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  • September 11th and the week of make me a little unsettled. I don't watch September 11th tributes, 9/11 specials; I don't buy into conspiracy theories. The biggest reason is because I was in the midst of my own loss. Not that I don't care, not that I don't value the heroes of that day. My heart doesn't have room for anymore emotion for that day.

    The morning of September 11th, 2001 I was supposed to meet a client who didn't show. As I made my way down the tollway to my mother's room at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, I heard an interruption on KISS FM that there had been an attack, David Johnson asserting that there had been a "terriorist" attack with Kidd Kraddick saying "well we don't have all of the facts yet".

    There was no room in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) so my comatose mother was in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). She had been there since 8/31/01, the doctors kept giving us hope but I knew there wasn't any. She was done. She was ready to leave, I had been at her bedside too many times before and I knew this was it. Even when the Doctors came and told us there were signs and there were chances, even as an optimist, I knew we were at the end.

    When the news reports came regarding the attack they turned off all of the TVs in the cardiac unit, all but ours. They didn't want the heart patients to be upset by the events. They all crowded into our room and we watched together as the 2nd plane hit and the towers fell. Each visitor would absorb as much information as they could before rounds tore them away.

    For three days I lived 9/11 hour by hour, 24 hours a day, every bit of news that came through. I lived it with Doctors and interns and nurses crowded around me as I fought to keep my mother comfortable and have her ventilator removed. I had learned that hearing was the last sense to go, I was afraid of what she was hearing and how she would interpret it. Did she think it was the end of the world? How was this being processed by her in her comatose state?

    As I went before the Ethics Board to have her ventilator removed, I asked those close to her to come say goodbye loudly enough for her to hear it, to give her permission to leave, I chose to help her end the life that was already over. My mother lasted 3 more days and passed 9/14.

    The pain in my chest will always be there, I feel connected to those who lost those close to them. Different loss but tragic and life changing all the same. I don't need a Nicolas Cage movie or documentary to relive it for me. Once was enough.
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