seeing the destruction of hate while holding a new life in your belly. On one hand there is terror but the other hand is hope. Can I protect this baby? What will his life be like? Will he grow to be an adult or will hate cut him down like so many others? Or will my child make the difference? Will he find a way to solve these problems? Will he grow up as a protector to the people he loves?

Two years later when September 11th rolled around again, I again held a new life, this time a 7 day old baby girl but my feelings were different. There was still the terror, but it was a more common new baby terror. But with the strides our country had made in only 2 years I was hopeful. I knew my daughter would have a good chance, I prayed that neither of my children would ever be touched by hate. And as a sat feeding Girlie, I remember marvelling at the loss so many had felt and the pride at what had been accomplished since then.

Now 8 years later, I still pray for those families. That they have found peace, that all the mothers who had newborns or were pregnant with their husbands in the towers have found a way to survive and to thrive. But most of all, I pray that something like this never happens again.

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