I guess the common answer these days to that questions would be: The World Trade Center attacks, a loved one lost, America, New York and maybe even fears of a repeat attack of some kind.
My answer is a bit different. While I do think of most of those things on that day, I think mostly about my own lost loved one. She didn’t die on 9/11 but was born on 9/11. I think of her so much on this day. How old she would be, what would she have looked like, who would she have grown to be, how close would we be and how would my family and myself be different if she were still with us?
I have been thinking of her on this day for 23 years. Although my thoughts changed 19yrs ago when my first thought was that she would be 5 today. NOw, in 2011, she would be 23 years old. A grown woman in the world, my family and my friend. I miss her still, her hugs, her smiles, her little voice singing a song.
I was 12 years old when she died, I was an awkward kid trying to get through my days. My life was about school, friends, boys and hanging out. Death was a slap in the face, especially when it was such a tiny little person so close to my heart. It was hard for my 12yr old brain to grasp.
I remember very clearly coming home from school and seeing my mothers car in the driveway. (this was weird because she worked and didn’t get home until 7ish, was home after school with my dad) Both of my parents were in the bedroom talking in hushed tones so I filled a bowl with puffy Cheetos and sat at the table for my after school snack. I remember taking a bite of one of those Cheetos as my parents walked out to tell me about the car accident my Aunt was in with the babies on board. It was explained to me that my Aunt was very hurt as was my cousin. She was in a coma with no brain activity. I don’t remember the words or phrases they used, I only remember that cheeto still in my mouth and I had no idea what to do with it as it turned to mush.
The following days are still a blur. I only remember bits and pieces. I remember the wake and the open casket (I never should have looked) and I remember staring for so long that I thought she was breathing, I remember rumors flew at school in my absence that I slit my wrists, I remember how small my other cousins were and how much less they understood than I , I remember a Thanksgiving right after where my grandfathers voice cracked in saying the prayer (I had never seen or heard him cry before) and I remember how I changed as person.
These are all things I think about during the year but I think of everything on September 11th, the day of her birth. It’s still hard and I tear up every 9/11 but for different reasons than most of America.
We miss you and we love you Mikki!
What do you think of on 9/11? What does this day mean to you?