I don't think I can ever forget. The memories, the images, the pain I feel, experience is too real, and it was on that day seven years ago when I lost my best friend.
Stephanie Green was the woman instrumental in bringing me to America from Kenya, in Africa. She took me under her wing, helped me get used to the ways of the American people. She lived, worked in New York City: she worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Centers.
She was there when the attacks happened.
I remember watching the television that morning. It was a beautiful, warm, late summer day. My husband and I were home, enjoying each other's company, watching the tv, when a breaking news story ensued. A plane had somehow run into one of the World Trade Center towers, and it was now on fire.
Dear God, I remember praying, Stephanie Green, my best friend, works in the towers; please let her be okay. Let her be safe. Let her be able to get out of harm's way.
I guess Roberto knew of the quiet terror held inside my heart, as I worried for my friend. He reassured me that it was going to be okay, that we'd get through this together.
Then came that second plane. This was no ordinary accident. It was clear by then that we were under attack--but by who?? Why?? Why would they do something like this??
I started crying, which awakened our then little son, Jubaki, who started wailing as well. I went over to him, picked him up in my arms for a cuddle, and cried as I fell into Roberto's arms. I couldn't imagine what the people back in New York were feeling, experiencing.
All day long, I sat by the television set, mesmerized by the images repeatedly being played out, crying, as I held my son, wondering if Stephanie had made it out alive, or if she was still trapped inside the South Tower.
That was before the towers collapsed. When they fell, I fell too, inside.
There is no way she could survive, I kept thinking. If she didn't die when the plane hit or in the ensuing fire, she's more than likely dead now.
I felt numb, helpless. I called her family; there was no word. I had no idea whether she got out or had perished. I felt confused, scared, unsure as to what would happen next. It was a most terrible feeling.
We found out that Stephanie had perished about a month later. People looking for remains of people still trapped found the remains of her body lying amidst the rubble. They found her license by her side; it was most definitely Stephanie. That's when they called, contacted her family, that she had been found. Dead, but her body had been found.
Stephanie's mother called to tell us the grim news. At the news, I went crazy. That was before I mercifully passed out.
Seven years later, I pause, reflect, remember. I remember my friend, I remember the enormity of the attacks, why it made such a huge impact on all of us, not just those who were most directly affected. In a way, we all were affected.
I too grieve once again, old memories eating me up like a cancerous tumour. I must remember because to forget would only be detrimental to the future safety of our country.
It would be like I was forgetting my best friend. She and I were too close.
I go to the memorial services every year; I do this as a way of paying respect to those who perished; I mainly go to remember Stephanie and the joys she brought to my world. She was the first person who befriended this scared Maasai girl from Kenya. For that reason, she and I became the best of friends shortly thereafter. She was warm, funny, and fun to be around.
I still have problems watching the images being replayed out on our television over and over, but I force myself to watch as a way to help me remember why we are at war, why we must be forever vigilent.
I will always remember, and I will never forget those faces, names who became a part of our world. I will continue to speak out against hatred on her behalf, and I will continue to let her memory live on in my writings or speeches.
God bless America again, and Stephanie: I miss you now, more than ever. Go in peace, dear friend, you will live on forever in my heart!
~M'Buti. :( >tears!<