Seeing the images again on the television.....it doesn't seem like it's been ten years.
It was such a shock. Such a horror. I feared for my cousin's life. He worked just a few blocks from ground zero and made frequent trips to the World Trade Center. He was OK. He had to walk a number of miles back to his apartment. But he was OK. And when he was finally able to contact my aunt by cell phone she was able to stop hysterically pacing the floors of her small apartment, praying for his safety while clutching her crucifix and statue of the Blessed Mother.
I found out when my sister called me, practically shouting into the phone, "DO YOU HAVE THE TV ON?!?!"
Seeing the collapse of the towers over and over again on the television as we watched for more details about the rescues, the terrorists, etc, I had not realized how traumatic the scenes were for my young daughter. Mary was six at the time.
Several weeks after the attack I was sitting in a doctor's office at the University of Michigan Medical Center. I don't even remember why we were there. The news came on that a plane had crashed in New York City-- a private plane, I believe it was, terrorism was not suspected, you know, the usual lines.
The fireball of the wreckage was being broadcast over the news. Mary was watching, quietly crying, asking an occasional question, a look of great anguish on her face.
Apparently someone at the reception desk spotted Mary's face. By this time a number of people were gathered around the television, maybe 20 or 30. The waiting areas in this medical center are adjacent to the main hallways so everyone going by was stopping to watch the TV for news of what had happened.
This receptionist, God bless her, came out from behind her desk, looked right at Mary and said, "Would you like to watch Sesame Street?" Mary, all teary-eyed nodded yes. The receptionist walked right up to the TV, switched it to Sesame Street, and walked right back to her desk without so much as a glance at the stunned faces of all the adults who were waiting for more information about the crash. I glanced up at the woman as she walked by and mouthed the words, "Thank you." She just gave me a quiet, gentle smile.
God bless her. A child was upset. There was no one in that group who needed to know immediately what had happened. She cared more for the child, my Mary. She was one of those people who just understands that the needs of children come first.
God bless her. It was a simple, small act of gentle kindness. It was also an act of courage. How many of us would ignore the desires of a room full of adults in favor of the needs of one small child. God bless. her.
I think I've written about this incident before. Sorry for the replay if you remember my previous post. :-)