Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Change

My dear, sweet J-land friend, Sandi is responsible for this entry.  You can visit her journal here Life Is Full Of Surprises , and in particular, this entry: Sorry Still Ranting.

At the end of Sandi's rant, she queries, 'but is anything really the same since 9/11?'

At first, I thought I could read that and just go on reading other journals, but then I realized that, because, in fact, NOTHING IS THE SAME SINCE 9/11, I could not go on.

I had to come here and do this.

I wish, how I wish, everything was the same.  I know, that for so many of you, not in the NYC or DC metro areas, life probably has gone back to what it was before.  September 11th may just be something you think of in September, or when you see a special on TV.

Others out there, may have family or friends in the military, so 9/11 is never that far from your mind. Especially, knowing that were it not for that day, your loved one would probably not be in harms way, at least not perceived to be, because they wouldn't be in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Obviously, there is danger for our soldiers whenever they are in uniform -  I think you know what I am getting at.

It is hard for me to describe for those not in NY/NJ what the emptiness is like.  When the Towers fell, it took a little something from inside all of us that live here in their shadow.

Tomorrow, I go to the city for my infusion.  As I drive over the GW Bridge and look south, as I do each trip, the skyline is forever changed. 

It looks strange, altered, and off kilter.

The impact of looking at that skyline has not lessened over the years.  It is still as shocking to me each and every time as it was thefirst time, 9/12/01, when I looked at it.

The smoke is not there now.

The huge gaping hole in the skyline still is there.

I never realized the absence of something could be so 'present', so huge and alive in its emptiness. 

NYC has been likened to a living breathing beast.  Sadly, its tail has been cleaved off.

And, yeah, they could rebuild, but it will never be the same. 

It isn't just on the days I go to NYC that I feel 9/11 and its impact, its emptiness, in my life. 

Each day, my hubby goes off to work in NYC.  Into the belly of the beast.  The city, as a whole, is better than it ever has been.  Less crime, more police, and the people themselves are more aware of their surroundings and the plight of their fellow man, than ever.  All good things.

But, the worry is there. 

To the terrorists, it is still a place of targets, of buildings and icons that represent the American way.  

There is the UN, the Empire State, Wall Street, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Madison Ave, Park Ave, South Street Seaport, the GW Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, etc., I could go on and on...

Targets, all.  Places that my hubby will be in and around, several times a week, every week.

So, the worry is there.

Life does go on.  It is changed, it is different.  Each day that we, all seven of my immediate family, are back in this house at the end of the day, is a day of gratitude

A day to be treasured. 

The fragility of life, that it ends in an instant, and is spared on a trivial change of schedule, is not lost on any one of us.

Even the kids.  They walk past the 9/11 Memorials made by their respective schools for the people of the town lost, specifically, a school mates dad.  They know their dad is in NYC every day, where that dad never made it home from.

Tomorrow, I will go to one of those targets, the American Museum of Natural History, with my Hammer.  Life cannot be stopped by these extremists, these terrorists. 

I will not let them win by staying home, by not living.

But my life is forever changed.

Be well,



gdireneoe said...

You're not alone in this chica...I don't live in NY/NJ, but I feel the impact from here.  I was watching the news (which I hardly ever used to do)...I saw the whole thing...with my three year old on my lap...scared...asking questions because I was bawling my eyes out, and couldn't stop.  It was waves hon...waves upon waves of pain, desolation, and despair...it rolled out across our country.  My family lives outside Philly, so I have opportunity to be up there.  We have friends all over that area...it still hurts.  I want you to know, I've encoutered two people this year, at this late date, who lost family members...and I bawled like a baby after leaving them...when I had privacy.  We all feel it...some of us just have the good fortune of not having to look at that painful horizon so much...but we feel it.  Hugs to you my friend...hugs upon hugs. ;)  C.  http://journals.aol.com/gdireneoe/thedailies

eml625 said...

Living on Long Island, I was extremely close to this tragic event. Although, I had not lost anyone in the towers (someone from High School perhaps) We ALL lost someone that day. The silence in the air following that day, I will never forget. My kids being afraid of an airplane, when they eventually did fly over, I will never forget. So, no, I will never forget 9/11 in more ways than one.


jckfrstross said...

yes everything changed on 9/11


tlgf1968 said...

"I never realized the absence of something could be so 'present', so huge and alive in its emptiness." ... 100% with you on this, dawn.  though i never had the honor of seeing the towers in person, i feel the emptiness each day as if it was the first.  well said.

lv2trnscrb said...

I can't begin to imagine the impact 9/11 would have made on those so personally affected by it like you, your family, and your community, Dawn. You are right, though, that we need to treasure the fragility of life. We also need to realize we are just a speck here on earth and eternity is what truly matters and we need to make sure those we love will be joining us there.

Hugs to you; I hope you ahve a good day with Hammer


blondepennierae said...

Dawn, What a beautiful use of words to describe how ALL of us feel.  Even though we don't live there we still are filled with tears and anger for those that have to see the actual loss.  No nothing will ever be the same again.  This was wonderful.  Thank you, Pennie

lurkynat said...

IM sorry Dawn about 9/11; we all suffere tons of fear about it..but to be right next to it must be way tooo hard!love,nat

wfhbear said...

You are so very right. I never expected my life to change in this way. It was so totally unexpected. I left home in Nevada and drove 54 hours straight to get back to my "real" home in NJ and on to my work place for many years. As I crossed the Pulaski Skyway I saw the smoke. The towers were not evident. I worked for 5 weeks at Ground Zero and my HQ. I attened 22 funerals and memorial services. I haven't come back to the east coast since. I'm actually not sure if I could handle the skyline change. I saw the "Towers" rise when they were built and I saw them destroyed but, my mind still doesn't want to deal with the negative sight. Thanks for this entry. It was a "Stop and Think" for me. Regards, Bill.

plittle said...

I remember how surreal it was watching those towers come down. The disbelief was almost tangible, like something outside of myself that I could reach out and push against, but not get to move. Definitely one of those "I'll always remember where I was when..." moments.