Monday, September 11, 2006

A Day For Hope

I did not lose anyone I knew on September 11th. I had friends who had to walk home from work and one of those friends couldn't go back to her apartment for months. Some of those friends I couldn't get ahold of for a few days and those days were scary, and my mom was supposed to be flying that morning and I couldn't remember to where and the moments before I found out that she was fine and her plane had never left the ground were some of the scariest moments of my life. But I was halfway across the country from New York City and Washington DC, removed, watching it all happen on tv with the rest of the world. So I wasn't there and I didn't know anyone who died and I was insulated and still it rocked my world to the very core. I can remember telling my mom that the only thing I could think of to do that night was to make tuna fish casserole, the most comfortingest of all the comfort foods, and I remember wishing I could make it for everyone, the whole world. I wanted to blanket all of us in noodles and sauce and hope for that to be enough to fix us all.

Exactly one year later, on September 11th, 2002, Mr. E asked me to marry him. I remember saying yes, and then staring at the ring, and then hours later saying, "I can't believe you asked me to marry you on September 11th." And Mr E. said something like "I know, but we will always remember this day, no matter what. And now maybe it can also be about something good."

So for me this day is a terrible day, like it is for everyone, but it is also a day about hope, and belief. It is a testament to the fact that it is possible to make something beautiful out of something terrible. That day four years ago I took a leap into the unknown and now they tell me in another six months we'll have a real live baby on our hands.

I honestly don't know if who I am today would have been possible for me without September 11th. I don't know if I would have been able to say "yes, I am nervous, but let's get married" or "yes, being a mom scares me like the fire of a thousand hells but let's have a baby anyway". I think that maybe I was only able to do these things that scared me so greatly because five years ago as the sheer horror of September 11th unfolded before us all what I learned was that life is short, and it can end, just like that, with no warning or reason. No matter how important you seem to yourself, to everyone who loves you, your life isn't guarranteed. And when I decided to have a baby I know part of me was back on that day thinking that if anything happened to me I would want to leave something on this earth, if anything ever happened to Mr. E, I would need a part of him left here with me or I could not go on. When I said yes four years ago, this life that we have now spooled out from that moment, and part of me knew it was the right thing to do because life must go on and we have no choice but to live it as best we know how, to create hope out of horror, to laugh out loud and get engaged and have babies, and even through our fear, to say yes.

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