I watched the movie "World Trade Center" today. I remember when the movie came out, I couldn't watch it because it seemed to be "too soon," and I wsan't sure I could handle the intensity.
Well, the intensity was still there, but the edge was off enough for me to get something out of the movie. It was sad of course, yet the movie strove to focus on the positive aspects resulting from the tragic situation. I am glad I watched the movie, all in all.
It got me thinking. 9/11 was one of the defining events of my lifetime. I remember down to tiny details that September morning. Plato had just turned 6 weeks old. He was colicky and slept very little. I was incredibly sleep deprived, and had sent JeepMan off to work that morning planning to try to squeeze in a little more sleep before Plato started screaming. As usual, it wasn't to be, and I got up, changed his diaper, got him a bottle, and sat down in the recliner just before 9 am to feed him. I turned on the television and started flipping channels. It wasn't long before I came across a news channel with that eternal image: Tower 1, rising up against the clear blue sky, black smoke billowing from the upper floors and the occasional lick of orange flame appearing momentarily. I squinted my bleary eyes as my brain tried to process what I was seeing. I flipped to another news station, then another, and another, unable to process what I was seeing. Soon I watched the second plane hit Tower 2, and at that point the phone rang: JeepMan asking if I was up and if I could believe what was happening. Reality struck at that moment: I couldn't deny what was going on if another living person was sharing my bafflement.
I picked up Plato, cuddled him close, and paced the floor. Soon thePentagon was hit, then Tower 2 collapsed, then the plane crashed in Pennsylvania, then Tower 1. I couldn't stand it anymore. I turned the television off and danced around the living room holding Plato tight and singing him songs from the "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack: "I'll Fly Away," "You Are My Sunshine," "Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby," "Down To The River To Pray," "Keep On The Sunny Side," "Angel Band," "I Am Weary (Let Me Rest);" for months I listened to these songs over and over again. I still listen to them frequently; sounds from another era, heart-wrenching, bittersweet, optimistic, and spiritual...they can still remind me that despite great tragedy, we move on.
Remembering 9/11 sparked other memories:
The Challenger crash: I watched it in 6th grade, and despite the tragedy, I don't recall being terribly moved. A combination of my youth and the fact that I was watching TV, I suppose. The enormity of it didn't hit me until I started hearing the backstories of the astronauts.
OJ Simpson - the Chase: Out on a date with Hubby at a seedy little bar. Buzzing nicely, wondering what the heck all the cops were doing chasing down a white Bronco that was only going about 20 mph.
OJ Simpson - the Verdict: This was a scary one. I was doing a psych nursing rotation for school. My assigned ward was the schizophrenia ward and they were doing medical trials which involved taking patients off their meds for weeks (med-washing), then getting brain scans and re-working their medication regimen. So I was sitting in the commons of a locked psych wards with about 15 non-medicated schizophrenic patients when I heard those dreaded words, "Not Guilty."
Princess Diana's death: working nights at my first ICU job. Not a very busy night, and we took turns checking the patients while the rest of the staff sat in an empty patient room watching the scene unfold.
There are probably other defining moments, but these are the ones that come to mind.
Do you remember where you were?
(pssst...if you're trying to calculate my age, I'll make it easy for you: I'm 35)
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