This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Day

I remember it was a beautiful day. We had some work being done on our house, so the crew of three arrived on time about eight and started outside with adjusting windows. I drove our kids to the elementary school and listened to some music on the way back. When I arrived home about 9:15 I said hi to the guys, and one asked me if I knew what was going on? Quickly I turned on the television and invited them to come in to watch the unfolding events in New York City. It was unbelievable. Within the last hour two commercial airplanes had hit the two World Trade Centers, and there was talk of its being deliberate. Fire flamed from the high windows of the buildings, and then the news would loop back to show footage of the airplanes' impacts.

A few minutes later another airplane hit the Pentagon. A fourth plane was loose in Pennsylvania, and many thought it was heading for the White House or the Capitol. Camera shots from the World Trade Centers were too far away to see detail clearly, but there was talk of people jumping. I didn't want to see that.

About ten o'clock the South tower collapsed. We (me and the workers) watched the television with horror. Soon after there were reports that a fourth rogue plane heading towards Washington had crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

At about 10:15 my husband was able to call from Washington for a few seconds to tell me he was OK but busy. (He worked in Washington although he's not military and wasn't at the Pentagon. At the hospital he was caring for an influx of burn victims).

About ten thirty the North tower collapsed. Big clouds of black dust spewed from the site. I remember a few days later seeing camera shots of people running into stores, and then a black curtain would move past the windows. So many lives snuffed in a few seconds.

I left to pick up my kids from school. Our boy was in kindergarten and easy to find. Our girl was in third grade and it took a little longer for her to be dismissed. The school was filled with worried mothers quietly talking about the disasters and any news tidbits they might have heard on the way over. The kids wanted to know what was going on. I explained quietly as we walked to the car.

The rest of the day was surreal, beautiful sky and horrific events. I don't remember when my husband came home but that night we were glad to all be together.

A few days later I was invited to play flute for a memorial service for one of the soldiers killed in the Pentagon. This was a military service held in a local church. The church was beautiful, made of stone and large, but still so many people came (about 400) that chairs were eventually lined up in the narthex to accommodate the overflow. It broke my heart to be there, and I kept thinking that, strangely, I was glad I hadn't known the man because I might not have been able to play if I had. I sat on the very edge of the stage and watched the pastor stand calmly, hands folded in back, as he directed the flow of the service to allow so many people to speak. I played. I sat down and listened. I played again. I watched the family sitting close to the stage, behind the table with the photo and flowers.

So many lives touched by this one man. Multiply that by so many who died needlessly on September 11th.

We all die, and whether it's a little sooner or not it will happen. Isn't it strange though that it usually seems out of time, or a surprise, that it will or does happen? Where do we get this sense of immortality?

Ten years later, and I still think occasionally about that 3 hour funeral. Heartbreaking.

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