Posts Tagged ‘remember’

“OH MY GOD!!!”~ America, on September 11, 2001

For those of us who can remember, this day will never be forgotten. This generation has their own “Day of Infamy”.

Not since the attack at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, had their been such a deliberate and deadly attack on U.S. soil. 

And even though this tragic event still lies fresh in the minds of every American today, the world too… will never forget.

The Internet is full of commemorative articles, blogs, and posts today. Every American has their own haunting memories of that day of where they were when they had first heard about this attack. I already have read a few of them, and they have brought me to relentless and unending tears.

I recall writing about my own experiences after the fifth anniversary, in a blog on MySpace. And now, this is the tenth. I shall do so here in this blog. Please note: that all times listed are written in the Central time zone. This is very difficult for me, so please bear with me as I recall my own experiences, thoughts, and emotions.

Where was I on September 11th, 2001?

My story will actually begin a little bit before that. On the 20th of August. That day,  I had moved from a small town in southwestern Kansas over to Austin, Texas. My sister who had been here since she decided to go to college in Texas. Had been married a few years and had previously offered to come live with her, because the town that I was living in was only populated by less than 50,000 people in the entire county. Her proposal was for me to move into a much larger city area of over 1 million people. It would give more opportunity, more chances than where I was at.

So that day in August, was a Tuesday. I had taken the bus from Garden City, Kansas to Amarillo, Texas. From there, I flew to Austin, with an hour layover in Dallas. I mention the layover because I was placed in the front row by the flight attendants and the pilot had come over the intercom and announced that this was that aircraft’s “maiden voyage”. That airplane that I was on from Dallas to Austin, had never flown with passengers. And there I was in the front row. 

From that point, I was picked up at the Austin airport and began a new life. This was three full weeks from what was about to happen to America.

The night of the 10th of September,  I had stayed awake. I was still used to chatting with friends through all hours of the night, but now that I was living with other people, I had to wait until my sister and her husband were asleep before I could do that. Mainly, I still had contacts that I was communicating with who lived on the west coast.

Sherman Oaks & Los Angeles, California… as well as Portland, Oregon. Of course it was not “late” for them as they were two hours behind. So by about 3:00 AM on the morning of the 11th, my contacts on the west coast said ‘good night’, but I did not go to sleep. I still was trying to get used to my new area and surroundings. So I decided to try and unpack a few things and re-arrange things in my bedroom. But I did not go to sleep.

By 5:00 AM I had enough of being stuck in my bedroom. I went out into the living room to watch television, but with the volume low. But of course there’s nothing on at that time of day. By 5:30 AM, I went into the kitchen to attempt to surprise my sister and her husband by making breakfast for everyone. But there really wasn’t much to deal with. I ended up slapping together this really gross & disgusting mixture of hamburger meat and rice. I thought at least it was something.

That day was going to be an important day. I had been in Texas for three full weeks, but had not left the house except for one evening. Other than that, I was pretty much stuck there to that point. 

So that is probably why I was not able to sleep. Knowing that we would be leaving that morning early to go into Austin (as my sister lived out in the country). 

I remember hearing the alarm clock go off. My brother-in-law woke up and got ready for work. I started to prepare a plate of that culinary abortion that I made. But instead he just walked through the house and out the front door and left. He never said a single word to me that morning. Just walked right out the door. And I thought, “Jerk!”. 

So in an immature effort to get revenge, I ate that plate of food that was set aside for him. Not like that proved anything. It was terrible!!!

A little later, I heard the alarm clock going off again. My sister was waking up and I was getting excited to know that we were about to leave the house soon.

I had turned on the television again, but still there was nothing. So when my sister woke up, she turned it off. Geez.. thanks.

She was late and running behind, and we had to make a few stops before we could reach her work. She was going to be holding a presentation for something that she was involved in. But had to go to the store and the post office before reaching there. Hell, I was just glad that I was getting out of the house!!

The exact and very moment that we walked out the door to leave……… the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

We did not know about it.

As we drove the long roads, my sister had her radio tuned into NPR. But the volume was turned down very low as to make it easier for her and I to talk as we rode together. Two grumpy and tired siblings arguing with each other over silly little things. We had no idea what was going on in Manhattan or anywhere else in the world.

When my sister pulled into the grocery store parking lot, she left the keys there so I could listen to the radio. I was not about to listen to NPR, so I switched it over to 101X. I needed MUSIC!!

There was no music. Only talk. But I was not paying attention to it. Then finally after so many long minutes of commercials, which I thought was weird, the radio station started to play Alient Ant Farm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson.  So I turned up the volume. 

But it was stopped. Interrupted. I thought to myself, “Are they having technical problems?”.

A few moments later, they had repeated their reports that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. And then suddenly another voice jumped in and reported that they just heard that a plane had hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C.!!

