Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's not that I don't want to remember

September 11, 2001

Yes, I remember where I was and what I was doing.

But that's not's what happened AFTER. After this day, NOBODY'S life was the same.

After, I watched in horror as innocent people went about their daily lives and never made it back home. People, who I'm sure never thought in a million years that their flights would never make it to their destinations. People at the Pentagon, who even knowing they were a terrorist target, STILL never could have imagined a scenario like the one played out on national TV.

After, it wasn't unusual to hear family members, friends, or friends of friends talk about how
so-and-so is being deployed. We've sat with children waiting with them getting ready to leave. They've held babies in one arm while holding their weapon with the other. We've cried and kissed them good bye and watched them get on buses just like this one to go to airports that were taking them to the other side of the world. We've said prayers for their safe return, and waited anxiously for phone calls & e-mails. We've sucked it up and taken care of business here, so they can handle their business over there.

After, it wasn't unusual to see these kinds of pics of your loved ones. Showing you what life was like in their little sand box. Letters saying how much they missed/love us and can't wait to see us again. SOON. And to please send naked pictures (ahem. maybe that one was just mine). Thank yous for the care packages that we send faithfully so that they know we are thinking of them, and giving them pieces of home.

After, we've made signs welcoming them from their latest deployment...knowing in the backs of our minds that they will only be here for a while. Just long enough to get us used to sleeping in their arms again, or get their wives pregnant with babies they won't be here to see be born, before they pack up and head back out to save the world..

After, some never made it back. Families mourned, sons & daughters never saw their moms or dads again. After, some gave their lives and others live with the knowledge that they may be called upon to do the same.

After, my life changed completely. I became aware that I wasn't quite as safe as I thought. Not even living on my protected, insulated little base. The Man, who had not been to the Middle East since Kuwait, got his orders sending him Iraq. And each time he got those orders, I would have nightmares for weeks. After he left, I would talk to him for an hour AT work, if that's where he called me, and I would DARE anybody to interrupt. I would live with the fear that every phone call, or letter, or e-mail might be the last thing he ever said to me, and so I would always tell him "I love you", even if I was spitting mad.

That day is with me every day in the way I go about my life as a military wife. Every time I say good bye to another friend leaving, or support another wife who is going through her 1st, or 4th deployment. Every time I have to send out care packages and letters, or somebody asks me "Do they need anything? Is there anything I can do to help?"
I may try not to think about it, because I want to believe that this kind of thing could never, would never, happen again. But I will never forget.


Tam said...

Great Post!

You just had to go and make me get tears on my keyboard! ;-)

O and the comment about... ahem... the pics... My HuBs never asked that while he was there...HMM O well I was very prego so maybe that is why... I love that you wrote that! :-)

Kori said...

I really liked this post, and think that you are far braver than I could ever be.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

You said it all...Thanks.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Wow, this was an amazing post. So well written and and heart-felt. Just wonderful. My gosh, you've sacrificed so much just as a wife, let alone your husband. You're both heroes in my book.



Aimeepalooza said...

This was beautiful and moving!

Miss said...

As an ex-military wife, all of your words hit very close to home. So much sacrifice, on both parts. Very well written!

Katie said...

ooooh this seriously brought tears to my eyes. You are one strong and brave lady.