Every year about this time, I find that things become increasingly irrelevant to me. Time moves in slow motion, it’s a little harder to laugh, and my mind drifts away. Nothing feels as important as it should but it’s only because I’m remembering what happened on that wonderfully blue September morning.
I think in the ten years that have passed, I have blogged on each anniversary of 9/11, never articulating how I actually feel in a way that I’ve like. I’ve finally come to realize that it’s because it’s impossible to write emotion, you can only show it.
I was 21 years old when our world changed. I had all the trust in the world, all the faith in our country and nothing to fear when those planes flew into buildings.
I started the morning watching tv with my mom upstairs as events quickly unfolded, but I eventually made my way to our soft, blue leather couch some point during the day. I curled up in a blanket and stared at the television for three straight days. I didn’t sleep, I just stared, in awe of what going on. I watched the rescues, listened to survivors tell their stories and learned about the victims.
On day three, I shed my first tear as the carpet cleaners arrived to the house. The funeral was beginning for Father Mychal Judge (the FDNY Chaplain), and I lost it. I saw the FDNY in their dress blues, the pomp and circumstance, and I cried. What started with a tear turned into a sob because the reality of what happened hit me all in that moment. I cried even harder when I learned my dad lost friends he had known since I was little.
The biggest impact for me was the loss of Kip Taylor. I was telling my dad tonight how it’s amazing to me how a person who I met as a kid has had such an everlasting effect on me at age 31. My dad quickly reminded me that I had such great memories of Kip because he was genuinely a great guy. It helps that he was enormously tall with bleach blonde hair which kind of made him unforgettable. :)
My dad and Kip were stationed together in Indianapolis and quickly became friends through a mutual love of golf and basketball. My dad would take me to a lot of his work things (the army did fun stuff back in the day), and Kip was just…magic. He was fun, he was loud, and he was someone you just wanted to be near. My most vivid memory was him talking to me as I looked up at him one afternoon. I don’t remember where we were or what we were doing, but at 6’5”, he blocked the sun entirely and was a giant silhouette with sunshine beaming all around him. Could there be a better memory?
I’m always saddened this time of year not just for the loss of Kip, but for the loss of everyone as well as the loss of comfort and safety we had in this country. The world as we knew it ended that day and it’s a sad reality. We move on and we continue to live, but our lives will never be the same.