My memory of September 11, 2001, is different than most. We were caring for my grandmother at that time. She was a brilliant woman, highly educated for her generation, but her mind was slowly being unraveled by a disease that modern medicine has yet to cure. She was part of the generation that witnessed Pearl Harbor, and that willingly served as soldiers, sailors, and Marines during World War II.
I remember that evening (or was it the next morning) that my dad had to tell his mother about the attack. As she would read the paper over breakfast, a little advanced warning was thought to be wise. We had spent the course of that Tuesday, trying to get as much information as we could, while trying to pretend that everything was "fine" for her sake.
As the accounts grew clearer and death toll rose, so did my grandmother's fear. Past, present, and future were becoming melded together in her mind, and she had no foundation for security during those troubling days. We stopped giving her the world news section of the paper, hoping that reducing her information load would grant her a little relief. It helped somewhat, but the fear remained - dogging our days, and interrupting our nights as she tried to process another attack, another war, and the "unknowing-ness" that seem to hover over America during that time.
I can't not consider the sacrifice and loves lost on this day. But, it hurts for her sake, too, and all those who remember that other war that began almost 71 years ago. I suppose "forgetting" means something different to me now.
And Parkinson's disease... well, that isn't so easy to forget either.