10 years ago today we were preparing for my dad to go in for surgery. Josh was a baby and Shannon was pregnant with Maggie and due any day. We were over at mom and dad's and I was asleep when Martha came in asking if we'd heard about the plane crash.
That's what it was at the time. A crash. No one understood what was going on. I don't recall if dad was already in the hospital or if we were taking him. The morning was a blur, as most are as a young parent. We were about to have our second child in less than two years. I was 22 years old and overwhelmed. We had no idea what we were doing.
Anyway, at the hospital with dad it became clear what was going on. The second tower had been hit. Also, as I recall, the elevator was either not working or we were idiots because we took the stairs, my very pregnant wife and I, to visit him.
Between the stress of the terrorist attacks and the physical stress of walking the stairs Shannon went into false labor. Of course, we didn't realize it was false labor at the time. Heck, the contractions we even regular. We were sure we were having the baby. And we were already at the hospital.
Dad, recovering, was aware enough to know what was happening and mentioned that if we had the baby she would have the same birthday as my cousin Katie. My dad knows everyone's birthday. I don't know if he knew what was happening just yet to realize what other day this birthday would be forever linked with.
Of course the baby did not come. As these things go once we got a room the contractions had died down. Shannon wad not dilated enough to have anyone with any experience with this sort of thing to believe that a baby would be coming any time soon. In fact, the baby didn't even come that month. Shannon was induced on October first. She had always wanted a September baby. She didn't get it.
It's hard to believe it's been 10 years. It's hard to believe how divisive the country has become over that span. I can recall, as a liberal Democrat, rallying behind OUR President in the weeks, months, and years after. It is hard to imagine that happening now with political opposites burying their differences to celebrate unity in the midst of a crisis.
Life moves on. Things change. But I will never forget that day. Life and death fused together. We had the anxiety of my father being in the hospital with the world seemingly literally collapsing around us while also having the hope and promise of ushering another beautiful child into this chaotic world.