IT WAS A TUESDAY |
September 11, 2012
Name: RN Clara Hart
Stationed in: a civilian military hospital in the U.S.
Eleven years ago today my life and many others changed in ways we did not want and will never be able to forget. Last night sleep came fitfully, filled with nightmares of death and destruction, and I was up early this morning. I made it out of the house, to the gym then off for a long, hard run, all in an attempt to block the memories.
I thought it didn’t hurt as much this year; I went to the memorial last night, sat on my friend’s bench and felt empty. No tears, no sorrow, simply empty. I thought I was better, remembering the first time I walked into the Pentagon Memorial with friends Troy and Christine by my side. I wouldn’t have made that visit had they not been with me. That day pain brutal and savage attacked me, wrenching sobs from deep inside. Yesterday’s visit was bleak and cold.
I’ve devoted the past eight years to taking care of our war wounded troops and their families because of this day. It’s been my attempt to give back to those who serve our country. Now my heart is scarred with memories, of lives lost and forever changed by war. A mind damaged, slow to heal, I’m on hiatus from being a wounded warrior caretaker, a job that was once my solace.
A friend from FDNY checked in this morning. A military co-worker emailed. A former patient’s family member called. Suddenly I am no longer empty, the tears now welling in my eyes, the pain, once sharp and destructive, is now an ache I cannot get rid of.
It was a Tuesday, a bright, cloudless clear-blue-sky day. A day exactly like today.