Song of the Day: Give to Live by Sammy Hagar
This weekend marks a significant anniversary. For me, it’s both poignant and joyful.
Ten years ago on September 11th, the world as we knew it ceased to exist. Our very livelihoods changed. Not just for Americans, but around the globe. The horrific attack on innocent people on US soil is beyond hard to imagine. Even today, I have a hard time dealing with this tragedy. No, I knew no one who died that day. But I might as well have. Like many, the events of that day burned into my soul. I won’t watch the specials planned to commemorate the event. I can’t. It’s all still too raw for me. I replay the suffering in my head. How people would have felt, what thoughts rampaged through their minds as they knew they were about to die. The fear of those on the doomed planes, the panic of those trapped in the burning, crumbling buildings. The little girl on that plane clutching to her mother . . . I can’t go there. I have to shut it down. Otherwise I might spiral into a deep, dark place I struggle so hard to stay away from.
But I have a reason to rejoice that awful time. You see, as I watched the horror unfold on TV, my mother had called repeatedly to order me to stop watching. The stress would send me into labor. Yup, I was pregnant. Nope, I didn’t turn off the tube. History was unfolding, after all. And yup, you guessed it, my water did break in the early morning hours.
So how does a woman go into labor less than a day after the world halts to a standstill? Comically, it would seem. I calmly made all appropriate phone calls, showered, and shaved my legs (Lord knows I didn’t want to cause bodily harm to the delivering physician with my cactus limbs). My husband wasn’t quite as calm, not surprisingly, as the hospital was nearly an hour away and I was taking my sweet-ass time.
The drive there was incredibly eerie. No cars at all. Folks, I live in Houston. At any given hour on any given freeway, there is traffic congestion. It was like a post apocalypse city eerie. Yet we still stopped to pay toll – twice! Never mind the contractions were becoming more painful. We made it to the hospital only to find it closed. CLOSED! Hubby and I walked (or waddled, in my case) the perimeter of the place until we found an open door near the ER.
The rest was smooth sailing, as smooth as delivering a cantaloupe through a crazy straw. Well, except for the IV incident that had me peppering f-bombs to all within earshot. But I won’t bore you with those details.
When my daughter arrived, I held her close as the news reported the September 11th aftermath. I was so overwhelmed with crazy, confused joy and grief. What kind of world would she face? Funny thing. My youngest will be two this Friday. Both my daughters’ birthdays straddle this day of infamy.
I guess it’s a good thing to have such strong emotions. They carry over into my writing. But this post isn’t about writing.
I know you will observe this ten year anniversary in your own ways. I know you will reflect on the lives lost, the families affected, the first responders, and our military. But also, offer a smile to a stranger and embrace the beauty of the world that surrounds you. And please, I ask you take a moment to hug the ones you love, hug them close.