|On 9-11-18, what appears to be the One World Trade Center, pokes into the sunrise.
The plane’s engine takes up the foreground.
Where were you the morning of 9-11?
Seventeen years ago I was teaching an 8th-grade science class at the International School of Mazapan.
A breathless student bolted into the classroom announcing, “One of the towers has been hit!”
“What tower?!” I exclaimed.
“The Twin Towers!” he gasped while dashing out of the classroom.
On this day 17 years ago–and despite being surrounded by 27 hormonally-charged teens–I felt the most alone sensations that I had ever experienced then, or now. Scary territory.
I put a student in charge and ran to the administration office!
The emotional hurricane that made landfall on my heart literally hurt.
I did watch in horror– all of it–live on TV with colleagues huddled around a 17″ TV screen in the Teacher’s Lounge.
I did decide that day to return to the states after finishing my year of teaching. My plans to leave Honduras and teach at the Guatemala International School went up in smoke like Manhattan’s clouds of grey ash!
I did yearn to close my eyes and imagine that I was watching a movie. And if that wasn’t possible, I wanted to close my eyes and wake up in St. Petersburg, FL.
It never happened.
And I did return home a year later to a country forever changed.
What decisions did you make that day?
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As I walked back to the classroom, I felt like the unmanned skiff above, floating away from the “Known Island” on the horizon.
I felt like a cork bobbing on the ocean…small, powerless and out of control.
I felt like a Benedict Arnold for not being in my country.
My aching to be back in America shifted to full throttle.
How did you feel?
Here are four, forever expatriate takeaways from 9-11:
* I learned that feeling “safe” is an illusion.
* I refueled my patriotic love and pride of being an American.
* I remembered that the family is everything.
Be near and just love them because…
P.S. My prayers for healing continue streaming to all those who lost loved ones that day and for our collective loss of feeling secure and safe. Prayers also continue for all those who would harm anyone in this way.
P.P.S. You’re invited to join my Writer’s VisionQuest--a women’s free, private Facebook group. Our intention is to “transform your words into somewhere brilliant.”