Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you?

I actually posted another story, then realized that today is September 11 and decided I wanted to hold that post until tomorrow. It never ceases to shock and horrify me when I remember back to the events of that horrible day. As Nicole said on her blog, this is the "Where were you when JFK was shot?" moment of our generation.

On Saturday, the Discovery channel ran a program titled Inside the Twin Towers and went through the sequence of events from inside the WTC. It was devastating to watch, even though much of it was reenacted. They interviewed the real people whose stories were being told as well, which gave it such a feeling of reality. This really happened. Over 2,000 people really died. For nothing. When they flipped to real footage of the burning towers, every emotion I felt that day came rushing back. I cringed as I watched people jump from top story windows, their bodies falling lifelessly to the ground. My stomach tightened up in knots as they replayed the sound of those bodies hitting the lobby roof. And the moment when the first tower fell, my eyes welled up with tears. I still can't believe that happened.

Seven years ago today, Lee and I were living in Dallas. Lee was in Atlanta that day, scheduled to fly home in the late afternoon. My mom called me at roughly 8:00 and told me I needed to turn on the news. I headed down to our apartment complex's workout facility and turned on the news while running on the treadmill. After about 10 minutes of running, I was so horrified that I raced back up to our apartment and sat on the floor, my eyes glued to the television. It was shortly after that that the first tower fell and I lost it. I began sobbing hysterically and I picked up the phone to call Lee. He was in a meeting so I left him a message. Not long after that, he called me back, the same shock that I felt depicted in his voice over the phone. My brother was in the Persian Gulf at this time on a naval carrier and I was terrified for him. My dad was somewhere on the East Coast, also hoping to return home that day and if I remember correctly he was actually supposed to fly out of one of the airports that the highjacked planes flew out of. But I could be wrong about that. At any rate, my entire family was spread out and I felt so very alone.

Because all flights were cancelled, Lee and a few guys managed to secure one of the last few rental cars left and started to drive back to Texas. I pulled myself away from the TV and managed to get to our church where I was involved in the best Bible study with a group of extremely godly women. We held each other, cried and prayed. It was a bright moment in a dark day.

Lee made it home the next day. I was working at the gym and he came straight there and it took everything in me not to break down when he walked in the room. In Texas, Lee and I had the privilege of attending Chuck Swindoll's church. That Sunday we sat in the second row and cried through most of his sermon. One thing that Swindoll said particularly struck me. His comment was, "There isn't a hell hot enough for the men who carried out this horrific deed." It gave me comfort to know that it was okay to feel that way. It was okay to be angry. It was okay to question why. But it was extremely important to remember that the God of September 10 was the same as the God of September 11. Our God did not change, though the makeup of our life may have. And now, seven years later, I am once again reminded that the God I love is constant. The things of this world are not. I continue to cling to that hope and rest in that very simple knowledge hidden deep within the crevices of my heart.


Stuart Fam said...

I was cleaning Herb and Barbara's house (some things don't change after 7 years!!) I could hardly get anything done...I just wanted to be glued to the tv. Cade was one year old and I just wanted to cringe at what kind of world he was going to grow up in.

Three Against One said...

My mom actually called me as well and asked me if I had seen the news? I told her no and right as I was turning on the t.v. the first tower was falling. I thought that there was no way that this could truly be happening and that it must be some kind of horrible joke! Cory and I were getting married in just a few weeks on the 29th and I was terrified to get on the plane to go on our honeymoon.
It really hit me as my dad for over 6 years would commute back and forth from NYC to STL and his office was right down the street from the towers and the thought of him being right there when it all happened scared me to death, I was thankful that he was home when it happened.

Byshka said...

I watched a special on the history channel yesterday and it brought back all the memories. You were in Texas, dad was in NJ and Brett was in the Persian Gulf. As soon as I realized this was an act of terrorism, I knew that my son would now be headed to war. I actually remember finding myself unable to breath. I think of Sarah Palin to day as she and her husband watch their son deploy for Iraq. There is great pride, but a mother's heart also feels great pain. I am so thankful that I had God with me because that was my only source of comfort and peace.

blessedpath said...

My mom called me and we sat on the phone with eachother and watched in horror. Chase was just 2yrs old, and had no clue, thank God. I was glued to the tv for the next week it seems. We have relatives in Penn. and were scared when we heard about flt 93. My dads company had an office in the twin towers, and my dad was actually there the week before for a meeting! The thing I remember the most about that day was how earily-sp quiet it was planes!! It IS a day i, too, will never forget.