In Her Words
Seven years later …
-Julie Ryan Evans
I was lying in bed in Redmond, Washington, in a king-sized bed we had just purchased. After the two of us sleeping on a full-sized bed for the past three years, it felt luxurious and immense, especially after my 6’1 husband got out of bed, and I had the whole thing to myself.
After business school in Austin, he had several full-time job offers, but wanted to move us to Seattle, a place I’d never been or even considered really, for a contract position. It was his dream job – doing marketing for Xbox. It came with no stability, few benefits, but lots of promise. I told him I’d go; we’d take a chance, IF we could buy a king sized bed. So days after we arrived, we bought it and moved it into the temporary apartment we rented.
“Something has happened, you need to wake up,” he said trying to wake me from my deep, comfortable sleep.
My first thought was earthquake, as I’d heard about them in the Seattle area, but the ground was still. He flipped on the television, and there was 9/11, the buildings collapsed, the horror, the families, the unknown.
We were on West Coast time, and I watched the clock along with the news. With three hours’ difference, I thought perhaps a West Coast blast would follow. I didn’t want my husband to go to work.
I can’t believe it’s been seven years since then.
In those seven years we have experienced much joy and much pain– after a few months, my husband was offered a full-time job at Xbox, which he loved. We went through many tears and pregnancy tests as we battled years of infertility. We had two miscarriages, a near-death experience, three months in the hospital after a premature birth, but ultimately, a wonderful, beautiful son, who’s worth it all. And now five years later, we’re pregnant with another miracle baby. We bought and sold our first house, and then bought another- our dream house – only to find we’d have to move a year and half later. I made some of the best friends of my life and lost touch with some others. I learned how to be a mother and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest … then had to leave it. We became adults.
And now here we are seven years later in Florida, literally across the country, but we still have our King-sized bed and each other. And life is good.
I think of those families who lost loved ones seven years ago and how their lives have changed – what their last seven years have been like. I will never be able to understand their pain, the way they have coped, their altered dreams, their ghosts, their distrust.
The thing I can do is remember. And I do.
Tell us: What are your 9/11 memories?