Wednesday, October 19, 2011

don't look up


{everyone was in a rush. no one was taking time to stop and smell the roses. on that day, there
wasn't any roses. especially in that damp stairwell. the frail hands of the elderly clutched the railing as they made their way down. and i wonder... were they cautious? were they stumbling down it unbalanced? who helped them? }

i stood there. not believing my eyes. i felt the tears coming. (and i do NOT cry.)

it's the front of the store at Lowe's, waiting for mom. i had mosied over to the small magazine rack by the do it yourself books.

one caught my eye. Time magazine. remembering 9\11. special edition.

i picked it up and slowly paged through it. drinking each and every picture in.

i was shocked.

their faces were somber. they echoed the look of get to safety, get to safety... just make it out of here alive. everyone had an urgent look about them. there were people with pieces of clothing to their mouths, handkerchiefs, whatever they could find... trying not to suffocate from the smoke.

in one hazy picture, it looked as if a very large group were out for a jog. except for the fact that they were all sporting very nice suits and business outfits, purses slung over shoulders, couples embracing each other as they ran. this was not a very enjoyable morning run. no one had planned this form of "exercise" in their own personal day's events.

a man with a camera.

he was present in one of the towers. as he made his way down the enclosed stairwell with so many others as the tower threatened to collapse, he snapped pictures. the faces were ones of fright of the unknown. seeing those wrinkled, aged hands holding that seemingly endless railing will forever be etched in my mind.

and then the firefighters. oh the glorious firefighters. such brave men, lugging up their equipment in that tiny stairwell as the ones coming down, trying to escape the building, hurried down on the opposite side. the firefighters pressed on and the story told of how most were already at the point of exhaustion before doing anything once they reached the upper levels of stairs. i couldn't fathom how they did it. so, so brave.

the man with the camera kept on down. he reached the bottom. inside the building, it seemed snow white. the dust from the collapsing and burning buildings covered everything. he kept on outside where so many more brave emergency medical men and women were hurriedly directing the escapees to safety (if that was possible).

"don't look up, keep moving! keep moving!" the first responders yelled.

the man with the camera looked up. and immediately regretted it.

a person had jumped from the massive building and was falling down, down, down. the man with the camera jerked his head back down and vowed to not look up again.

i felt like crying. these were all true stories and there were many more like them, just horrifying. the pictures, oh the pictures. i just couldn't believe my eyes.

but those words echoed in my mind. don't look up. (shudder)

i walked out of Lowe's that day with a different feeling than when i had walked in. maybe even a different perspective. i had witnessed the events of 9\11 from a distance that morning as customers rushed by in their focused frame of mind, to-do lists in hand. i felt scarred. and still do.

as they say may we never forget, i know in my heart that i can't forget.



Purposely at Home said...

speechless. i would have you already know. ;) love ya girlie.

Anonymous said...

Tears* I was a freshmen in college when this happend. Will never forget either.

Elisabeth said...

thanks for sharing this - sometimes it hurts to remember so many people choose to forget, but its important that we don't.

Mrs. Ham said...

something about 9/11 always gets my attention. i love hearing the stories of how people survived. it's incredible. i can't imagine that day and what it would have been like to be there. it's so weird to me that my little brother in law wasn't alive then and we talk about it now and tell him what happened. it seems like it was just yesterday.

Jamie said...

This is beautifully written.