My memories of 9/11/2001

My memories of 9/11/2001

I have two very strong memories about 9/11. September 11, 2001 was a beautiful morning. We'd been living in our home for a little over a year, and were clearing some of the land to build a barn. We'd borrowed a friend's tractor-mounted wood chipper and were chipping up cedars as we cut them. That morning, Mark couldn't get it started. We were still fairly new to town, and didn't know who might be able to fix it. I came inside to call a friend who'd lived here many years and ask her. When she answered the phone, I knew something was wrong. This is a woman who just didn't get shaken up easily, but she sounded as if she'd lost the world- something in the tone of her voice. I asked her what was wrong, and she asked if I'd been watching TV, which we hadn't, we'd been outside chain sawing down "cedars" since first light. She told me that a plane had struck the towers in NYC and that she didn't know what was going on. She said I should turn on the TV, which I promptly did, and watched in horror. I watched, dumbstruck for several minutes, then remembered Mark out on the tractor. I ran out to tell him that planes had flown into the World Trade Centers and that he should come watch. He didn't believe me at first, said I MUST be mistaken, then I think he saw the look on my face. He turned off the tractor and ran inside with me. We spent most of the rest of the day, like so many of us, glued to the TV, watching in horror as the towers came down. We heard the reporters speaking of people jumping to their deaths, and cried along with the rest of our nation and much of the world.

The other memory that is linked with 9/11 was our adoption. We'd had one referral a year or so earlier, but 6 months into it, when they finally did the DNA test, they found that the woman relinquishing little Flor de Maria was actually no biological kin to her. She was arrested, little Flor was taken from the only home she'd ever known (her foster mother's home) and placed in a government orphanage. We'd tried to find out where she was, and offered to pay to place her in a better orphanage, as the government ones were notoriously poorly-run, over-crowded and under-staffed, but were told we "had no right to know anything about the child"- the baby we'd loved for 6 months, who we'd visited and held the month before. It was devastating.
In August of 2011, we'd told them we were finally ready to move forward with another referral, but that we wanted a DNA test done before we even saw photos of the baby. They'd called us the last week of August, told us they had a referral and that they were getting the DNA test done. As it turns out, they accidentally mailed us the referral package, with photos, before the test was done. We'd put it up, refusing to even look, until we knew for sure this child was legally able to be relinquished, but we were on pins and needles, wanting to see if this was indeed to be our daughter. The DNA test was done, and was in the air, on its way to the lab in New Jersey on 9/11. Of course, the plane was landed, and everything stood still for our adoption, too. They finally ended up driving everything, so the DNA test did get to NJ, a few days later, and we found out in late Sept. that the woman relinquishing this baby was indeed her biological mother, so we opened the package and accepted the referral of our Lettie.

In my mind, Lettie's life is tied up with 9/11. Her DNA test being slowed down by all the landed planes, but also that in her lifetime, there has only been 1 month and 2 days that the US was not at war, and she is 15 now. She, and all children, deserve a world without constant, ongoing war, but how do we get there? I feel like we've spent the last 15 years fighting, and it doesn't seem to be getting much, if any, better. Should we try something different? I know that is "sacrilege" to some, but when doing the same thing over and over gets basically the same results- more carnage, more radicalized males and now females, too, maybe we need to consider a different path, but certainly not hate-filled one of the GOP Presidential nominee.

This is a day for remembering- what we were doing, how we remember this day, how our lives, and the lives of people all over the world have been changed since then.Tomorrow, we need to talk more about how we go forward, how we make this a better world, so that children aren't living in a war-world for all of their lives. I believe we owe that to our children.

For all who lost their lives on this fateful day 15 years ago, my heart goes out to their family and friends. For all who have had their lives irrevocably changed in the wars since, my heart goes out to you and your families. We need to do all we can for our veterans who are fighting, but also for the people who live in those parts of the world where they truly don't know what the next minutes bring. Hug your families today, remember that some folks didn't get a chance to say "goodbye." Life is precious.


Posted on 11 Sep 2016, 6:39 - Category: 9/11

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