It has been a trying few days which I did not think appropriate to write about in this blog. Then over coffee this morning I thought maybe it is because we all have days when things seem out of sorts. When the path is blurred. The silence deafening. The absence of friends, family a crater the size of a large volcano. All of which comes to the forefront of the mind on the days that fall into the off balance or out of sorts category.
Depression has never been something I experienced not because it didn’t exist in my life or raise its troublesome head. Rather because I had so many responsibilities I could not allow myself to go there. So I pushed it into the dark closet for another day or more or less for it to just go away.
Now that I do not have so many responsibilities I find that I have more days out of sorts. More days longing for a walk on the beach. A coffee with a friend. A closer family. A published book. A recognized respect for creativity. It seems more glaring now that I am not in the farcical race of a life with demands. I have demands like everyone does just not to the degree I once did. It is not depression I particularly feel as some and many suffer. It is the voids that pop up for filling.
When 9/11 approached this year, unlike other years my mind was free from the jumbled burden of responsibilities. So for some reason this year a couple days prior to, my emotions ran the gambit. I was a flight attendant at the time, one of my many careers to have an income while thinking it would offer free time to write. I was based out of Miami and that morning of the tragedy of the Twin Towers, I was working first class on my way home. Looking forward to a couple of days off. When we landed there seemed an eeriness around the lack of activity on the tarmac. No planes moving about. No sound of planes landing or taking off. It was not something I realized at the time although I did notice that it was unusually quiet for the busy airport of Miami. As I opened the cockpit door, the captain then turned to me and told me. Once in the terminal the feeling was heavy with the acuteness that something really grave had just happen.
I went into action mode because my daughter was also a flight attendant, still is. So is my son-in-law. There is a sense of family among crew members. We are a close group of folks. We know if an emergency comes, we must act in unison and that we share the burden of saving not only ourselves, perhaps hundreds of people. That is our main job. So that morning a fellow crew member and friend, phoned me as I was coming down the jet bridge to the terminal. He had left several messages and I was wondering why was he calling me so many times with in a short span of time. When I finally took his call, he was so upset and he said my daughter was trying to find me…she was in New York on a lay over. He phoned her while I was held on and put us on speaker phone I guess, because we connected and of course she was very upset, not only because the company had shut down the system and she could not check my schedule, also because she was in the city where one could not avoid the fear, the tragedy of what just happen only an hour or so ago. I could not reach out and give her a hug. Comfort her as a Mother wants to do to their daughter regardless of the age. All I could do is try to calm her and listen.
It is a lost feeling one has. The feeling of helplessness when you are trained to help your fellow man. Trained to save them if you can. It is a heavy feeling to know you are at that moment walking in a fog and can do nothing except offer comfort to my daughter. To my friends. My ability to being strong kicked in. It had to.
A week later I stood with crew on Ground Zero. Amid the smoldering debris. The ashes hanging on the buildings painting them a soft grey as if in an impressionist painting. We stood silently all of us. i could feel the souls around me. The heaviness of the time. The dark sadness. Commerce was on the corners, guys selling little flag pins. I now wonder how they had so many so quickly and what prompted them to order them. Did they know? A mystery. I bought several of course caught up in the deep emotion of the atmosphere.
A year later on 9/11 my Mother passed after months of lingering and teetering at deaths invitation. It is doubtful she was aware although it maybe that she was. She was always one to like dates of births, deaths remembered. Perhaps by passing on 9/11 she knew we would never forget. And we don’t. None of us in our family.
It all sort of wraps together though and this year it seem to be a heavy few days prior to 9/11 with that draggy, no purpose, no desire to do much. That feeling of helplessness. That feeling of uselessness. It is overwhelming and sad that as much as we have tried as a country. As much as we have tried to wipe out the evil in this world, we are still walking in a fog. It is beyond my comprehension why evil exists as it does. How anyone can do to their fellow man for any reason what evil prompts one to do. It is further beyond my comprehension how they can even conceive in their minds the atrocities.
So this year all that came to the forefront of my mind, my soul. The tears were at times uncontrollable. The longing for peace profound. The reality that I may never in my lifetime experience peace as I once enjoyed it. As I had in my heart the morning approaching Miami looking forward to a few days off. A day at the beach. A lunch with a friend. The world changed that day and while most of us move on with our lives we are reminded that we live in a different world. We live in the US as people in Europe lived during Hitler. We live with fear albeit not on the service. We think differently then we did on 9/10/2001 before the Twin Towers were destroyed by evil so great that most of us can not think of how it could really happen.
And yet we move on as we must although I don’t think anyone can ever forget the feelings of that morning…that day. We all stood as family that day. We all connected as we had not before and will not again. Yet we must always hold in our heart that morning not to dwell on it however to learn, be aware and stand tall. Always stand tall as the Towers did in the great city of New York. We must allow ourselves to feel as we felt that morning and the days that followed. We must reach out to our fellow man and treat him as family. Treat him with kindness and respect…most of all respect. We must be aware that evil exists and we must stand together in the path of it to remove it from this world. We as a people, as fellow crew, as friends who are family, we must stand tall for peace. It is the means of saving one another. And in those seconds of saving, it is what we do.