11 September 2006 I find myself joining the rest of the country in reflection this day. One of the ads last night asked “Where were you?” I was out taking care of Pawn, oblivious of what was happening. The girl whose mare shared the pasture with the owner’s two mares and Pawn arrived as I was finishing up grooming Pawn. She told me about the World Trade Center, and I didn’t believe her. I thought it was a sick joke. Then the owner came out and said that the Pentagon had also been hit. I couldn’t believe it at first, and yet, it slowly began to sink in. I put Pawn away and went to my car; I still needed to pick up my work for the day. I rolled down my window; it was hot already at 8 or 9am. I turned on the radio in my car, and there was no music, only news. I turned onto the main road and cars passed me going the other way with their windows rolled down and I could hear they were listening to the same thing I was. I hadn’t gone even a quarter of a mile and I found myself asking the radio, “What airlines?” One of my friends is a pilot for Southwest Airlines. The last time I’d talked to him, he was flying a route to the East Coast. Never had picking up work taken so long. As soon as I got home I turned on the television and picked up the phone. Suddenly it occurred to me that my friend might think me an idiot for bothering him, but I had to know he was all right. I comforted myself by believing I’d get his answering service so I’d not have to endure embarrassing myself personally. Then he answered the phone. He told me that he’d only just turned it on. He was in San Diego, and their flight had been grounded before it had even taken off, and yes, he was fine. We didn’t chat long; but I was so relieved he was all right. He needed to go check in, and I figured others would want to check on him as well. He hadn’t been embarrassed by me worrying about him. Yes, he’d served in the military and was very capable of taking care of himself, but he didn’t mind that I cared. I still check up on him once in a while, especially when I hear about particular events occurring. I just want to be sure he’s all right. I had a cousin who was supposed to be at the WTC that day, but he was taking his parents to the airport. Life changes in a heartbeat.
12 September 2006 One month. Cycled 22 miles today, then walked to the credit union and to vote. I’m terribly tired, and I’ve had a headache all day. Ibuprofen has finally dulled the worst of it. I’m home alone and grateful for the quiet and lack of intrusions. I miss my baby. I made it from Minas Tirith to Isengard today and am now on my way to Rivendell.
13 September 2006 “The hardest part of living...is learning where you truly belong and finding the courage to live there.” Betina Krahn. Where do I belong? Not here, I know that, but where?
14 September 2006 Another 22-mile day, and I did much better. I’m getting used to it again. I could smell fall in the air today. It feels good.
15 September 2006 How I miss my dear MissB. I’ve gained back all the weight I lost, despite biking and walking and physical therapy. I’m also unbelievably stressed. God help me.
16 September 2006 I am tired beyond words. I’m not sleeping particularly well. I woke at 2:45am this morning, just like I used to.... it was almost as if I heard MissB... I walked with Ruth this morning. I think we’ll be ready. MissB’s extra food and such are being picked up this evening, and God help me, I pray I can do it without sobbing uncontrollably. This is outside my realm of experience. What a paradox! I am so grateful I had her for so long, and if God offered to let me have her another month, I’d say “no” because I knew how spent she was and yet I want her back but not.... not like she was. I can’t complain because I did enjoy her for so long. There are things I would change. I would let her cuddle.... I would enjoy her enthusiasm more.... I would have found Dr. Little a lot sooner! I would let go of the anger.... that is one I can do now and will. It will not hold me any more. MissB taught me better ways, and I will honor her by embracing fully the love she offered.... a pure, all encompassing love, straight from God.
17 September 2006 When was the last time I curled up with a book all day? It feels good. I’m glad I was able to pass along MissB’s extra things, a last gift.