I woke up this morning to a gray day here and San Diego and i'm glad. I'm glad because it shouldn't be sunny on September 11th. I'm sad because while I always remember, it's today that the news publicizes the events of September 11th and it's the day that America chooses to focus on the events of that moment. For me, I remember all the time, where I was, how I felt, how scared for people I was, and how every word I said sounded so trite and cliche.
I was in the Capitol working for Dick Gephardt in 2001, I saw the fires from the Pentagon and immediately I had fear because several friends I knew had parents who worked there. I also had family in New York and my best friend from college's father worked in the Trade Center.
Dave called me frantic, near tears himself, because they had reported attacks on the Capitol. All of these feelings were selfish....for me, and my family and friends.
There was a moment where I felt most alone, when I received a call from my friend from college. From the moment I saw her name on the phone, I went into panic. It was a moment filled with frightened reassurance and hope that her dad was ok.
She told me they couldn't find her dad, but that maybe he did leave the Trade Center for a cup of coffee and maybe he was safe, just unable to call. Hours went by, I may have talked to her a few more times, trying to convince her that he was ok, hoping so badly that her dad was safe and just unable to reach her family.
I finally made it to my friends' house the next day after making it home, I rushed over and I remember the moment clear as day. She had just gotten out of the shower, her hair was wet with curls and she just looked at me with tears. We sat on the back porch of her house and talked about the possibilities, there was still time and we were hoping that her dad was unable to reach her family. Her aunt was driving to take her up to NY because at that time, no trains or planes were coming in and out of the city.
I hate that I still can't find the right words to say, or that every year on this day, my friend has to relive her grief in such a public way, where most people have that private time to themselves. Every year I still wonder, do I call, do I email? I know she knows none of us have forgotten and actually, I don't send emotional emails anymore. She knows that we don't have the right words to say, but the most important thing is our friendship and that we knew her dad and we'll always be able to keep his spirit by talking about him.
I needed to find a way to talk about my friend and her family because to me, it's too important to "not" mention Sepetember 11th. It was a day that affected the people I love so very much. While blogging may not be socially appropriate to some, it's my blog and in a way, a small type of therapy. Additionally, I feel as though living in San Diego more people are removed from what happened on September 11th and I needed to come back to that day to remember.
Lauren, if you're reading this (don't kill me!), I love you and it's been incredible watching you grow from college roommate, wonderful daughter, beautiful friend and an amazing wife and mother...little Jack is so lucky he doesn't even know it yet!