Ten years Sunday I arose early really excited. I had packed the night before, wrapped the birthday gift. Now all I had to do was gather my medications, shower and dress and head for Hobby airport. I would be on my way to Greensboro, North Carolina via Air Tran's cheap flight for my youngest grandson's first birthday party in Charlotte. It was planned for midafternoon and my daughter-in-law was to pick me up at the airport.
But Al Quaeda had other plans for me and even much more devastating for thousands of other Americans. My son called as we were walking out the door and said, "Mom! Turn on the TV! Something terrible is going on. A plane has hit the World Trade Center in NY. And now another one just collided." My heart jumped to my throat. All the previous year my son officed in the World Trade Center and slept in the Marriott Hotel there, commuting to Charlotte on the weekends. Oh my God. What is happening? He said to head for the airport with the radio on which we did. By the time we arrived, another plane had hit the Pentagon.
Arriving at the airport I told my husband to leave my luggage in the car and let me go in and check and see if planes were still flying. I raced to the Continental counter which was nearly deserted and asked about the status. Just as I arrived, it was announced that all flights anywhere had been cancelled. Shaking I ran back to the car to tell my husband and we drove back home listening to more reports of devastation as the Twin Towers collapsed. Stunned we sat glued to the TV for the next few days trying to comprehend what had happened.
I got notice from Air Tran that my flight was scheduled again and though security was increased, I had an uneventful trip to Greensboro. The country was reeling. How could this happen? America lost its innocence that day. And life would never ever be the same. What a different world my grandchildren are living in! I grew up in a world where we seldom locked our doors. They will live in a world where they are hated just because they live in the greatest country in the world. It was comforting to play Batman's Robin with my grandson, to eat cake and read traditional stories with happy endings where good always conquered evil.
I pray that they will learn to make a difference, to accept diversity, to stand with courage for love and the greater good. That will make me so proud, not that I'm not already.