That Morning, September 11th

5 years ago

That morning was just about perfect.

It was the kind of morning that I'd spent years wishing for, at times never knowing whether it would come to fruition or not.

I'd gone through the only routine that mattered anymore.  Sometime around 2a.m., the baby awoke.  He was retrieved by my husband and brought to bed with us.  He nursed and fell back to sleep peacefully after laying on my chest for a bit.

If there's a better feeling in the world than having a newborn lay their head on your chest, I've not yet experienced it.  It is, simply put, intoxicating.  The softness of their skin, the downy hair, the smell.  Oh, the smell.

I could write books just about that.

A few hours later, as the morning sunlight peeked over the hills, my husband quietly got up and got ready for work.  He arranged the pillows around the baby in the nest-like fashion he'd become so accustomed.  Closed the bathroom door silently so as to not wake the baby or me.

Woke me to kiss me goodbye, told me to go back to sleep.  He'll be awake soon, as he motioned at his snoring son asleep beside me with his eyes.

I love you.

I knew that he was right, the baby would be up soon, and so back to sleep I went.

A while later, I opened my eyes, surprised that the baby was still in dreamland.  By then, the sun had made it's way over and around the hills and it streamed in through our drapes.

We had pale green striped sheer drapes back then, and the morning sunlight with a hint of a breeze made the most beautiful shadows dance across the ceiling.  The world outside was still and quiet.

The cats curled up at my feet, they knew to wait until I was ready to get up.  They were content to lay there with me for as long as it took.

I glanced over at my magnificent boy.  This miracle of ours.  It was a long, hard road, but he was here and he was perfect and delicious.  I knew the moment that he arrived in this world that for the rest of my life, I would forever be a mother before I was anything else again.  He did that, this tiny little boy.

I laid there beside him and watched him sleep, the soft humming of his breaths, the gentle up and down of his chest.

The phone rang.  Startled out of my suspended reality, I tried to reach over him without waking him.  He stirred as I grabbed the phone and muted my voice to whisper hello.

It was Tom.

All he said was that I needed to turn on he TV.  Right now.

I fumbled for the remote, asked him what was going on.

The screen came to life just as the second tower fell.

There were no words for a while.

Then panic began to set in.  He worked in the tallest building in the approach to the airport runways.  Where was he?  When would he be home?  Was he safe?  Had he heard from anyone?  Were we safe here?  Were the planes grounded yet?

He had no answers.  The cell phone lines were jammed.  No one knew anything, really, at that point.

His brother, military.

His aunt, in the sky that morning.  A flight attendant.

I sat up, with my head in my hands and cried.  That innocent little boy next to me, the one now glancing up at me with his bright blue eyes, smiled.  Giggled.

I was terrified.  Of everything, and all at once.  What was happening?  What kind of world did I just bring a child into?  How many were killed?  How many more attacks were planned?  How did this happen?

Those answers would come for the most part, though some would take days, some would take years.

His brother was safe, his aunt was too.  She'd never work on an airplane again after the experiences of that day.

And we were all forever changed.

I've shared this picture of my son that I took that morning before.

I'm not sure what motivated me to take it, in all honesty, but I'm glad I did.  It helps me to remember that not all that came from that day was tragic.  I will always have the memory of that morning burned into my mind.  Without the other events of that day, I'm sure my memory of that morning would have been more vague, less detailed, more fuzzy.  More like every other morning in the life of a mother.

That day was different.

In discussing this subject with another writer friend a while back, we both decided that our stories, our individual stories of where we were and what we remember are worth telling.

This day that we remember today will be one of the most defining of our generation.  It's our Kennedy assassination.  Everyone will forever remember where they were when they heard.

Where were you?  Your story is worth telling too.

Never forget.

First published on my blog here

Kelly DeBie ~ Blogger, Mom, Superhero

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