Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11... sometimes bad things can lead to good things...

Well, it's been twelve years since that fateful day in 2001... I wrote about what I was doing that day last year.  Last year's post is kind of gushy and emotional.  It was a personally tragic day for many Americans and a terrifying day for all Americans.  The world has changed so much since 9/11/01 and not so much for the better.  America really lost her innocence when those terrorists carried out their horrible plans to attack.

And yet, for me, 9/11/01 marks the day things changed for me, too.  On that day, Bill and I were still mostly Internet buddies.  We actually met online on what many would consider an adult site.  The site no longer exists today, but for a long while, it was an interesting place to meet people.  We "met" in November 1999, when we were both lonely.  The site had a chat room and that was where we bumped into each other.  Oddly enough, despite the adult nature of the site, very few people were chatting about nasty things.  Mostly, it was just intelligent people talking amongst each other.  The nasty stuff usually went on in private.

I had found the site right after I bought my very first computer.  I was in graduate school, ridiculously inexperienced in sexual matters, and curious.  Bill had just rejoined the military and separated from his ex wife.   He was lonely and sad.  I remember Bill was in the "room" the first or second time I visited.  We hit it off right away.  I remember after I had chatted with him for a few months, he sent me a long email explaining about his now ex wife and kids.  He was sure I would hate him.

I remember writing back and telling him that though I was shocked by these revelations-- I had no idea he was married-- it was none of my business.  Our chats were never sexual in nature and had been entirely platonic, though I did feel a few sparks.  I never thought I would actually meet him, though.  The Internet was still very new to me and I sure wasn't thinking I'd want to meet some guy I met on a porn site.

A few months later, Bill's ex served him with divorce papers (over Easter, no less!).  About a month before his divorce, he had to come to Columbia, South Carolina on business.  Columbia is where I was studying for the two master's degrees that have made me overeducated.  I was to be out of town the one day he was visiting.  I was actually happy I wouldn't be around because I still wasn't comfortable meeting Bill.  In retrospect, it was a good thing we didn't meet in 2000.  It would have been hard to go back to chatting after that.

A year later, Bill was divorced.  We were still chatting.  He had to come back to South Carolina on business.  That time, I agreed to meet him.  I remember opening the door to my apartment and there he stood, dressed nicely.  He gave me a warm hug.  I remember thinking that hug was very comforting... and comfortable.  Over the course of a few days, we had a few dates.  We got along very well and everything was very polite and innocent, despite where we met.

A couple of months later, Bill was transferred to the Pentagon from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  He got there just in time for 9/11.  I'm not going to rehash what happened on that day here, since I already did that last year.  Suffice to say, Bill was in the building on 9/11, in the wedge that got hit.  He was in one of the inner rings, thank God; had 9/11 happened a few weeks earlier, he might very well have died or been hurt.  His office was originally in the area that was hit.  I didn't know where Bill was all day and didn't know if he had survived.

I remember being very relieved when I got an instant message from him at around 9:00pm, letting me know that he had survived the attack.  After 9/11, Bill and I decided we needed to tell more people about our relationship... and a few months after that, we were engaged.

9/11/01 changed everything.  It changed lives forever and indelibly left a mark on the United States and its citizens.  For me, personally, it was the start of some good things.  It seems odd to say that now, as I watch on television, people with tears in their eyes and listening to "Taps".

Sometimes bad things really can be followed by blessings.        





6 comments:

  1. Thank God he wasn't in the outer portion anymore.
    I've blogged about my experiences at a Catholic school as a 2nd grader that day and I hate reliving the day, but it's something that's indelibly in your mind.

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    1. No kidding. For the second time in his life, angels were working overtime to look over Bill. The first time was when he was sixteen and got run over by a friend who drove his Subaru Brat over Bill's chest.

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  2. Over his chest and he survived? My aunt was run over as a child when she put on her cross-country skis in a North Dakota winter, then fell in her neighbor's driveway as the neighbor was backing out. The lady backed right over both her femurs, but she sunk a bit in the snow, and the femur is also the largst and strongest bone in the human body, so she escaped with bruises. But the chest? All sorts of things could have gone wrong. It sounds as though he's used up at least two of his nine lives.

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  3. Yes, when he was sixteen, his buddies were all messing around drinking beer. One of them had a Subaru Brat and didn't see Bill standing behind the car. He backed over Bill's chest. Fortunately, they were in gravel, so Bill sank. He ended up with a collapsed lung and two crushed vertebrae in his back. His eyes were all bloody from the pressure. He also says he had a near death experience. That may be why he's such a great guy.

    Just got back from the dentist. Have to get a crown and a new filling. Fortunately, it's cheaper to get that done in Texas than it was in Virginia.

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  4. If he or you are willing to share, sometime when there's time, I'd love to hear what his experience was like. As it is, I'm terribly afraid of dying, And those who have had near-death experiences don't seem so apprehensive, not that they're eager to die or any such thing, as the restof us.

    Maybe the restroom encounter or being in the smoke-filled house and having difficulty escaping were "near death." I don't know for sure what my attackers intentions were, and the house wasn't actually on fire. The smoke would have killed me if I'd stayed long enough, but had I known there was no actual fire, I would have been OK had I been able to open an attic window or two to get fresh air. In any event, I would like to hear the perspective of someone who had a peaceful "go toward the light" experience. It was sheer terror for me.

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    1. I'll see if I can get him to leave a comment. He has told me about it, but it's better coming from him.

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