Where were you when the world stopped turning?

We humans sure seem to hold onto memories of bad things, don’t we? Not only the dates, but also the sights, sounds, and smells. I think that’s why Alan Jackson’s song resonates with me.

I remember exactly where I was.

I was driving down MacArthur Boulevard on my way to work. It was a bright, sunny day. I was headed to work later than usual, so there was almost no traffic. My radio was tuned to the classical music station. I wasn’t paying much attention to it, although I thought it was odd that the news segment was going on and on. Then I heard them say something about an airplane crashing in Pennsylvania. And that they didn’t know if it was related to the three other airplanes. Confused, I quickly switched the station to NPR to get the whole story.

I remember crying. A lot.

I remember feeling utterly helpless, useless.

I remember checking with Michele to see if her brother was okay.

I remember scouring the news for word that someone had been found alive in the rubble.

I remember going to church that Sunday and feeling like God had wrapped me up in his arms and wasn’t ever going to let me go.

I remember, in the days and weeks that followed, checking the names of those lost, hoping I wouldn’t see my friend’s name, and the sense of relief when, day after day, I didn’t.

I remember hearing stories of heroism, of people phoning their loved ones to say good-bye.

I remember not being able to laugh for the longest time.

I remember dear friends, all of us visibly shaken, getting together for lunch or to chat, just checking in, making sure we were all as okay as we could be.

I remember struggling to figure out what “normal” was and how I could get there.

Today, 10 years later, my “normal” doesn’t look anything like I envisioned then. I’m getting pretty good at facing new challenges and recovering from life’s sucker-punches. Which, frankly, more than annoys me.

But I keep pushing on, anyway.

This life is worth the effort.

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One Response to Where were you when the world stopped turning?

  1. I’m pushing on with you and you are right, life is worth the effort. George’s sermon today was a beautiful call to forgive and heal and move forward.

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