Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It may not be happening, but it did happen

I've been doing more than my share of whining lately. It's not very appealing or productive.

It occurred to me that my current state of upset is bigger than adjusting to the day without Lauren, my current level of activity including Irving, the PTO, art history class, church, whether or not Lauren can bring a snack for her class for her birthday, even flea abatement. My reactions are so far over the top from what's reasonable. I wrote today "I'm struggling a lot", and it is true but with what? I'm behaving as though the sky is falling.

And it dawned on me.

Seven years ago this Thursday, the sky fell.

And when I had that thought, I started sobbing uncontrollably. I write that with some guilt because although I was in NYC that day, I was 12 blocks away. Lives were much more effected than mine. I don't know anyone who never came home. But I can say when I think of that day, I feel the thick smoke caught in my throat. I hear the constant sirens roaring down Seventh Avenue. I remember how lost we were staring at signs in the twice closed Grand Central Station not able to comprehend.

There was heightened alert, as though you were constantly vigilant to hear what couldn't be heard and see what couldn't be seen. There were weeks when you had to plan your commute around the subway you were on being evacuated for suspicious packages and Anthrax scares. The fires burned at Ground Zero for months. The posters of the missing and then presumed dead their smiling faces from happy times of their lives holding children, dressed on their wedding day...spouses, children, parents were mourning them.

I just don't have the words to make you understand the ache inside me when confronted with all this. I have maintained media silence every 9/11, including the one I spent a year later in a New York City hospital a year later waiting for someone to tell me how my tiny 4 pound baby was doing because I was confined to my bed and she was in the NICU. The charge nurse who cheerily came in to introduce herself at the 7 AM shift change found me sobbing because I'd convinced myself I was never going to see little Lauren, and with all the drugs I was on they had just not told me yet she hadn't survived.

I'm not doing a good job of just pretending that it's just any day where we soldier on and walk on treadmills and go to school. I don't know what to do about that right now, but it seems I have 48 hours to figure that out.

3 comments:

kms said...

You brought it all back for me, too, here on the other coast. The call from a coworker that we were under attack, the bewilderment watching it on TV, powerless and transfixed.
Your experience - no way could you forget it, no wonder you're suffering right now. That kind of trauma will demand attention when you least expect it. I'm thankful that you shared it with us - I hope the pain is lessened now that it's shared.

Rob said...

I remember that too... I was chatting online with you...

Paula said...

Thank you for sharing this, from the perspective of someone who was there. You brought it all back, and brought tears to my eyes. Be good to yourself.