I’ve been sitting here every night on my computer for the past week. Thinking. Typing. Deleting. No matter what I write, it doesn’t seem right. For some reason, I can’t properly express what I want to say. I have so many emotions going through me that I’m not sure which is the best. Where do I start? I guess… from the beginning.
10 years ago, it was a beautiful Texas morning. Not a cloud in the sky. I’m driving to work on I-20 East listening to Kid Kraddick. Jennifer Page is in studio. I don’t like that song she sings, ‘Crush’. I turn the station but every one of them is broadcasting news, not music. I leave it on 97.1 fm. It is here that I learn about the first plane hitting the WTC. I look at the sky, and there is still not one cloud, as well as no airplane. I turn back to KKITM and still no mention of the WTC. I continue changing channels and leave it on KKITM. They finally mention the WTC. At this point, no one knows much. I arrive at work. In the time I got out of the car and entered the office, the 2nd plane hit. A few of the employees are already in the office. We don’t have a TV in our waiting room so, we go across the hall to the OB/GYN and watch the coverage there.
This is the moment we realized something has gone terribly wrong. I think to myself, “Is this is? Is this the beginning of the end? Are we all going to die?” Since we were at work, we all needed to be professional and keep our composure. As the day started, patients came in and would brief us on what was happening. I was alone in the billing room when the Doctor came in. He said that if we need to go home because we are in shock then it was ok. I told him I was good to stay. I called my mom to see if she was watching TV. I called my brother when I heard that all federal offices were being evacuated. (He was working for the DA’s office then).
Driving home was a bit strange. I was used to hearing noises and for some reason, everything seemed quiet. The entire evening, I stayed glued to the television. I wanted to watch everything. I was in disbelief. Shocked. The next few days I did mostly the same thing. Watch the news. I would watch the sky and think how crazy it was that there was not one plane in sight. Several weeks followed and people were still mourning. Our medical building had been receiving bomb threats so, we had to evacuate a lot. It was annoying. Then one day, we started living our life again. Things were started to get back to normal.
5 years later, I was in my bedroom watching 9/11 coverage and talking to my best friend Marc. I was tired of watching the same thing because it was getting depressing. I hadn’t forgotten, in fact, I had been following 9/11 coverage most of the day. I was tired and I wanted happy news. I had gotten online and checked MySpace when some Italian guy sent me a message. (That Italian guy is now my hubby)
9 years later, we are at Imperia watching a regata. It’s 9/11 and I spot an American flag. We stop to take pictures with the flag. It was our small way of saying that those affected were still in our thoughts and prayers.
10 years later, In the weeks leading up to today, I have been watching and reading anything that is on Yahoo! News. Videos, photos, anything.
This morning, I woke up knowing that is wasn’t going to be easy. I woke up late. I’m exhausted and nauseated which resulted in missing church. The baby and I had breakfast. She played while I tried to clean up a bit. The hubby went to do charity work. The day went on as usual. Snacks. Peppa Pig. Washing dishes. More Peppa Pig. As Carlo left to go for a run, I tried to put Valentina down for a nap. I was watching the news, waiting for live coverage from Ground Zero to begin. Valentina is asleep on me. It begins. I see people lined up. Bagpipes. The President and first lady. Former President Bush and his wife. Vice President Biden and his wife. The ceremony begins. The unfolding of the Stars and Stripes. Beaten and torn. Then, the choir sings. Never have the words, “Gave proof thru the night, that our flag was still there.” meant so much as they do now. I am crying. I am not holding back. I hold my daughter in my arms and let my tears fall on her head. My country had been wounded and although it’s been 10 years, those wounds are still fresh on our minds. At least… in my mind.
Carlo came home and I’m on the futon, with Valentina. Asking if I’m ok, I say yes. He sees what I’m watching and says, “It’s ok. ” I cry even more and manage to say that I’m still ok. I’ve been crying for about a week now. Given the fact that I’m also 4 months pregnant, my hormones are going crazy. The baby wakes up and it’s back to business as usual. Peppa Pig. Lunch. Ground Zero coverage. More Peppa Pig. We go for a walk. I’ve told Valentina that today was very important. We were going to show our American pride because our people need our support. I dress her in a “Somebody in Texas loves me” onesie and blue jean skirt. Carlo is wearing a San Francisco t-shirt. I am in an American- July 4th t-shirt.
As we walk downtown, we head to the River Po. We hear Jazz music and walk over to find out what’s going on. We see the Mayor of Torino along with other VIPs. It’s a 9/11 ceremony. The Mayor mentions that Jazz is so “American” and that is why they chose to have the ceremony at the Jazz Club. I thought to myself how wonderful to pick the one thing that is universal and therapeutic – MUSIC.
As I end my day, I stand on the balcony and see the city. One of our landmarks is completely dark. The Mole Antonelliana is not lit. It is silent… in remembrance of “those who fell and those who carry on.”
|Flag of Heroes- Luxemburg Bookshop- Torino, Italy|
Every day, I look at the sky. I have been since 9/11. I think about that day all of the time. When I fly, when I see a plane. When I know that someone I love is going to fly. It’s forever in my mind. I pray for those who are serving our country, those who’ve lost someone in the attacks of that dreadful day and those who lost their lives fighting in war. I pray that our hearts will continue to heal and that we will one day have peace. I pray that God will continue to Bless America….. my home sweet home.