posted on Sep, 13 2015 @ 02:00 AM
I was picking up my two youngest kids from school, and had all the mothers rush up to me in front, coming to kiss me and say "I am so sorry for
I was perplexed and asked why. Someone said, there's been an attack upon your country! New York has been attacked!
I was sure there was a misunderstanding. Something had gotten lost in translation somewhere. I grabbed the kids and headed home.
My eldest was sitting in front of the tv, and turned with wide eyes to say, "Did you SEE this???"
I saw a plane sticking out of one of the Twin Towers, and flames. I was flabbergasted. For some reason, I made the assumption I was watching this
live, in real time. We saw another flying by in the background, and with my usual inappropriate humor that spurts out sometimes to relieve stress, I
said, "..and that one is going to fly into the other building."
Then it did. I was frozen, breathless. (and feeling guilty about my smartass joke). We watched the whole rest of the day, the fall.... the chaos. For
weeks, people around showed me sympathy here, as I was (for most) the only american they knew. I was just as freaked out as any other american, and
feeling personally attacked and insecure.
Then I talked on the phone with my father, and he said, "We Americans thank you for your sympathy."
That comment became as big for me as seeing that skyscraper fall, internally.
Up to that point, I had refused to integrate French society. I clung to my american thought patterns, values and beliefs. I did not take french
nationality, I did not get a french drivers license (I illegally drove only with my Calif. one, in a silent show of defiance). I was still sure I was
going to go back home still.
But with that comment, I realized I never would. The doors were closed. My family, my country, my origins, had rejected me, and my identification as
American was only in my head. For them, I was not included anymore.
So while my family saw that day as marking their change to being paranoid, opinionated, religious, right wing, it marked the moment I mourned the loss
of my roots, and began the process of getting the french nationality, drivers license, and a job here, with the view of the rest of my life outside
the closed doors of America.