|One World Trade Center
Taken early morning, Spring 2014
Our radio clock alarm was set for 6:30 am, just like every morning. We had to get our kids up and ready for school. Cristen was 16, Taylor 11.
When the alarm went off, Troy was already in the bathroom brushing his teeth. Instead of the jokes and banter of the Mark And Brian radio show that I usually awoke to, I heard fear and panic in a newscaster’s voice. I sat upright in bed. Her voice cracked as though she was on the verge of crying when she said something about a second plane hitting the twin towers.
I jumped up and ran to the living room, turning on the TV just as the second plane hit. “Oh my God, Oh my God!” I cried. Troy came into the living room completely unaware. He stopped when he saw the horror on my face. We both stood in front of the TV, hands over our mouths. I was crying. Troy was silent.
In that moment our world had changed. There was a certain feeling of immunity I think we all had as Americans. In the U.S., we don’t die of malaria, or starvation, or even AIDS, and we certainly don’t get attacked by other countries on our soil. (At least not in the continental U.S.) I had lived with a foolish naivete that I was safe. Maybe we all did. But in one split second, we had to grow up and face a new reality. Hate and fear, the most dangerous weapons in the world, had breached American security.
The phones began to ring, family and friends checking in. There was worry about friends on the east coast. I kept my kids home from school. At this time of uncertainty, I couldn’t be away from them. My best friend Erin came over. We all clung to each other, glued to the television, desperate for any answers, any hope. My children, emotionally overwhelmed, slept on and off throughout the day as the television blared in the background.
Not knowing what to do with my anxiety, I cooked. First tremendous stacks of pancakes and bacon. Lots of coffee. A few hours later, heaping bowls of Spaghetti and meatballs, chocolate chip cookies. It’s funny how we all treat stress differently. Maybe eating, and being able to feed the people I loved, made me feel alive.
That’s pretty much the way I spent that day, and the days after. Cooking, nurturing, feeding. And Crying. A lot of crying. The grief of those people on the streets searching for their loved ones. Seeing people jump from the ledges in desperation. I carried their pain.
Grief gave way to deep sorrow as I worried about the bloodshed I knew was now inevitable. Many more people would die for this, both Americans and Arabs. And 90% of them would be not our enemies, but every day people, shopkeepers, mothers, children, young boys who signed up for the military to get a college education. Thousands of innocents, who had nothing to do with this war, would die.
10 days after 9/11, I woke again at 6:30am with a song running through my mind. I got up and recorded it into a handheld recorder. This is the song that was somehow “given” to me as I slept that night.
(Produced, and all guitars and gorgeous string arrangements by my husband Troy Dexter)
As we fulfill this prophecy
‘til all the world is blind
We cry out in anguish to Gods of different names
but were we not cut from the same cloth?
We wage our battles until the price is paid
But what is the price for innocence lost?
And is that not my brother
that you buried?
he lies beneath the cross now
that all of us must carry
When did my brother’s blood run cold
To justify murder over holy land
To see his country bought and sold
In honor of all those lost on 9/11/01, and the thousands more in the ten long years since.