On the weekend just past, it was the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 disaster. Every year, for the past 15 years, I have been silent about my memories of that day, fearful that someone would get offended.
The events of that day had a global impact. So many things changed in an instant. The world was in chaos. No one knew what was going on and planes around the world were being grounded.
In the days that followed, the clean-up was almost unbearable. So many lives needlessly lost. And the reasons for the insanity still elude us.
Yes, 9/11 had a major impact on my life, but not for the reasons that people would think. For 15 years, I have remained silent because in truth, I didn’t care about what was going on in New York. 15 years ago, I gave birth to a baby boy.
It’s taken me a long time to work up the courage to share my own memories of that day with the world. After talking to a close friend who experienced 9/11 in a very different way, I realized that by remaining silent, I was ignoring someone who is so precious to me: my own son.
Although so many memories from that day are just a haze, I clearly remember the phone call from my husband.
I was sitting on the back doorstep, basking in the sun, relishing in the knowledge that I was going into the hospital that night to be induced. I was actually a danger to myself in the final stages of my pregnancy.
My attention span had gone through the toilet; I’d be reading and the cat would meow, after which I would promptly forget what I was reading. I had even started a kitchen fire at one point. I was cooking something on the stove and the phone rang. I had completely forgotten about whatever was on the stove until I saw flames reaching up to the ceiling out of the corner of my eye.
“Mom, I’ll have to call you right back.” I hung up and grabbed the fire extinguisher.
My husband came home and asked why there was white powder all over the kitchen. My answer was short and simple. “We had a fire. By the way, we’re getting takeaways for dinner.”
My husband banned me from cooking for the remainder of my pregnancy and begged the midwife to induce me.
A few days later, 9/11 happened.
Anyway, there I was, enjoying the sun, and my husband phoned.
“Have you heard?” he asked.
“You mean you don’t know.”
“What am I supposed to know?”
“Well… You know the Twin Towers in New York?”
“The World Trade Center. What about it?”
“They don’t exist anymore.”
“What?” I promptly turned on the TV. It didn’t matter what station I had tuned into: all stations had the breaking-news coverage. I watched for about 20 minutes, then turned it off and went back to basking in the sun and relishing in the knowledge that I would get my body back very soon.
My son was born 48 hours later, after two failed attempts to induce labor.
Today is my son’s 15th birthday. He has brought so much joy into my life. It sucks that he was born at the time when the world was in chaos, getting ready to head into war, yet again. I don’t want to belittle the lives of those lost: they do matter. However, for me, 9/11 had a whole different set of memories.
The world was doing what it needed to do, yet, I was doing what I needed to do for the sake of the newborn child that I gave birth to only two days later.
Happy birthday, little man, even though you’re no longer little.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2016