I flew in from a conference Saturday night, really late.
I had chosen the remote parking lot of the airport and as I left the parking area, I recognized the location from the last time I was there in that exact spot. It was September 15, 2001. The scene was one of desolation, isolation, disbelief, and the eeriness of the area being deserted, with a wind blowing some rubbish through the area.
It caused me to reflect on the huge changes the attacks on 9/11 had caused and how daily life for all in the world changed.
I have tried to explain to my daughters about what happened, without scaring them too much but still feeling the need to emphasize the terror that reigned the attacks.
I tried to explain to Grace why the screeners took her bottle of hand lotion and tube of tooth paste that her cousin had packed for our trip to China. The sheer fear on her face as her items were grabbed and taken away will stay with me. That bad men had caused everyone to be afraid of some many things, including bottles of liquids, even hand lotion and tooth paste was too difficult to understand when you are 11.
I've been very careful about the discussions of the countries involved in the terrorist attacks and the fight that continues in those regions. My daughters have good friends from most of those countries.
Last night when I sat down to watch the weather I was shocked to learn the news that the man who had caused so much pain was finally caught and killed.
It was joyful seeing the people take to the streets to cheer and chant in support of the country rather than protesting and complaining. For a short time we were all united again.
In some ways I wish we were in a time and place like England celebrating major victories during World War II. Businesses closed, schools closed, and a time to rejoice the victories was made.
Instead life kept going on and when I tried to explain what had happened over night, Annabel was excited that we would no longer have to go through the long processes at the airports any more. I realized that initially I thought the same, only reality struck and instead of feeling like things had been solved, I felt a new sense of apprehension of the increased risk of retaliation.
I'm not sure my daughters got it, but they understood the derogatory remarks made about the ethnicity of their classmates. I love their school. It was stopped immediately and the strongest warning was made.
I know life has to keep going on. I guess I want to still have the hope and faith that Annabel has that removing this one person will help re-establish the peace, the calm, and the innocence that we had prior to those attacks. I just pray that it at least keeps going like it is. This is the new norm. I don't think we can go back.