Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Was I Doing...

I woke up this morning around 7 a.m., stretched then made a dash to the bathroom for the ritual before jumping into a pair of sweatpants,one of many free t-shirts accumulated over the years from various community events that once upon a time gave them away to promote the sponsors blazed across the back. After checking the minutes on my phone, stepping into a pair of well worn gym shoes, grabbing the keys and heading outside, I jumped in the car and headed to my walking destination. The only phone call was one from a friend who greeted me with a 'good morning' and a request. My walk was 40 minutes long under clear blue skies and a fall like temperature with a background noise from a couple of passing cars and the voices of fellow walkers scattered around the circle. As I walked I surpassed two moments of silence - the early moments of silence held for lives lost 9-11-2001 to terrorist attacks. The third moment of silence would take place by the time I return home to start my breakfast after handing dad the newspaper. Eleven years ago I was in the middle of putting on clothes for the day of errands. The morning was perfect with clear skies, the sun and the temperature was a little bit warmer as my father sat on the porch reading the paper. My 13-inch TV had the Today Show blaring and every now and then I caught glimpses of conversation. My mind was on the usual activities of the day, including what the hell to cook for dinner later. When a special report broke and live streaming of the first plane hitting tower #1 occurred, I paused before yanking down my shirt. I thought Damn that's mess up as I resume to putting on clothes. Moments later my mouth dropped as the second plane circled and headed for the second tower. Anything that I had to do that day vanished from my mind as I froze in horror. The ring of our land line jolted me out of shock and upon answering the phone, my oldest sister asked where was 'her daddy' and then have him come inside and look at the television because we were being attacked. I told daddy, who was a bit miffed at having to come in the house but he did otherwise. While watching he was as calm as he always been, shaking his head. See dad's from an era when as a child in school in the south, they practiced drills that involved hiding under their desks in case of an air raid. He and others witnessed Tuskegee Airmen practice dips and maneuvers under a nearby bridge. You were preparing for the worst. Like Pearl Harbor, we did not imagine this day of attacks. It's weird to say Social media networking was non-existent 9-11-2001. Can you imagine the Facebook, Twitter and other networks blacking out from hysteria? Cell phones were around but jammed to no end until hours, even days later as people tried to contact loved ones. Many lost were able to leave final messages via e-mails and cell messages while the majority made what they did not know would be their final call. I even found myself going for a drive two hours after the attacks;I could not sit still even though there was a possibility that additional attacks could take place closer to home. I drove for an hour, making a couple of stops at businesses that only had staff inside. I drove past two foreigners on a bicycle...cheering about what happened earlier. I wondered how far did they go before someone threatened them. I returned home after remembering some of the errands I had to do and later cooked dinner. Over the years we've been through a world of local and national changes. Personally i went through various changes. The oldest sister who called the house 11 years ago today, now has Alzheimer's disease. I am a great-aunt. I've co-authored two published books. I have to find something to cook for dinner later. We all are doing our routines. We keep on living despite the ups and downs of personal life, local and national strife and disasters...miracles and happiness. We keep fighting for our rights. We have to keep on living...to live for those who perished before us. To live for those who sacrificed with results of death or mending. We have to keep on fighting and living. Because we can.

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