Wednesday, September 11, 2013

remembering

I don't know how to say this the right way
but today is or would have been
my father-in-law's birthday.
He's been gone now for five years
but we still think about him and talk about him
and today I reminded my boys that it was his birthday.
Wow! they both said.
His birthday was right before ours.
Yes, I said, it sure was.
And so he had a birthday right after Dad's?
Yes, that's true.
Your daddy's birthday is just before Paw Paw's.
We just smiled and talked about him and how we miss him.
They asked if it was still his birthday even though he passed away.
Yes I told them.
It never stops being your birthday even when you're in heaven.
Why would we stop remembering him even though he's gone?
 
I heard a debate on the radio this morning about whether
we as a country should stop remembering what happened
on September 11, 2001.
No way.
I'll never forget.
I don't want to forget.
I didn't lose anybody I knew that day but thousands of people did.
They'll never forget.
Why should the rest of us?
 
I'll never forget where I was and I bet you won't either.
I wrote this last year and I hope you don't mind but
here it is again...
where I was when the world stopped turning...
 
I was in my lab, having gotten to work around 5am.
My reactions were cooking away.
I was writing observations down in a notebook.
A secretary came in and said a plane crashed into a building in NYC.
I thought it was a fluke accident.
 I kept working away in my lab.
 Soon somebody else came in and said to shut everything down.
I balked.
 I was hours into the reaction and it would be a waste.
They said that there had been another plane.
Stop working.
Shut it down.
NOW.
They didn't want anyone getting distracted and then getting hurt.
The lab shut down for the day.
The whole plant shut down that day.
That never happened before and probably hasn't happened since.
I remember getting my best girlfriend from her lab.
Both of us were in a daze.
We grabbed our hardhats and went outside to the pilot plant...
{basically a big lab where you scale up
reactions before going to the big plant reactors}.
We knew there was a tiny television in the office.
It was a tiny little office hence the tiny television.
We opened the door and the place was already packed.
Standing room only.
I remember watching the towers fall.
I turned to the guy beside me and said
 "Did I really just see that?
 Did they really just fall?"
No one could believe what they saw.

I left work and drove to see my parents.
I didn't want to be alone.
There was no solace any where that day.
No place that any one could go to feel better.
That was not possible that day.

I remember the days that followed.
Everyone was so nice to each other.
People driving were so courteous.
People on the street were polite.
People were eager to give, to help, to be kind.

It took something so evil to make everyone act the way they should. 
I wish everyone could remember that spirit of brothers in arms.
America needs to remember that feeling.
Our country needs that now more than ever.

I didn't know anybody who died that day.
I hope this day finds those who did with peace in their hearts.

My life did change that day though.
My husband and I were just dating at the time.
Cross country dating.
We both knew though.
That we each were THE ONE for the other.
So I quit my job three days later.
Packed my bags, put my stuff in storage and moved a thousand miles away.
Lesson learned.
Life is too short.
Three years to the day that I gave my resignation
I gave birth to our twin boys.
Life goes on but please don't ever forget.
 
"Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" - Alan Jackson

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