The first hint I had that something was wrong was before the start of my 8th grade English class. Everyone was talking and laughing like normal before the bell rang. Someone at my table started laughing about a building being blown up. I’m sure he was repeating something he had heard in another class and didn’t really understand what was going on. He said something about us being under attack. That’s when our teacher noticed. She shushed him up with a sharp voice and a sad look as a tear glistened in her eye. She told us to gather our stuff and line up by the door. We were led down the hallway to another classroom. The students in that class and several teachers were gathered around one of those tvs on a rolling cart common in schools those days. We got there to watch right as the second tower fell.
Like most Americans on September 11, 2001, I remember the absolute shock and horror I felt that day. Who would do such a thing? I cried for the victims and was thankful for the heroes. The day passed in a blur of moving from class to class. The halls were oddly silent. For one day, middle school students who were really still just scared kids and their teachers who I’m sure felt like scared kids all felt and acted the same way. We were shocked. We were uncertain of the future. We were solemn. We were heartbroken.
After school, all I wanted to do was hug my parents. We sat down to eat and continue watching the news coverage. At one point that evening, Mama made Laura and I go outside to play. I guess she wanted us to have some normalcy in the face of such a horrific day. News of that nature is bound to be scary to two young girls. Laura and I jumped on our trampoline. We were quiet at first, but then we started laughing like normal. I felt so weird and ashamed to be jumping and playing like nothing had ever happened. I wanted to cry again, but I could tell my little sister needed that bit of fun.
I jumped higher and higher until I started to forget, just for a moment, that I was living in an evil world where bad things happen. I looked over the back fence and saw the older couple who lived behind us walk out their front door. They walked hand in hand down their driveway to the mailbox. They caught my eye and smiled. In that moment, I was relieved that there were still good things in a world that now seemed so dark. My innocence and sense of security was shattered that day. That moment on the trampoline brought hope and sunshine back into my life. There would be time for remembering, sorrow, and news watching later. For a few minutes I needed to jump higher and higher up to a blue sky where things were still good.
Eleven years later, it still seems unreal that something like that could happen here. Today is a day of sadness and remembering for so many. I pray for all those who lost loved ones that terrible day. I pray for our country to find the unity we all felt in the days and months after 9/11. I pray for the safety of those who fight to make sure we still keep our freedom. I will never forget. God bless the USA.
Time is a funny thing. I can’t believe it has been a year. It seems like yesterday. Some of the memories are still fresh in my mind. Some have faded a little bit thanks to time. Still, I know that I will never ever forget April 27, 2011.
This is a topic that I’ve wrote about several times on Love You Muches. A year ago today, the entire state of Alabama and many other states in the Southeast were affected by devastating tornado. A year ago today, our house got hit. That was a life changing event. I have had many personal struggles during the past year, and I am still not proud of the way I handled them.
A year ago, I would have thought that the anniversary of the storms would send me back to a dark place of fear and sadness. I am thankful that is not the case today. I am still sad that it happened. I’m sad for those who lost loved ones and material posessions. Yet, I have gotten over my personal, selfish state of feeling sorry for myself. The view from the other side of going through this experience is so bittersweet. I have been changed. Time, prayer, and thanksgiving have all softened my outlook. All those crazy emotions I wrote about sometimes still come to the surface, but for the most part they have all been replaced with thankfulness.
I am truly thankful that my faith had a chance to be strengthened by this event. I know with certainty that God will always take care of things and that His will is greater than my own selfish desires. I know that my Heavenly Father protected us on April 27, 2011. I know that He has been patient with me since then and has helped strengthened me. I know I am stronger. I am thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned over the past year, and I am thankful that I still have the chance to praise Him even when life gets complicated.
You were, hands down, the most challenging year of my life.
Like all years, you had ups and downs. This year they were more pronounced than most. You brought happy things to the lives of those I love. You were a year of weddings and babies and engagements. You were a year of puppy dogs and sunshine. You were a year of friends and family and love. You were also a year of storm clouds, doubts, fear, and struggles.
Because of you, I am a different girl than I was in 2010. Because of you, I am stronger. I’m glad you happened, but I’m not sad to see you go. I’m ready to say goodbye now.
It’s that time of year when you see “Best of” lists everywhere. People weigh in on their favorite movies, books, songs, celebrities, and moments of the year. I am exhausted just from thinking about everything that happened this year in my life. Consider this my personal Highlight Reel for 2011.
1. Bailey and Charlie
2. Being a Bridesmaid (3 times!)
3. Answered prayers
4. Blogging & Writing
5. Visiting new places
6. Anna Karenina – The first book I read in 2011 was also my favorite book I read in 2011.