Friday, September 11, 2009

Conflicting Memories of Tragedy

Our second son initially viewed 9/11/01 as a wonderful day of freedom and relief.

Almost two weeks earlier, his appendix had burst, apparently after nearly a week of steady leakage. The doctor who operated told us afterward that it was the worst case he had ever seen where the patient lived. (Priesthood blessings are amazing, both before we had any idea what was happening and after we found out.) Our son spent almost two weeks in the hospital, and he was released the afternoon of 9/11. He thought it would be a day that would be his unique day to celebrate the literal saving of his life through miraculous means.

It still is special to him, but, to a large degree, he lost a lot emotionally in the after effects of the national and global perspective on that day. He was 11-years-old; he wanted to celebrate life; he couldn’t; he really couldn’t even talk about it with others without seeming to be insensitive and callous and selfish. In fact, one teacher even made him rewrite a wonderfully poignant essay about his conflicted feelings about that day (a class assignment) and re-direct it to the bombing - as if his personal experience didn’t really matter.

That’s what I will remember most about 9/11/01 - the way it shook up the world and shattered my son’s sense of peace and joy and celebration, since the saving of his life meant so much less to the community around him than the loss of so many lives. I absolutely love Alan Jackson’s song, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”, since it expresses so well the myriad ways that event affected so many different people in so many different ways.

(Mama posted about Jeff, as well - without us having discussed it. We really are a good team!)


Mama D said...

Isn't it interesting how our memories and feelings of this day are so multi-faceted... I posted about Jeff, too.

Gwennaƫlle said...

It was strange to experience the turning point when we went from the XX century to the XXI. I knew it was happening.
I dread this date each year because something was taken out of our hand rather violently. I am not saying that things were perfect before that or that I was ignorant of things that were going the wrong way. I don't know. I had just been back a few days before from a long trip to the US which had turned out into the begining of the end of a friendship and this just nailed it down I guess.

I am thinking about Jeff and how it must make everything more sensitive and a growing case. This kind of experience ahppening on the day of such an event must make everything more sensitive to a point and in a way that I can't imagine.
What a stupid teacher by the way. Or maybe he lost someone then...

Each time I think about this day I also think about yahoo Q/A like three years ago I think. someone said that all this did not really happened. I answered that I knew a couple whose son was in the towers and who got out of it. they happened to speak French and I offered him to call them to explain to them his theory.
The community granted me the best answer.
How stupid people can be sometimes.