I heard one of them scream out, “Jesus Fucking Christ! What the hell is going on??”…… live on the air. And I thought “Ohhhhh boy, the FCC is about to hand it to you guys.” 

My sister had been gone in the store for what seemed like an eternity. My mind was not processing what I was hearing. Scattered reports all over the radio station, and they were not making any sense. Nobody really could tell what was going on. All that they knew, that airplanes were crashing into places across the country and that this was no accident. This was no mistake. And I began to realize this too.

FINALLY my sister was walking back from the store. I rolled down the window and screamed at her, “WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

My sister just kinda smiled at me with a look on her face like “Oh really? That’s nice.” Why wasn’t she reacting in horror and shock as I was at that very moment when I had told her?

When she got into the vehicle and was hearing what I was hearing, she snapped to where I had been for several minutes: SHOCK & HORROR. She too then realized this was not good, that this was something that was being done to us on purpose.

Our younger brother was in the military and all we could think about was “Well, he’s going to war soon I bet.”

And he did.

I knew that because of this attack that we as a nation were going to get our justice, and that meant through military force. I myself, was ready to go after the bastards who pulled this stunt. But of course they were already dead. I knew though that something or someone was behind it all and they were still alive, and I was ready to go after them!

I noticed later on that there were no airplanes in the air that morning. I kept asking my sister over and over and over again if her workplace was in downtown Austin. I begged her mercilessly NOT to take me down there as I was not sure if Austin was going to be struck by these terrorists as well.

When we arrived, there was a television turned on, and I saw the World Trade Center buildings burning. What scared me so badly was the sight of people trapped above where the planes had struck, and they were hanging out of the windows. Several thousand feet above the ground, and they were hanging on to the side of the buildings for as long as they could before they either fell or jumped.

The vision of those who fell or jumped haunt me to this day. I am unable to watch video of it or look at pictures of people who have jumped or fallen.

But because I was there for a presentation, we went on as scheduled. It was rather quick though. I honestly believe that there wasn’t a person in the room that could actually concentrate on what was going on. Their minds as well as mine, too focused on what was going on and wanting to know more.

It was not long before the television was turned back on to watch the scene still unfolding in Manhattan. More people were falling or jumping and I wondered how in the world they could allow these journalists to film this and broadcast it on LIVE television? Eventually, it would stop. I would see a person begin to fall and then the image was changed to a different viewpoint.

I recall watching from a camera on a helicopter the pouring of flame and smoke from both towers. The repetition of showing footage of the second plane hit the tower over and over again. Then go back to the inferno that was still going. I remember seeing that these buildings appeared to be swaying back and forth just a little bit. Almost undetected by the reporters.

And then they fell. The first one and then the second one. I remember seeing the second tower shake a lot just before it began to collapse, I screamed out “THERE IT GOES! THERE IT GOES!!!”.

I wondered if it was all over with. I wondered if more was coming. I wondered many more things, just like anyone else in America. Who did this to us? Why??

The reporting was non-stop. Even as we went on with our day, it was centralized around a television set. Eventually as it grew dark and nothing more had happened. I wondered how long it would be before we were announced that we were going to war. I wondered about my brother who was stationed in Germany at the time. I wondered if he was about to see more action. But I knew that we would need our justice for these cowardly attacks. I felt a burning deep down that whomever it was that had done this…. was seriously going to get theirs. I just was scared about how much of it would be delivered by my brother and his company and unit and just how much involvement he would have.

And was this going to happen again somewhere else in the morning? Or possibly even overnight??

A few days following the attacks of September 11th, I noticed an eerie absence of airplane traffic and noises overhead that would normally pass over the house every stinking day. There was nothing going on. So silent. After a while of course, that would change and airline travel would resume. 

I laid in bed that very night of the 11th, replaying the vision of the second tower being hit over and over and over and over again. It just would not stop. And then I remember thinking to myself: “I’ve only been in Texas for three weeks and this happens!”. I became even more horrified  because the thought had occured that I was on an airplane just 21 days earlier. A new one at that! It scared me to death to even begin to fathom something happening to me on that day in August. What if these attacks would have happened then? Would I have been killed? Would I have been stuck in Amarillo, Texas without anywhere to go? The thought just crushed my spirit so much. 21 Days. Three full weeks. 

The terrorists wanted to change things. They had succeeded. America lost a lot that day. And there was no real reason for it. All because a group of people who lived somewhere else far away didn’t like America.  

It was probably a couple of months after September 11th that I spoke to my brother on the telephone. And I told him to wipe out every last one of them… if he was going to be deployed. I told him to fill these people with so much lead that whatever area they were engaged with, would be a waste land. He could sense my anger and frustration. And I think he understood it as he felt the same emotions.  

