The morning of September 11, 2001 was that of a clear beautiful sky. The sun was shinning as we drove across the country in our little Toyota car pulling a Uhaul that looked like it was constructed in the fifties.
We had left Wisconsin to start a new beginning in our hometown of Oceanside, California. A move we had been looking forward to for awhile.
We were crossing Nebraska, an endless landscape of green plains and farming fields. As I looked out at the sight before me I noticed that I hadn’t seen any planes or jet lines in the sky. I have always looked to the sky because my father is a pilot. So seeing no planes was odd.
This was the Bluest most lonely sky I have ever seen, and I knew something must not be right. I was not prepared for what we were about to find out, the US had been attacked.
Fear and worry instantly filled me. I mean, come on, we were in the middle of nowhere. What danger might come about we were unaware, but we prayed we would reach our new home with no real issues.
We weren’t quite sure just how bad things were until we stopped to get gas and the line of cars was unbelievable. Gas prices were getting higher and higher in the smaller towns were drove through only for a short bit, thank God. Then the truth of what really happened hit hard when we stopped at a fast food restaurant. On the counter was an old antennae tv showing the planes hit the twin towers. I can remember the tears welling up as I held my breath. “Could this really be happening”? My husband put his arm around me and simply said. “We can do this”. I looked down at my children and smiled trying to show them all was okay.
So many thoughts were flooding through my mind, some were a little far fetched, like, “Holy shit it’s the end of the world and we might have to eat our little Lhasa Apso dog named Saki, or maybe we couldn’t even get to California….what were our options?”.
I’m sure we all had those weird off the wall thinking before we really knew what was happening. For us, we were on a mission to not only reach our destination but to live in the moment. I wasn’t going to allow the hate of another ruin our memories or taint our new beginning.
We decided to turn the radio off since there wasn’t anything we could do to but pray to change what was happening not just in New York but all over the country. We started singing children’s songs and playing car games so the energy in the car was that of peace and stillness.
After we made the faithful choice to put our trip in the hands of God the journey became that of new eyes. People everywhere were stressed and scared scurrying about trying to buy whatever they could for the fear of being without. Yet we were safe and purely happy in our little bubble.
Yes, I was still thinking of what was the reality of the moment, but it was hard not to have faith. I believe in something bigger than myself.
The next day we had car trouble and had to get our alternator replaced. Money was already tight, but we again had faith. The small garage we stopped at not only fixed the car in record time but did it free of charge because the credit card machines were down. What a blessing and a sign that we were in the hands of safety. Good people are everywhere and their lights shine in the darkest of hours. I am thankful for the all the kind people we encountered during this move. “Thank You”!
Everything had a more colorful vibrancy. This I give credit to my faith.
I imagined the families crossing on the Oregon Trail and being thankful I didn’t have to deal with grandma dying, johnny losing an arm,or Indians attacking us. (for all of you that know the game Oregon Trail) LOL
Yet, here we were dealing with trials of a different kind, but the common ground I held with the days of the past were that of faith of getting to a new home.
As we stood at a rest stop in Colorado high above the land on top of a mountain I saw more than just troubled times. I saw beauty unlike I have seen before. I was thankful for where we were and wished that everyone grieving could for but a moment stand there next to me to take in the landscape to bring just a moment of joy a moment of the bigger picture.
I was looking at the Land of the Free a land being attacked by hate and ugly intentions. Brave, Free men and women willing to fight for our country and in that moment I knew we as Americans would be okay….We would be also.
Our country is founded on dreams and visions of a better way of life. This one day caused such sadness for millions. It was a day where ordinary people became heroes when they helped their fellow man.
I am forever thankful that I was able to stand on top of that mountain in the fresh air and sun shining on my face. I feel incredibly lucky to have been Given such the pleasure of that feeling.