Today, 5 years ago, I was sleeping soundly in my bed at college. It was a day that I didn't have morning classes and I wanted to get as much sleep as I could. The phone abruptly rang and I fumbled around to pick it up. My dad was on the other end. "Hi, Honey. I just wanted you to know that I'm alright". His voice was calm and in my waking cloudiness I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. He was surprised I didn't know yet. That I didn't already know of the terrible thing that had happened.
"A plane just hit the world trade". Of course when you hear something like that you're never really thinking of the worse case scenario. I imagined a small propeller plane manned by a novice pilot who got lost. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think of this. I jumped out of bed with my phone in hand and flipped on the TV. There it was - a smoking tower. I was on the phone with my dad just as the second plane struck. I could tell he was just as shocked as I was, but trying to hold his calm. You see, my father should have been at work that day on the 98th floor of Tower Two, but because of my need for my car he was home getting it fixed. I stayed on the phone with him as we watched in horror as the towers fell. It was at That moment that I realized how truly devastating it was. I was an Resident Assistant that year and I had to pull myself together to be a support for the students on my hall. Sure enough the doors of other dorm rooms were flung open as TV sets came alive with the scene. A girl who's HS was in the neighborhood began crying; another had yet to hear from her own dad, some one's uncle was on the plane.
I went to school in Boston where one of the planes took off. Everyone at my school was holding prayer services and offering support. The name Bin Laden was new and foreign to us and not synonymous with Terror as it is today.
I think of all the blessings I have in my life. Of Family and Friends, of people who have passed on and the people whom I've yet to meet. I think of this hobby, knitting. Of what calm it has given me in times of stress. What excitement it has given me in moments of inspiration. I, of course, am not alone in this. A co-worker of mine came across this article that was written int the National Catholic Reporter called "Knitting Ourselves Together." It speaks of the bonds knitting has created in the here and now, across seas and across time. It is a strong connection that we have when connections are so easily broken.
I think of all those who have passed on today and I think of all those who still need healing. I am not someone who dwells on such things but who carefully remembers and holds precious the gifts that has been given. I do not take them for granted and know that things can unravel as easily as it was created. Today we remember that life isn't easy but that there are these wonderful connections to be made that will help us get through.