Where were you when the world stopped turning?

“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?” sings Alan Jackson.

Today has been one of reflection on those moments that forever leave their mark on your soul. I remember exactly where I was that morning. Just as I remember exactly where I was when I heard that the USA was bombing Baghdad. And when the space shuttle fell out of the sky. Moments of our collective history.

I also remember where I was when my personal world stopped turning. When an airplane crashed into the Sunvalley Mall. When my brother and his family drove away from California, listening to the same Rascal Flatts song that was also playing in my car. The moment my dad died and I thought I would too, right then and there. When Tye and all my animal companions drove up the gravel road, and I held onto the gate and sobbed.

Today has also been one of reflection on the resilience we humans can demonstrate. How pride in our country exploded in showers of red, white and blue. How we rallied together and held each other up both physically and emotionally. How we shared tears, stories, memories and songs. How saying ‘see you later’ felt safer than saying ‘goodbye’. How it all of a sudden became just a little bit easier to tell our friends that we loved them for no other reason than to just make sure they knew.

As I tuck each one of these memorable moments back into the place in my heart where I keep them, I marvel at how they are still tender to the touch but not quite as painful as they once were. My world did stop turning, but then somehow, ever so slowly, it started up again.

glass brickGlass Brick at the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA

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3 Responses to Where were you when the world stopped turning?

  1. Tye says:

    Soon our worlds will turn in unison again.

  2. That is what is going to sustain me this week.

  3. allyn says:

    thisis an incredibly thoughtful reminder. thank you for sharing. on the 9/11 i was in seattle. my friend called me at 7 in the morning to tell me to turn on the television and said nothing more. i watched the screen feeling nothing; as if it was a motion picture sure that couldn’t possibly be true. i didn’t see color but black and white images of destruction that couldn’t possibly exist. as if i needed the armour of incredulous-ness, i dressed for work, had my breakfast and took the bus into the office. few were there. the few that were had their eyes glued to the television or ears pressed against the radio listening to every single detail. no dialogue. there was just an eerie quiet. i looked out the window and braced myself for the feeling. and it still did not come. i continued work and eventually came home. the feeling still did not come. not after dinner. not after the shower to wash the day away. i wondered if the lack of emotion meant i was slowly dying and just didn’t know it. the next morning my mom called. she uttered the words, “how are you? are you ok?” and that’s when the flash flood of tears arrived. i had no words; just quiet sobbing that she seemed to understand. 9/11 seemed to last a lifetime. its impact personally and world wide will never be erased. in the tragedy, everyone found hope. in the destruction, people learned to feel again. that kind of significance is a continued hallmark of americans, our country and personal struggle to make it in this world. i’m truly for grateful for that; as well as this posts’ reminder to honor all of it.

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