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Friday, September 9, 2011

The Day The World Stood Still

The Day the World Stood Still


by Angela C. orlando


That horrible time of year has come around again. It is a time
for remembrance and sadness. As the 10th anniversary of the
September 11th terrorist attack approaches, we ponder our
memories and ask our friends, "Where were you when the world
stood still?"

I was in bed, sleeping next to my husband. We were not morning
people. I was surprised to wake up to movements and find Greg
sitting up in bed. He was talking to someone on the telephone
and had the TV turned on.

I asked him what was wrong. He tried to tell me, but I
couldn't understand. I put on my cochlear implant
processor, and he tried again. I still didn't follow what
he was saying.

Finally, Greg got frustrated and pointed to the TV. I moved
closer to where I could read the closed caption. That's how
I learned about the attack.

The odd part was that I should have been able to hear
Greg's explanation once I put on my processor. I think I
did hear the words, but they didn't make any sense.
Hijacking... Buildings hit by planes... Thousands of people
dead... This kind of stuff doesn't happen in America. I
heard his words, but my brain wouldn't accept it.

Greg was never a sentimental person. He got tired of the
media coverage and all the fuss. He was in a bad mood that
day because normal life was suspended and that
inconvenienced him. Later in the day, he went back to bed
in order to escape the annoyances of a grieving nation.

I was in the living room, watching the news on the big TV.
Joseph, my baby, was only three months old at the time. He
was taking a nap in his play pen in the corner of the room.
I had the TV sounds down low so he could sleep.

Soon, I was distracted by a crying baby. I looked in the
play pen and was surprised to se Joseph wide awake and on
his back. He hated to be on his back. I had put him down
to nap on his tummy, because it was the only way he'd go to
sleep.


I consoled my little son and then turned him back over onto
his stomach. I was confused about how he got on his back.
He wasn't able to roll over yet. He settled down, and I
went back to watching the news.

A few minutes later, I heard Joseph cry again. Just like
before, he was on his back and quite unhappy about it. I
thought Greg must be playing a joke on me by turning over
the baby. I called out and looked for him, but he wasn't
around.

I turned Joseph over onto his stomach, but this time I
watched him out of the corner of my eye. After a few
moments, he lifted up his body. It took much effort for him
to push up high enough. Then he suddenly flipped over. He
was so happy, he giggled in glee. Then he realized he was
stuck on his back and began to fuss.

I laughed and gave Joseph many hugs and kisses. I was so
proud of his new accomplishment. Little did I know what I
was in for. Joseph loved to flip over but hated to be stuck
on his back. All day long we repeated the same routine - I
put baby down to sleep. He would push up high, flip
over, giggle, fuss and cry. I'd rush to the rescue, and
then we'd do it all over again. It was like our little
dance that day.

What do you remember about September 11th? Fear...
shock... Horror... Death... Destruction... Pain...
Grief... Outrage...

What do I remember about September 11th? It was the day my
baby learned to roll over onto his back. It was a milestone
for him. It was a human being doing something new for the
first time ever.

I learned something that day. They can hurt us. They can
kill us. They can terrorize us. But they can't stop us.
They can't destroy the human spirit.

In the midst of all that horror and pain, a little, tiny
baby did something special. He showed me that no matter
what happens, life will go on. We will triumph because
that's what humans do. Let us remember, rejoice, pray and
love. Ten years later, the world is no longer still.

Revised August, 2011

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