The Question of the Week is usually posted on Monday mornings. As I write this post, I thought it would be appropriate to post this week’s question earlier in order to honor the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
Like some of you, I remember 9/11 as if it happened yesterday. The sun was shining brightly and there was not a cloud in the sky. That day, I walked my 9 -year -old son to the bus stop and waited for him to safely take his seat on the bus. I walked back to my house, got into my car, and drove to a PTA meeting. What happened in the next hour would change our lives forever.
Prior to 9/11, I remember being annoyed at the media circus surrounding the recent disappearance of the Washington intern Chandra Levy, and the possibility of Representative Gary Condit’s (D-CA) involvement with her. NOTE: She was later found murdered, a suspect was found guilty, and Rep. Condit’s life was shattered forever. This tragic story would soon be relegated to the back pages of national newspapers.
On the morning of September 11, 2011 at 8:46 am, a plane hit the North Tower of The World Trade Center. Seventeen minutes later a second plane hit the South Tower. Back at my PTA meeting, a woman flew into the room screaming, “We’re being attacked!” I felt panic-stricken, and my first reaction (like other mothers at the meeting) was to take my son out of school and bring him home in case of an attack. I did just that. Next, I tried calling my brother who was doing business in Manhattan that day. The phone lines were down. Once at home, I watched the news reports in horror as the events of the day unfolded. All we could do was wait. A long, agonizing, horrific wait. I knew we had many commuters in our town and the surrounding towns who worked in New York City. We waited to hear who was safe and who was “missing”. As the week progressed, many stories unfolded - stories of people waking up late to get to work and realizing that missing their bus had saved their life. Stories of walking down endless amounts of stairs and escaping a fate their colleagues did not escape. Unclaimed cars left in Park-N-Rides. People walking across town and over the George Washington Bridge to get home. We later learned that New Jersey lost 746 people that day.
After that day, we all felt a devastating sense of loss, whether it was for a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, or someone else’s loved one. Our country’s innocence was gone and life would never be the same again.
The events of September 11, 2001 will, and should never be, forgotten. We will never forget the people who lost their precious lives that day. We will keep them in our hearts. We will pray for their loved ones and hope they may somehow heal, if even a little bit, to finally find the peace they so deserve.
My question of the week: How do you handle stress and your MS while experiencing grief, or an unexpected death? If you lived through 9/11, would you like to share your recollection of that day, and whether it affected your MS? Lastly, do you have any coping mechanisms that you use to handle great amounts of stress - spiritual, religious or otherwise? We’d love to hear your stories. It is within our HealthCentral community that we all should feel safe and cared for. May you all find inner peace. Let us all hope for a better tomorrow
Question of the Week by Cathy Chester - Health Patient Expert