September 10, 2001. The last day of the time that will now be known as pre 9/11.
It was a Monday. I was cursing other cars on the road, cursing Blogger, which I had just switched to, just cruising along on a normal Monday.
Later, DJ's baseball game was rained out after it started and I attended a "meet the teacher" night at the middle school Natalie had just entered.
It was just an ordinary Monday and I went to sleep that night thinking that the next day would be just an ordinary Tuesday.
It may sound cliched, even dramatic, but that was the last ordinary day I had in the past year.
The reminders are always there. There are still banners, now frayed and weather-worn, hanging from overpasses. There are still flags, though not as many, waving from car antennas. There is the news, every day the news, and heightened states of terror alerts and bin Laden's face always peeking at me from one news website or another.
There hasn't been a day in the past year when I haven't thought about. When I haven't stared at the laminated card from Pete Ganci's funeral that sits in its place on my car visor.
September 10 was the last day I took my freedoms for granted, the last day I looked at planes flying low above my house with awe instead of fear, the last day that a beautiful fall morning with a clear blue sky would not evoke desperate memories.
It was the last day that my children knew of life without fear of terrorism. The last day that they felt true childhood innocence, the last day that they were too young to care about world politics.
It was an ordinary day. It's as if one day you were running through tall blades of grass with barefeet, spinning and dancing and celebrating the warmth and the next day there was winter and ice and blackened skies.
The storm never cleared. The clouds still hang overhead, always threatening, never quite storming. But they are there.
I want to run through the grass of September 10, 2001 again. I want life to feel ordinary.