11 September 2011

Guest Blogger: Far From Perfect Mamma on 9/11

Let me introduce you to Leah at Far from Perfect Mamma. When I put out the call for guest bloggers, Leah emailed me and said she would like to write a post about her experience as an American who was here in New Zealand on 9/11. She said she had been reluctant to write a post about this, but when she saw my request for guest posts she felt prompted to try. She wanted, she said, to express her thanks to the country that welcomed them with open arms when they were far from home at a time when their country was under attack. How could I refuse?

Here is her post. I think you'll find it touching and heart warming, as I did.

where I was and what I heard

It was September 12, 2001 early morning, I think about 6:00am. I could hear my mom crying…then I heard “Oh MY GOD, DEAR LORD!” It wasn’t the crying, it was what she said and the emotion behind the cry that rattled me out of bed

She and my dad had the TV on and were trying to figure out what they were seeing…The World Trade Center falling. “What th….????”

It was a video, not live, so we were a bit confused until the newscast finally put up a timeline of events

the pit in my stomach…the tears that fell

the phone calls we made home
the emails coming and going

We didn’t leave our apartment for 2 days, close to the TV, computer and phone, our only connection to really knowing what was going on.

When we did leave the house to run some errands the sound of a siren on the street which made me jump and my heart beat ever so fast.

We were on the other side of the world…so far away from home, yet close to those who made us feel so close to home
our second family coming over to lighten the mood, express their love for us, our family, our country

Wanting to celebrate America and their love for our country too: Coke & Oreos. Also included was a beautiful bouquet of Rosemary…just Rosemary. A symbol of remembrance

So simple, so kind, so perfect for our confusion, hurt, pain.

just a few months prior I was traveling in Europe, embarrassed when people realized I was an American. I felt judged…it’s hard to explain.

However, on THIS day, the pride I felt when we hung the last USA flag left to purchase in the city on our deck bannister outside. We were not looking for condolences, but we were looking for other US nationals to unite with. Just as everyone back home was. It brought us closer to home. We displayed it PROUDLY.

I didn’t lose any family or friends in 911, and I have no idea what this anniversary is like for people who did lose someone.

However, the fact that our Nation lost a great deal, and I am part of our Nation.

Regardless, I do know that this Ten Year Anniversary of 9/11/01 is painful for everyone who loves our Nation, a Nation that lost a great deal.

I didn’t want to participate in any of our local activities this year to “remember”, nor watch any specials on TV recalling e a c h   a n d   e v e r y   m o m e n t. Why stir up that emotion? Even just seeing the commercials announcing events stirs me and causes me to swallow that rock….you know….the one that keeps the tears away?

We will each grieve in our own way, as well as celebrate in our own way. Celebrate? Well, yes. Actually I believe that even though situations may be extremely difficult, I need to find cause to celebrate life. Each breath that I take is reason to celebrate.

My life is nowhere close 10 years ago to what it is today. Things are totally different. Yet, it is a part of who I am today.

because I want to remember to celebrate:
My freedom
My Family
My Blessings
My Nation
My Life
My God

Yes, I remember September 12, 2001. I was in Auckland, New Zealand.

My second family who showered us with love
The picture of the US Embassy showered with flowers and miniature flags of condolences
New Zealand lost some people too, just about every nation did.
When one grieves, others will surround and support to make you stronger. May it be a person or a Nation

Thank you New Zealand for welcoming us to your land and surrounding us with love and support.

Thank you Reid family for being WHO YOU ARE.

{Thank you Simone for giving me a little nudge to write a post I wasn't planning to write.  And to give a little something to a country which I am proud to call my second home.}

Thank you Leah, for sharing your heart with us. 
Lovely readers, I hope you'll go over and share some love with Leah. She's a relatively new blogger and I know she'd love some more visitors. When you visit, please say hi from me :)

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Neetz said...

What a beautiful, yet very sad post. Such an awful awful event, and like Leah, I remember VIVIDLY where I was when I heard. I also remember going to work (I was nursing in Taranaki then), and just comforting our American staff mates, and a couple of American patients also..... So so sad, and GREAT POST LEAH!! Thanks.

Leah, aka, Far From Perfect MaMMa said...

Thank you Neetz. I hope you realize how appreciative we (Americans) were that day, yet we also knew that NZ lost some people as well. Everyone did. It did bring MOST of the world together for a short time (unfortunately).

Melissa said...

that was a beautiful, moving, wonderful post...

we live abroad from where we were born also- and i totally understand your feelings for your country at a time of such sadness....

melissa x

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