6 thoughts on “Preserving normal

  1. Your post has given me shivers. So well written!

    We will all remember where we were and what we were doing that tragic day!

    Our lives are changed forever.

    I had to deal with explaining to 3 and 4 year olds in my Kindergarten classroom what was going on because many of them were talking about it, re-enacting what they saw on tv etc. It was really tough, as a teacher, to know what to say!


    • It was such an awful, terrifying day to witness. It was so incredible to think that a city that is really so close could be the target.

      I can’t imagine having to explain to a bunch of young kids what was going on after seeing the replay over and over again on tv. Did you have a hard time knowing how to explain it to yourself?

      Sometimes when I think back to that day I think I did a good job of parenting and other days I question whether or not I was cowardly in trying to pretend life was normal. I have to be content knowing that I did the best I could.

      Thank you for your compliments on the writing. I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to writing, so I am grateful to read that you liked it.


  2. Jim, thank you for sharing this story. It really brought light to just HOW MUCH we love our children! So much that our hearts bleed for them.
    You also reminded me of how much I love my parents! Our experiences with them (or in some cases, without), help shape Much of who we are, and how we respond, in our ‘Now’.

    10 years ago, I remember hanging out, chatting, in one of the nursing school classrooms with my peers. Our instructor walked in and told us all to go home. She gave details from the News, and all I can remember is thinking “God PLEASE let me get to my son before anything else happens!”. I drove so fast (in my little 2 seater black tercel) to get to Z’s daycare, and the volume of my pounding heart, was louder than my old engine. I don’t even remember picking him up, with all the commotion going on in my body and mind. Next I just remember walking in my apartment door, holding Z so tight that our bodies were almost one. Then dropping to my knees with him in my arms (his round pudgy little left cheek pressed against my heart), and immediately broke down in tears,….in a state of shock, fear, hopelessness and heartache. i remember calling family, and the conversations having much to do with “LIFE IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMED”. I felt completely vulnerable! Naked, as though the truth that I had worn, all my life, had been stripped from my body, leaving nothing but a Cold Chill. I remember shaking for a long time. Especially after getting a call from Z’s Uncle Hollering into the phone asking where Z’s father was and if we were ok. He was calling from the delivery truck that was stuck in traffic trying to get across the state border to his home in Jersey City. He had just delivered mail to the twin towers not long before the strike. It was an incredibly surreal moment. I don’t think I slept a minute that night. I am glad that in my recent years I allowed God in to my heart, because if ever I myself was in a tragedy with even half the horror of such….God would be my number one resource! I feel so blessed today, to have been able to spend another cycle of a day, with both of my beautiful boys!


    • I think every parent that awful day wondered if there children were safe. Our instincts are to protect our children in any way possible. I am not surprised that you raced to get your son.

      Your story about that day is so vivid. I thought pretty much what you did, that “life is not what it seemed.” I might have used other words, but it all came down to the same thing: this is not what I was expecting. In some ways, that might be the perfect way to preface life with our special kids and might also help to explain your strength.


  3. I remember watching TVOkids with Patty and Joe when my eldest was younger. They were awesome and SO darn good.
    I also remember explaining to my eldest (at 10) what happened. It was surreal. He came home from school already knowing what happened. The innocence of his childhood was broken that day. And we were scrambling to find my brother in law, who was trucking at the time in the area.


  4. I remember that day, and I remember hating how difficult it was to turn away from the news as it was happening. Our youngest-at-the-time was still a baby, though, and Bobby wasn’t much older. Both had therapists coming to the house as part of our early intervention services. We saw two therapists that day, and commiserated with both about the tragedy we were witnessing. Our kids were too young to understand, but we still felt the need to turn away from the news, to try and keep some semblance of normalcy. In our world, where normal is just another word, though, it was hard to find that day.


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