The day began like any other since my mother’s passing. My sister and I, who is in her senior year at high school and me who had just begun as a freshman a few months back, got off the school bus at 8.45 in the morning. Today promised to be a better day than the last. Every day was getting better since my mother’s death. It had been a hard year, but things were slowly starting to look up. My father was talking again and no longer teary eyed, my sister was not rebelling and leaving the house at odd hours of the night. Me, I was just starting to get my life on track too. Today would be better. I just knew it. Little did I know it was about to get worse.
About two years ago, our mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our whole family was devastated, but we decided to fight the problem together, as a family. It seemed that no matter how hard we fought, the cancer always won. It took over her body and made her a pale, ghost of her former self. About a year ago, we lost our fight with cancer and our mother was taken away from us. Our family was never quite the same. We had lost that one person who held us together. Our mother was a rock. Needless to say, we were lost. However, over the months, we bonded closer, as a family and I think, became stronger. With time, we got over the shock of losing her and began the process of living life without her.
The day my whole world changed, for a second time, dawned with sunshine and birdsong. I was happy for the first time in a long time and was looking forward to my first year of high school. I sat in my first class of the day and day dreamed about school and the boy I had a crush on. Then, through my daydreaming I hear a commotion. Our homeroom teacher stepped out of the class and, as we too were curious about the commotion, stepped out to see what was going on. I was clueless for a few seconds, and then I heard something that made my body feel cold and cover itself with goose bumps. A plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers! For a minute, I could not move. I stood and stared while a sea of people rushed around me.
My breath caught in my throat and I felt a scream climbing up that I just couldn’t control. It came out as a keening wail that just would not stop. I felt arms closing around me and vaguely became aware of my friend, Lisa. She had tears in her eyes and she was saying something to me. I just couldn’t comprehend what it was. I stared at her blankly and knew my world had just ended.
I was not the only one crying and screaming that day, the 11th of September, 2001. There were so many like me. They were either in shock or in tears. We could see the smoke rising from the area where the Towers were and shock became disbelief when we heard another plane had crashed into the other Tower. People were running around and I knew I had to find my sister. She would be upset too. While I was looking for her, I saw the black smoke cloud that formed above the Towers and saw it falling. It was surreal. Through my shock, I managed to walk towards my sister’s class and found her staring at that black cloud with tears coursing down her face. She turned her head and looked at me and we embraced knowing that our lives will never be the same again.
They say life goes on. But, does it? It has not, for my sister and I. We have been struggling to figure out our lives from that day. It’s been ten years since my encounter with terrorism. Ten long years of loss and sadness. Our lives changed drastically on that day. You see, our father worked in one of the Twin Towers.