M'Kaya Jefferson here.
Saturday was the anniversary of the day where my life as I knew it changed.
It changed for just about everybody. Nobody was left untouched.
Nine years ago, on Saturday, September 11, 2001, our country was attacked. Because of hate, twin towers no longer stand guarding the New York City harbor. Because of hate, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. is no longer as impenetrable as it was at one time. Because of hate, over three thousand men, women, and children no longer live and breathe.
I survived the attacks, only because at the time I and several co-workers were across the way, taking a break, and enjoying the cloudless, beautiful late-sumemr sun. Then the planes came ...
That's the last thing I remember before running for cover ... and before everything mercifully went black.
I still see the explosions/orange and red balls of flame, smell the acrid smoke, hear the earth-shattering blast, feel the debris raining down on us as we scrambled for our very lives, taste the very flavor of death ...
When I came to, I was lying on the ground, on top of Wendie Jo, my disabled co-worker. We were both visibly shaken ... but we had gotten away in plenty of time, only because we happened to be on break. Otherwise, we would have been killed ... or, at the very least, mortally wounded.
I will never forget what happened on that Black Tuesday. And I will never forget what happened afterwards. I ended up with a very nasty bacterial infection that cost me a leg ... and many months of recovery time in the hospital, and even more time than that learning how to walk all over again.
The loss of my leg is yet one more bitter pill that I have to swallow. It is a grim reminder that even though I survived, thirteen of my co-workers did not.
My boss, my disabled co-worker (since deceased; she died several years ago from complications related to her multiple sclerosis), and myself were the only three out of our group who had managed to survive the attacks.
Out of the ashes, however, emerged a sense of hope. Hope that reminded me that life does, indeed, go on. That hope lives on in our now-eight year-old son, Stefan Franklin, who was born eight years ago on September 11, 2002. He is our miracle from God, our unexpected blessing.
Because of September 11, 2001, I suffer from ongoing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I don't sleep as well as I once did, especially now, when reminders of "what happened" have been played out on the nightly news. Franklin (my husband) and I must once again find the right words to explain to our little boy about the tragedy and why even he must be informed about it. It is not right to hide the truth from him.
I know it isn't easy, but with God's help, we will get through it. Somehow.