Yesterday, 9.11.11, was my daughter Bella's birthday.
We had a family BBQ. Pup and The Big B sat in the living room and watched hours of football while Bella, Lorenzo, Lorenzo's boyfriend BT, and I commandeered The Big Room (which is so lovely I want to sleep with it - pictures someday I hope) and watched some crazy movie on the Netflix stream.
The two youngest young uns were a tad hungover we discovered while Bella and I planned our next outing, shoe shopping for her birthday present and another closet makeover and styling session for Bella.
Another fun family dinner with our family. And yes, it was on 9.11.
10 years ago on 9.11.01 it was my daughter's 19th birthday.
I had taken the day off from my downtown corporate job to stay home and make Bella's favorite meal, my homemade spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs. It takes all day to make the "gravy" and I wanted us to be able to eat at a normal time rather than the 6:30 or 7 when I would normally make it home from my long 2+ hour commute (still cannot believe that I used to drive around 4 hours a day back then).
I was upstairs making beds and getting dressed for the day. Lorenzo was in the living room downstairs waiting for ride to school while watching GMA.
"Mom! I'm leaving! You better turn on the television. Something is happening."
I went downstairs and turned on the television. Of course, nothing's been the same since.
I don't remember too many details on how I felt that day. Numb, dumbfounded, incredulous. Our family had no direct connection to New York except a love of the city we had visited a time or two. Watching everything unfold I did feel like I had a connection. How could I not? This was way beyond that. This was everything we ever held dear to our hearts.
Our freedoms, our unshakable belief that we live in the best country in the world, our core values.
I do remember spending the entire day in suspended disbelief. Maybe not truly drinking in what this would mean from that moment on.
And I was angry. So angry. As the day spun away and we all waited for word, I wanted everything to be fixed. Fixed. I had no idea how broken everything was.
So, yesterday, we did celebrate our Bella's 29th birthday. We laughed and cried at a dumb movie. We endured Pup's constant haggling (annoying, lovely man), we ate burgers, pasta salad, awesome little wonton thingys Lorenzo made.
Pup hung a new flag on the front of the Chez Emerson.
In the back of my mind I thought of how it's been in the past 10 years.