In a previous post (Travels), I wrote about a trip to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Shortly after my trip, I ended up moving there. I lived there for two and a half years.
During that time it was somewhat difficult being so far away from home and everything that was familiar to me. The people were mostly friendly and kind, though. I was a foreigner in a world of vast diversity. Yes, we have different cultures in the U.S., but not like they do in Canada. It was just different.
September 11, 2001–The day when all hell broke loose.
It was on a Tuesday. I was sleeping when the incident happened. We had things to do and places to be. My now ex-husband and I ran our errands and then stopped at a pawn shop before heading home. I stayed in the car while he went inside. He was inside quite awhile and I was starting to grow impatient wanting to get back home.
When he came out, there was no expression on his face. Nothing that read something was terribly wrong. He got in the car and sat there for a moment before speaking. Then he turned to me and said, “I was talking to so-and-so and his wife; they were watching TV. I don’t want you to worry, but you need to call your parents when we get home. Someone blew up the World Trade Center in New York. I thought they were watching a movie or something, but it was the news. It happened this morning.” I sat there, dazed and confused, not knowing what had happened.
As we drove home, it felt as if a rock was plunging into the pit of my stomach. Of course the first thing I did, upon entering the apartment, was turn on the television. Then I proceeded to call my parents…
This one time was when I felt the most alone and misunderstood. I had very little support from the friends around me. Don’t get me wrong, they were compassionate and sympathetic, but it didn’t help me feel any better. They just didn’t understand. It was my home, my country, that was affected after all.