With each anniversary that passes, the memories and emotions and feelings get brought up so quickly. The sorrow of loss, and the anger and contempt against those who did this. 

We have our “Day of Infamy”. We all will remember and know how to answer the question “WHERE WERE YOU ON SEPTEMBER 11TH?”. When I recalled this story five years ago on MySpace, it felt like it just had happened last week. Now that it is ten years later, it feels the same… just a little further.

MILLIONS of us will be able to recall that day and what we were doing. Many of us will share. Some of us will mourn while the rest of us will pray. And as we should pray, think about those who suffered loss directly in New York, Washington D.C., and in Shanksville. 

This nation may cry every September, but we stand strong and will not stay down whenever we fall. We will rise again and again. Each time, we will become more and more victorious in the end. 




“Memory is a paradise out of which fate cannot drive us.”~ Alexandre Dumas, fils

I went to the grocery store the other day and I saw a bunch of strawberries, and thought of someone. I smelled a pizza being baked in the bakery, and thought of someone else. Then I could hear a song being played over the store’s intercom system, and thought of someone else. Strolling through aisle after aisle there was a mother having an argument with her child about why she would not buy any ice cream and overheard her reasoning. When she said the phrase, “That’s the way it is.”, I thought of another person.

I found my brain being driven into overload from the memories of certain people that these certain things were reminding me. Throughout my time inside that store, I thought of these people. I wondered what and how they were doing, how their lives were, and an overall curiosity of simply, them.

The human memory has got to be one of the most powerful things that our brain posesses. I started to wonder about human memory. I wondered why some people can remember a lot, and others cannot remember what they did an hour before.

I had always been told by my own family, “You have a memory of steel.” I can remember a lot. People, places, things. And in great detail. I think it drives my own family to the edge of either insanity or jealousy whenever my brain releases these memories to my thoughts and I begin to tell their tales.

The earliest memory that I have, I was either three or four years old. I was in double leg casts after having surgery and I was crawling around on the floor inside of the house because my family did not have a wheelchair. Dragging those “heavy plaster boots” around me wherever I decided to roam. Having to be picked up by my parents and placed at the dinner table, or on the couch to watch evening television and then being put into bed.

That’s as far as I can go with my memory. It is not as distinct and clear as a certain memory that I have created today when I went out for coffee and donuts. That was today, this childhood memory happened many, many years ago.

Still though, what is it about our brains and about certain things that will cause us to remember individual situations and times?

The brain does not actually remember things like specific dates, but rather it remembers what we were doing on those specific dates and we are able to connect and assimilate exactly when that was. It is the actions that causes the memory. Not the day of the calendar.

So it was driving me crazy. What exactly is it that causes us to remember?

There are certain “triggers” that cause our brains to remember things. Little bitty things that will make us stop and think about what we had done in our past and where we have been, where we came from.

These things are the following:

  • Sensory
  • Emotions
  • Background
  • Intellect
  • Visceral Sensory

You can look them up on your own time, if you wish to research it further. However I believe that Sensory has got to be the strongest trigger that our brain uses in order to remember things.

I could see, smell, hear, taste, and touch all of these individual things and the senses go into action that I would remember particular situations with these people. Specific conversations or whatever. Nevertheless, their images were in my head in an instant and they remained on my mind the rest of the day. My thoughts were that they were all doing okay in their scope of life and that they were happy wherever they were.

It all boiled down to pleasant things. My reaction was priceless when I realized that everyone or everything that I was “remembering”, I have a fervent passion for. And for each their own reasons.

I cannot explain why I have such the remarkable ability to remember a lot of things in which my family cannot. Or other people for that matter. But I have been blessed with it. One memory will turn into another, and then another, and then yet another.

Memories are flowing as I still write this post!

What is it that causes you to remember certain things? And what is your earliest memory??

“I can’t remember anything. Can’t tell if this is true or a dream.” ~ Metallica, “And Justice For All”.

This post is absolutely unplanned, and very much unscripted. But there’s a story that I want to share. Something that has me scratching my head and making me say “WOW!” for the past full hour now.

My original thought for a new post was going to be about memories. How we have them, how do they come to us, and what makes us have them. But my thoughts are still not satisfactory to the point where I want to write.

But this ties in. There was a song that I heard just yesterday that caused me to remember a time about ten years ago in my life. I’ll give you a quick history and then move on to what I think is just so shocking and perhaps a bit funny. But I’ll let you decide.

Ten years ago, I was corresponding with a young woman whom I had the biggest crush on at the time. It was nothing real, just a really big cyber crush. Someone that I had been chatting with on the AIM program and exchanging e-mails. Eventually, I felt at one point she had done me wrong by keeping secrets from me about what she was telling her family about me, and how she might have truly felt about me at the time, just hoping that it was reciprocation. It wasn’t but let’s move on.

