Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Twenty and Eleven

Twenty years.

Today is the day that I've been married (to the same man!) for twenty years.  Yay for us!    Twenty years!  I just can't believe it's been that long.  If feels more like fifty!  Hee-hee, I'm kidding.  

September 11, 1992

So here's the deal with our wedding anniversary:  Did you notice the date? It's September 11th!  That's right, the infamous 9/11 is our "special" day.  Nice, huh?  

I woke up that morning in 2001 to the phone ringing. I figured it was my husband calling me to wish me a Happy Anniversary on his drive home. He had a 24 hour shift at the fire station the day before, and I knew he'd be coming home that morning. We had a wonderful day planned. But it wasn't my husband on the phone. It was my mother, who was crying uncontrollably. All I could understand was, "Are you watching the tv?!!" So I turned on the tv and that's when I saw it. Two sky scrapers with huge holes in the sides and smoke everywhere. I was confused as to where it was. My first thought was downtown Los Angeles. That would make sense as to why my mother would be so hysterical, being that my husband's fire station is only 15 minutes from downtown L.A.   If it was there, he would be in those buildings trying to rescue people. My entire body went cold at the thought. Then the very next second I realized that it wasn't Los Angeles, but New York City.  And I remember feeling so relieved that it was so far away from us, on the other side of the U.S.  

Relieved.  Thankful.  

image source
And feeling uncomfortable about those feelings because I knew there were hundreds of other wives right at that very second who were losing their fire fighters.  Their husbands would never be coming home. I couldn't get that thought out of my head. It could have been me.  But the terrorists chose another city instead of Los Angeles. Why, I don't know.  But they did.  And that was the only reason it wasn't happening to me.   

My husband had to stay at his fire station that day because the city made everyone remain on duty just in case L.A. was the next target. So we spent our anniversary apart. And boy, if I ever wanted him home, it was that day.  I did not want him at work.  I feared another attack, and if that happened I wanted him home with us.  But who was I kidding with that thought?  He would never just sit safe at home while something like that was going on in our city.  He would go to help even if it were his day off, just like other off-duty New York fire fighters did that day.  They answered the call even though it wasn't their call.   My husband would have, too.

So I spent that anniversary at home, glued to the tv screen.  I felt so helpless watching those towers burn, and ultimately fall. I knew thousands of people were losing their lives at that very second, while I sat safe in my home hundreds of miles away.  It was unreal. I couldn't even imagine being there.  It looked like a war zone.  It was a war zone. 


Our wedding anniversary has never been the same since. Sure, we still celebrate our marriage on this day, because that does deserve celebrating! But it's different now.  Now when we toast each other we also include a toast to the fallen fighter fighters of 9/11, and the police, and all others who lost their lives that day. We don't spend more than a few minutes talking about it,  but it is always mentioned.   
Always.   Because we both know.  

We know.

It's not just our  day anymore.






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11 comments:

  1. i so understand your feelings. my husband is a soldierand was away at training. I remember feeling that relief of knowing he was safe and not leaving to protect our country that day. worried for all his friends that would be leaving, worried he would not come home before leaving. worried of the unknown

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  2. Heart wrenching.
    I was 10 years old, and I still remember it all clear as day.

    But, Happy Anniversary!! Twenty years is an awesome milestone, and something most definitely worth celebrating!!

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  3. Like I said, your comments make excellent posts!

    Happy annaversary! One score...wow.

    9-11 Never Forget

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  4. Happy anniversary. Twenty years is amazing (we just hit 10 this year). I don't think anyone who was old enough to pay attention that day will ever forget where she was/what she was doing. I think it's normal to have those feelings of relief that it wasn't LA. It doesn't take away the empathy or compassion you had for those who were directly affected, and you recognize it could have been your husband. Normal.

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  5. My grandson was born on Sept. 11, 2002, a year after that fateful day. We celebrate his day but never forget those who lost their lives a year earlier.

    Happy Anniversary!!! Twenty years is a great milestone and something to be proud of!

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  6. Happy Anniversary to both of you!! That is quite an accomplishment, and you have such a beautiful family. September 11th will forever be a day with extremely happy and very sad events intermingled together. Again, Congratulations!!

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  7. Twenty Years!! You look way too young to have been married for TWENTY years!!! Happy Anniversary!

    Sheesh! I just realized I missed it!

    I hope you guys had a nice day today...even though...

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  8. This is a great post. Coming from Shell today! I know this has changed things. My mother-in=law's birthday was yesterday, and she was really sad that it was on her birthday when it happened because it's just a somber day to the world, but we still have to celebrate life's good things on that day, too. Happy Anniversary!

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  9. Congrats on 20 years!!!

    9/11 is forever changed. But I hope that you still find ways to celebrate. xo

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  10. Beautiful post.

    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband.

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  11. I hope you had a great anniversary! I love your little side comment about being married for 20 years (to the same man!!). I say the same thing at times. Not quite to 20 yet, just a few behind though. What I do often say though is that I have 6 kids....with the SAME man! So sad that I have to clarify, but what are you going to do?!?!?!

    Anyway, new reader here. Found you when you left a comment on Catey's blog. She found me (and then I her) when I commented on another blog. Ahhhh, the wonderful world of blogging.

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