this is a re-post of something I wrote 2 years ago…still applies

the Garden of Innocence
the Garden of Innocence

“Where were you on September 11th?” my son asks me at dinner.  “I was at the airport in New York waiting to fly home to California.”  I reply.  “I was with your dad and your sister and you were in my tummy.”  He can’t believe it.  “You were in New York?  At the airport?” he asks with awe and disbelief.

I’ll never forget it.  I was impatient to get back to my home after a long summer stay with in-laws, extended by a rare illness I had incurred after getting bitten by a wasp while pregnant.  Just after the morning sickness cleared up at 4 months, I was struck with nausea, vomiting, high fever and lethargy.  “You will most likely miscarry” my unsympathetic OB told me over the phone.  I was in shock.  It took weeks and several trips to the hospital and finally an ultra-sound to soothe my fears that this baby, a boy, was healthy and I too was starting to feel human again – now five and a half months pregnant.  I couldn’t wait to get back to my life and start nesting!

“What’s the hold up?” I asked the ticket agent at the United counter.  “Looks like there are going to be some flight delays” he said, “apparently a plane flew into the twin towers.”  Huh?  I wasn’t prepared for this information, or any other information that came flooding in over the next 48 hours.  Soon after the ticket agent told me to expect delays, the entire airport shut down and we were directed over loud speaker to collect our bags and exit the airport immediately.  I remember my daughter (then two) being disappointed we weren’t going on a plane ride and explaining to her that we were going back to Gramma and Poppa’s house.

Life, so precious, felt very tenuous.  Back at my in-laws, my husband and I went to the empty playground and pushed Lili in the swing, wondering what would happen next.  The skies eerily silent, the neighbors lit candles flickering on their porches.

Peaceful Sky
Peaceful Sky

It would take us another 3 weeks to finally make it back across the country to California. Little did I know that we would be leaving that beloved state just a few short months later to move to Boulder, Colorado after my husband lost his job.  My son, a healthy, active 8 pounder, would be born in January on a cold snowy night and my marriage would end less than two years later.

On this 10 year anniversary of September 11, 2001, I am struck by how the planes crashing into the twin towers marked an end of innocence for me – a false sense of security really.  Fear came into me in a way that I had not experienced before.  Being a mom, I fear some things more than ever.  I fear dying and leaving them behind while they’re still young.  I fear something terrible happening to either one of them.  I honestly don’t know how I could survive it.


Now 12 years later, I hadn’t even registered the date today until I checked Facebook and saw people’s posts remembering this fateful day.  I had to check the calendar and see that it is “Patriot Day” today.  9/11.  A Facebook “friend” (a friend of a friend) lost her husband on one of the planes that day.  They think he may have been one of the heroes that was trying to fight off the hijackers because he was one of the few who wasn’t making a call on his cell.  I would call him a Patriot of the highest order  My prayers go out to all who lost a loved one that day…and to the entire world, that we may live in peace and that our actions cease to cause suffering.  To paraphrase one of my mother’s poems, I wish to wrap my arms around the earth and hold it close.  Peace.


One Reply to “Innocence”

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