I came to the point where I had made plans to move to Texas and I told her. Things really went south from that point. Once I moved, that was pretty much the end. Our time of nearly two years of chatting and corresponding every day had come to a close. All ties had been broken. All communication was over. That chapter in our lives was finished.

My infatuation of her (or at least the idea of her) held on for a bit longer, but it was battled by the fact that she had these secrets about me. Eventually that too, would die.

It had probably been about three years later that I decided I was going to contact her. Not knowing what she was doing, what she might say. I had figured that her life moved on just as mine had. I was actually anticipating that she was probably married and had children.

During that time that I did not speak with her, I saw my faults. I knew I had done her wrong at times. I was human and very immature back then. But I could see those errors that I had made that had caused the trauma between her and I. That actually was the intent of contacting her again. I was hoping for an opportunity to be able to apologize to her for being so irrational towards her life, her ways, and her actions.

Well, I found her. She contacted me back asking how I was doing and mentioned that it had been a long time. I didn’t mix words with her and went right for the throat, so to speak.

I went into detail about how sorry I was for my immaturity and asked her to forgive me. She turned around and said that she wanted to apologize for hurting me. I could have sworn but I think that we did forgive one another. And then just within a few e-mail exchanges she said she had to go and I didn’t bother her any more.

She was married as I had expected, and was pregnant with her first child. On this, I congratulated her.

Fast forward nearly seven years later until yesterday evening where I had heard this song, which is actually a male-female duet. I started having the memories of using AIM to chat, having a microphone there and talking with her. I would play the song on my stereo and turn the volume way up so the microphone would catch the sound and I would sing the male part and she would sing the female part.

Not the kind of memory that I feel would be resentment or anger back. But rather something that was pleasant for the both of us at the time.

So with the invention of Facebook since the last “encounter” for lack of a better term, I looked her up by using what I thought was her e-mail address. I would be successful in finding her yet again.

I sent a message saying that I had heard the song that she and I had sang so many, many, many years ago and it brought up pleasant memories.

How quickly she wrote back, saying that she was stunned and surprised that I would even still remember her. She took the time to apologize for hurting me, even though she acknowledged that it was probably something she didn’t really need to do. And I reminded her of the time where I had actually contacted her and we both forgave one another.

She went there, that fast!!! What was going on in her head that she would resort to the feeling of needing to apologize??

Then she admitted that she really had no memories of the time that she and I had spent chatting and corresponding. She was being honest and I let it go. Not everyone has a great memory like I do, I understand that. Plus it was just her “moving on”.

A few more exchanges and then she said that she had to go to bed because she now had two children and they would most likely have her awake pretty early in the morning. There was really nothing more to be said I suppose. Or maybe she was scared and went into a panic. After all, she has been married for the past seven years.

I sent her an ending salutation and waited to see what she was going to send as her ending salutation.

Several minutes passed and I thought it would be best to remove the message thread out of my Facebook inbox. It wasn’t necessary to hang on to. So the moment I went into the inbox, something went down. Something that I found extremely shocking.

She had blocked me.

The conversation was not filled with bitterness. It was not filled with anger. It was a very small conversation, which I realize now that was mainly about her, her marriage, and her two small children. And now she blocked me.

For her to do that seems a bit hypocritical of her lifestyle that I knew she had even back then. I don’t think that I did anything threatening towards her. I was not even entertaining the idea of trying to add her to my list of friends on Facebook. I merely was thinking about her because of this song that I had heard, and wanted to let her know about it … hoping that life was treating her well.

I realized several minutes after comprehending the block, that perhaps she did not grow up as much as she had claimed. It wasn’t making sense.

It’s getting to the point where I am laughing about it now, but the brain still is saying “WOW!! How cruel. There’s no excuse.”

So I suppose that’s going to be my highlight of the week in general. Perhaps time didn’t heal all of her wounds. Perhaps she was just trying to protect herself from the Inquisition of her husband of the past seven years, should he find out that she was corresponding with me. It could be any thing for any reason at all. It was just behavior I was not expecting out of her, based on her “love one another, forgive and forget”  lifestyle.

At any rate, I’m going to continue my research about memories and why we have them and what brings them up. Once I have everything that I need, I will be posting about them and I hope that you as the reader- enjoy it.

You can bet your money that the song that had caused this memory to come up about her will not be listened to or heard for a very, very, very long time. Instead of a pleasant moment in my past, sharing a duet over the Internet has now become a reminder of her shutting me out so that she makes sure that I never speak to her again. Naturally, that is her choice. But because of how I knew she would live her life and the things she would do was not mirrored by her actions so it is just, ………… WOW!!!!