Eight years ago, I wasn't a mother.
Eight years ago, I was in a new relationship and had just moved in with my boyfriend.
Eight years ago, I wasn't too concerned with the state of the world or our future in it.
But then, eight years ago, terrorists hijacked 4 planes and changed the fate of our nation forever.
I was at work on the morning of September 11, 2001 when my manager started walking very quickly down the aisles of cubicles and telling each of us, calmly, to get our things and go home immediately. We all questioned her as to why we were being sent home and she ignored us all. As we slowly gathered our things and shut down our computers, her sense of urgency started showing. I remember her raising her voice a little louder and saying, "Come on! Let's go! Hurry up people! Get home to your families!"
She was never very personable with us as a manager. She kept business hours very professional and didn't talk to us about our personal lives or families ever. For her to tell us to get home to our families was this huge red flag to all of us and we hustled out of there.
I don't remember getting home to our apartment. I don't remember driving there or the traffic on the way. It was all a blur. All I remember next is sitting on our couch, stunned, watching the attacks on TV. Every station was showing the same thing. The planes each flying in to the twin towers. Over and over again in what seemed like slow motion. People jumping from the burning towers because they thought that maybe that would be a more humane way to die then suffocating in a fire or having the building collapse on them.
And I wept. I cried and sobbed with the rest of our country. I felt violated and scared. I was angry when I found out why and who had done this to us.
Over the next few days and weeks as stories unfolded and people were shown on TV holding pictures, crying for their missing loved ones, it was overwhelming. Jason and I remained at home, holding on for dear life to each other. To what we had. And I felt guilty. Guilty that my world wasn't torn apart, but theirs was, and that I still had all of my family, and they didn't. Their pain was unfathomable.
The world was too scary to bring a child into it. I told Jason I couldn't imagine being a mother with how uncertain life was at that moment. My heart just ached thinking about being a mom and not being able to get to my child. I decided I couldn't start a family until life returned to a somewhat normal state. Being a mother was the one thing I knew I wanted my entire life and now I couldn't imagine doing that anymore. So I decided I wouldn't become a mother. I wouldn't go through that agony. My heart couldn't stand the idea of it.
Then exactly 2 months after 9/11, I found out I was pregnant. It was bittersweet because the doctors told me I wouldn't be able to get pregnant without "medical intervention." But there he was. His little heartbeat just throbbing away. And my hope was reborn during that pregnancy.
Today, I'm a mother of a 7 year old amazing little boy.
Today, Jason and I have been together for 8 years.
Today, we remember the lives that were lost. We remember the innocent souls that perished. We remember the rescue workers who lost their lives trying to save others.
And hopefully today, we'll remember how life can change instantly and how important every single day is and we'll remember to make the most of each one.