10September 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Family, Me, Transylvania | 14 Comments
Tags: 9/11, Anniversary, Challenges, Children, Expats, Family, Life, Milestones, Romania, Tragedy
Ten years ago, I was in the basement of my office building working on a presentation for a staff meeting. I watched the second plane hit the South Tower on a small television next to a haphazard stack of computers and recording equipment. I watched both towers collapse. My first thought was relief — relief that at least they’d had time to get everyone out.
But I was wrong, of course. There hadn’t been enough time. Not nearly enough.
In the days that followed, I felt what everyone else felt. Horror. Disbelief. Sadness. Fear. Unity. I read and watched everything I could, as if internalizing every word of every tribute of every person who had died would somehow make the unfathomable loss more meaningful, less heinous.
Ten years later, I find myself in a foreign country. I’m sitting on my couch watching yesterday’s college football games. The dog is keeping me company while my children are at their preschool open house. They’re introducing their grandfather to Miss Corina and Miss Emoke. They’re proudly pointing out their construction-paper cats and finger-painted solar systems. They’re singing songs about ducks and friends and sharing.
It’s a normal day for us, here. It’s a normal day for the people in this country, who have plenty of their own tragedies to commemorate, just not on this day. It’s a normal day for Americans, Romanians, all of us.
Well, it feels normal.
But I remember. I remember 10 years ago. I know that normal is a disguise, a coping mechanism, a blessing. And I won’t forget.
Where were you 10 years ago? What “normal” things are you doing today? How will you remember?