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 Texas, he had several full-time job offers, but he 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 nudge me from my deep, comfortable sleep.
I'd heard about earthquakes in the 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 at the largest software company in the world, as it could be a target. Thankfully, the morning hours passed with no more atrocities beyond those unfolding in New York.
I can't believe it's been six years since then.
In those six 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. We bought and sold our first house, and then bought another--our dream house, which now sits waiting to be someone else's dream. 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. We became adults. I worked for the largest software company in the world and loved it; then transitioned that into successful freelance career that, until the final months, left me feeling like a woman who could do it all (most of the time).
And now here we are six years later in a new state, literally across the country. Our belongings--including my King-sized bed-- are still back there, but our new life is here. And it's going to be good I think.
I think of those families who lost loved ones six years ago and how their lives have changed--what their last six 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.