Seems incredible that this is 5 years ago now, something that happened when Maddy was still a toddler and Amelie was just a few weeks worth of pregnancy. Like the article says, everyone has their story; mine is standing open mouthed at the television watching it before the second plane hit, while my children who were too tiny to apparently understand became increasingly manic around my feet, presumably sensing my horror. Mine is seeing my normally taciturn husband coming in from work, not knowing what had happened and standing with his hands to his head as he watched the news in horrorstuck disbelief. Mine is going off to run my normal Slimming World class, full of generally cheerful, giggling women who wanted to talk about weightloss and seeing woman after woman coming in tearstained and shocked, one who had come in to be with people because she was unable to contact her son who was in NY and was terrified for him. Mine is receiving a call from a friend to say that she was okay, although she had been on a bus to go sightseeing up the WTC when it was hit. Mine is reading the emails on my favourite email list at the time, an American CM one and just feeling wretched for the ordinary mums and wives who were feeling so fraught, shocked and attacked, some of whom knew people, or knew people who knew people, who were on the planes that were crashed.
Whatever anyone might think of the events and the politics which have ensued, i guess the bit that touches me still is the way it affected so many families either directly or indirectly and how profoundly life has changed, for good or bad, because of that. Families of the people killed, families of peole who knew them, families around the world who feel vulnerable, innocent families who now get victimised because of something done in their name by people not actually acting on their behalf at all.
One bit in that article touched me particularly as a mother, the bit about children drawing out and acting out their experiences. Fran and Maddy horrified me at the time by building towers of videos and crashing planes into them, i hadn’t even registered that they’d seen what was on and i felt awful for exposing them to it but i just asked Fran if she remembers it and she doesn’t. You can only hope that the children who won’t forget it will get enough support that one day they’ll look back with some sort of bearable peace.
But as a person, this part spoke to me the most, in fact, the only reason i’m blogging this is to give myself an excuse to quote the man,
“As a kid, you worried about the monsters under your bed, and you’d hear a noise and it would spook you a little bit and your mom or dad would come in and say ‘everything’s okay, don’t worry’. You check with a flashlight under the bed and there’s no monsters hiding underneath there.
“Well, I got a bunch of little gremlins.
“I think anybody who is in New York, or who lost somebody or who paid witness that day, has a bunch of little gremlins under their bed, and every once in a while those gremlins leap out and they taunt you and they bite you and they want to play with you.
“So you play with them and then you put them back under your bed and maybe it’s five minutes, maybe it’s five days, maybe it’s five months till they come back out and play, but you’ve got to confront your gremlins and then say ‘You know what, folks, it’s time to move on, I’ll see you in six months’.”
What a very wise man indeed. Thank you.