I still can't believe that yesterday marked 10 years since 9/11 happened. I can remember so many things about that day, so many moments, nuances, instances - I remember the feeling of one second being an 18 year old college sophomore dreading going to my chem class and then the next walking through the ZTA house and watching glimpses of the crashes on TVs... then I walked across campus at UCF to my chemistry class feeling numb and confused to find out that the first tower had collapsed and class was cancelled. I ran into a friend of mine Alissa on the way back to the house and she was hysterical - then I remembered, she was from NY - she couldn't get in touch with any of her family. I walked her to the KD house in a haze and then made my way to ZTA. I sat on the couch for awhile watching the coverage with my sisters. Eventually, I had to leave - I get overwhelmed and spent the day with two of my pledge sisters Allison and Jackie... I remember driving in Allison's green VW bug and the entire layout of Jackie's bedroom where we hung out as Allison tried to reach family in NYC. We returned to ZTA and took composite pictures - I still remember that day whenever I see that picture in my mom's house in South Florida. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with feelings of fear and disbelief. I was so annoyed at the man taking our composite pictures saying random creepy stuff to make us smile. ugh. still annoyed and creeped out at that man. I remember the several conversations I had with my dad that day and the sadness he felt for our country.
I feel like 9/11 is that instance for my generation where everyone knows exactly where we were when it happened and will always remember that feeling and what all of your senses were experiencing and taking in.
9/11 also makes me think of my dad - following the terror attacks on 9/11 my dad was a part of the special consulting team that flew to DC periodically over the next two years. what was he consulting regarding the terror attacks? well, to be honest, he didn't really share that with us. sketchy man that dad of mine - kidding, but honestly, those trips to DC always made me nervous. luckily, all went well and he stayed stateside and never went abroad.
we spent yesterday morning watching the 9/11 coverage on ABC (aka I laid on the couch and cried for an hour) and I spent this morning reading old emails from my dad. I know the two are unrelated on so many levels, but when I think about being proud of being an American and the ideals that our country stand up for and the idea of patriotism, I think of my father.
as I write this, I am overwhelmed with all the loss that occurred on 9/11 and selfishly, it's overshadowed by my loss. it's never easy to lose a loved one - and I can't imagine what it must have felt like to lose loved ones through such a horrific act of terror. It's also a reminder to tell those close to you that you love them and just how much they mean to you - you never know when they'll be taken from you.
I got this email from my dad the night before he died:
Fri, Dec 8, 2006 at 5:02 PM
Observe that you might encounter an ice storm in Ames while visiting in November next year. Fort Wayne could be worse because it is closer to the Great Lakes. Pack clothes accordingly.
...little did he know when he wrote it I'd be traveling to Ames the following week for his funeral.
life can change in an instant.
be aware of that...
let people know that you love them and what they mean to you.
I know, pretty random post that was all over the place...
we'll return to light, fluffy and coherent soon.