As many of us will never forget, today is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. We all remember, and always will, where we were when we first got the news that planes had flown into the Twin Towers. Yes, I’m Canadian but we too were forever affected.
A year ago today we had our own little 9/11. The day started off normally. It was the last day of a two-week vacation (that I weep for this year… ho hum) and I hadn’t accomplished everything I had wanted to but I did get my duvet and cover washed! That night was the first symphony of the season and I was excited. That also meant we weren’t going to the barn. The one thing that did happen was my mom got a call about a bed in a home for my grandma and we were welcome to go on a tour that afternoon at 3:00.
It was a brand new long-term care unit and my daughter and I met them there and took the tour. An hour and a bit later we were on our way home. We got to the last corner and the plaza right next to our home was ablaze. I couldn’t get through because of a fire hose and had to turn around and go the long way home all the while thinking about my windows being open and my cats inside. It seemed to take forever to get home but we made it. I slammed my windows shut, thankful that the wind was blowing the opposite direction. We locked up and went to join the throngs of people who were standing on the sidewalk and parking lot watching firefighters try to fight the blaze.
Of course I have many regrets at this time. I should have been an adult and been inside packing up overnight bags but I wasn’t. I was talking to a police officer who was covering off all the what-ifs. It was when I went to go back at the request of my daughter that the sidewalk to our home was blocked off and an a-hole officer was standing guard. He didn’t care that we had a small zoo inside. The back wall had to be brought down and they were evacuating everyone in our section because of the proximity. It was going to be coming down “any minute” they said. I asked about moving my vehicle which was probably actually closer and he allowed me to go get my keys to move my car.
When I had moved my car the officers had traded off and I got the nicer one, the one I had been talking to earlier and he let us go get our pets out. Again, I should have taken my time and been more methodical but the way everyone was talking it was going to be a couple of hours and we’d be let back in. I grabbed the symphony tickets and we carried all our pets to the car where we sat for about 30 minutes before we finally gave up and went to my parent’s.
We didn’t get let back in. My dad actually drove over around 8:30 to ask and he was told it would be the next morning. He texted me at intermission to tell me. GREAT! I had no p.j.’s, I had none of my meds with me. We hadn’t even grabbed animal food! I didn’t sleep at all that night. Partly because of withdrawal from one of my meds and partly because of anxiety. I worried about everything that I had being at home. Everything that could be nothing. I should have grabbed my laptop at the very least. But I hadn’t because I was told hours.
The next morning my dad and daughter took a road trip. The wall had come down sometime around midnight and yes, we could now go back home.
We had plenty to talk about with neighbours. How everyone was feeling. Like 9/11 we tuned in to every newscast we could. We wanted all the details. It turned out it was a 15-year-old who had tried this before and, this time, succeeded. Many felt grateful that we still had homes and I did too but I couldn’t help but feel anger for this little twit who had turned our lives upside down.
A year later, he’s out. He served six months. The psych evaluation shows he will re-offend but there’s nothing that can be done with a first offense. He lives about an hour away from here now and is on probation… yeah, whatever! The dollar store isn’t even open yet. It doesn’t open yet for a couple of months… just in time for Christmas!
So on this day I look back on two 9/11’s. I will for many years to come and in another 15 years I will be looking back on the two anniversaries.