I was in my tiny southern California apartment ready for a day off out of uniform. But, as luck would have it, that was a day that I had to rally up and get into uniform, along with all of my dedicated friends. I remember sitting in sweatpants and a T-shirt and hearing my phone ring. I took the two steps to the landline on the galley kitchen wall to hear my then-husband's voice come over the line, "Have you been watching the news, planes have crashed into the trade towers." We were not television-watching types at the time. In fact, we were very "I don't need a TV to survive type of people" at the time, so the fact that he was telling me to watch the TV was a miracle in itself. I tuned in and it only took a click of the remote to realize that our world had changed forever. Planes, rubble and the disintegration of a safe life were splattered across the screen like a nightmare. We instantly went from being innocent military kids grasping onto college degrees to two grown-ups faced with a world our college friends would never see.
I was always a happy person, but I remember depression wrapping itself around me like a python. I couldn't seem to fathom all of those people who lost their lives or their loved ones. It felt so close to me, so hurtful, so front and center. It was as if my 21-year-old self simply could not manage with all of that burden. I was incapable of it. 9/11 was painful to me, so I can't even imagine what it was like to those families who lost their loved ones.
Now that I have a child, I feel that it is even harder to get to that place of darkness. I feel that it is impossible to NOT love and to not accept everyone. This is exactly why I'm going back to my old roots as a hippy. Yes, I will always and forever remember when the Air Force called me into work on 9/11, but I'll never forget the fact that I'm a lover of peace. I'm a total hippy!