Friday, September 12, 2008

I Did Not Forget - Thankful Thursday OR 9/11

I did not forget to post yesterday. I simply felt the need to be quiet and reflect.

While no member of my family was murdered in those horrific attacks, like all of you, I was touched and forever changed.

You may not know that the last 4 years I lived in Northern Virginia I worked for Westfield Concession Management Company. My role there was leasing retail space at Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport. At the same time, my son-in-law was serving his last year in the military based at Marine Headquarters, the Pentagon. On that fateful morning, I was at work at Dulles and JC was on duty next to the Pentagon.

I can remember that day as if I were experiencing it this very moment. I remember the intensity of the color of the sky, the bluest I've ever seen it. I remember what I wore to work that day. I remember desperately trying to remember when my husband's flight home from Texas was. I remember thinking we had to contact JC's family in Las Vegas and keep them updated as to his safety, once we found him ourselves. I remember an urge greater than I've ever had in my life to be surrounded by my entire family. And on the drive home, I remember thinking "did I pass that hijacker in the airport this morning? Did I say good morning to him?" I remember going back to work a few days later at National Airport and walking through a terminal void of passengers, pilots, waiting loved ones, ticketing agents, security personnel, drug sniffing dogs - no one. Instead, we found planes sitting helter-skelter all along the tarmac, as if a windstorm had blown them in and they were just left to rest where they landed. And I remember seeing food left on tables, ice melted in glasses that once held a celebratory cocktail, napkins folded quickly atop the plates. And deafening silence. Imagine that you and 3 other coworkers are the only souls in an entire airport terminal.

No, I didn't forget.

And as hard as the memories are for each of us, I'm grateful for the ability to remember every, single, tiny detail.

I couldn't have written this yesterday even if I'd wanted to...

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Thank you for sharing Joyce. I felt some of the same and also wondering if I should be preparing to "head for the hills?" is this the beginning of the end-type feelings....very scarry days and also very very sad.
See you soon?