11 September 2010

Remember Me-Reposted for 9/11

I want to begin by saying that this post will spoil the movie, Remember Me, for you, so if you're dying to see it, don't read this post until afterward. I'm going to write about it very candidly assuming that the only people who will continue reading beyond this paragraph have either seen the movie, do not intend to see it or just don't care if the entire storyline is ruined for them. So, here's your last chance. STOP reading if you don't want to know how the movie ends.

I considered waiting to write this in September because that would almost make sense, but I know that if I wait two months that I'll forget. I don't want to forget. I rarely blog about movies, but this one is going to stick in my mind for a while. It's not even the movie so much that I want to blog about, but the feelings I experienced during the time in which the movie is set.

I didn't entirely know the plot of this movie other than the little synopsis I read on-line. I think that is the way it should be if the movie is going to have the desired effect on the viewer. I watched as the characters grew and developed thinking that they were moving the movie toward a fantastic ending. I guess in many ways, the ending was fantastically planned and artistically engineered. As the movie scene entered the classroom of one of the characters, and the teacher wrote the date, September 11, 2001, my heart jumped. I grabbed my hair as if I could not relive that day or that week by holding onto my head, but it was too late. I knew it was coming. I knew what was going to happen to the main character, but that wasn't the whole of what wasgoing through my mind.

September 2001 would have been emotionally draining on me whether or not the twin towers fell. Lukas was born on the 6th by c-section after 22 hours of very hard labor. I dreaded the very idea of a c-section to the point that I almost ignored the session of our childbirth class in which they spoke about it. It wouldn't happen to me. It just couldn't happen to me. When it did happen to me, I was nervous and scared. Obviously, I survived. 

The next night, the nurses repeatedly brought Lukas to me from the nursery because he was crying too much. The experienced nurses couldn't handle my baby because he cried too much for them. Can you imagine hearing that as a first time mom? I mean, if they couldn't do it with all the experience they had, then how in the world was I going to be able to handle being his mom every single hour of every single day? We left the hospital when Lukas was 3 days old scared to death because we didn't know how we were going to be able to parent this very, very cranky baby.

Lukas cried so much that we were back at the pediatrician's office the next day trying to figure it out. Colic is not an easy thing to handle because the doctor's pretty much give you nothing to help. A colicky baby was not my ideal (of course it wasn't).  Still, we pressed on just like we were supposed to. I nursed him around the clock. If he fell asleep, so did I. 

The night we got home from the hospital, our well went dry. Thankfully, we were not home owners yet, so our landlords dug a new well. Along with that, they reminded us that they didn't want children living on their farm, so we could just move out if we wanted to. Right. Why not just pack up the house 4 days after having a c-section? Doesn't that sound ideal to you? We spent the next two weeks showering at friends' houses, toting water from other places and trying to keep the house from smelling like unflushed toilet because we could only flush it when we had to. Gross, I know, but it's the truth. We relied for two weeks on families from church to bring us meals because we couldn't really cook much in a kitchen with no water, and they each brought us two gallons of water when they brought our meal. It was exhausting, to say the least, and we were already exhausted just from being new parents.

On top of all of this, I desperately wanted my mother to be with me when Lukas was born, but she was needed elsewhere more. My Great Aunt Ruby was in the hospital dying, and my Dad was pretty shaken up about it considering that she raised him for much of his childhood. I knew Aunt Ruby was about to pass away, and I couldn't be there with her to say good-bye. It broke my heart.

You can imagine the state of mind I was in with all my post-pregnancy hormones racing through my body on top of all the exterior circumstances effecting me. I remember vividly that I was sleeping in a recliner with Lukas on my chest when my sister called me and asked, "Are you watching t.v.?" No, I wasn't. I was sleeping because Lukas was actually sleeping. What in the world could have Cassie so upset that she would call me from work mid-morning? I flipped on the t.v. and saw the horror of all that will forever be September 11th on the screen. All the feelings you felt, I felt.

I do realize that the experiences people had on September 11th were much worse than what I was going through during that season of my life, but I have to tell this story this way in order for my opinion of this movie, Remember Me, to make sense. It isn't just about September 11th for me. 

It's about September 2nd when I found out Mom wouldn't be with me when Lukas was born.

It's about September 6th when Dr. Cunningham came into my room and said, "We have to do something. You can't continue like this," and I was wheeled into the operating room within minutes to have a c-section.

It's about September 7th when the nurses didn't like my sweet baby boy.

It's about September 9th when we realized our well was dry.

It's about September 10th when Lukas was still crying, wailing, screaming in pain.

And, it's about September 12th when Aunt Ruby finally passed, and I was in no shape to make the 7 hour trip by car to attend her funeral.

I didn't lose anyone specific in the falling of the twin towers, but I lost a woman who meant the world to me and to whom I meant the world. Maybe I didn't get to grieve the way I wanted. Maybe I grieved more than I wanted because of all the turmoil in the world at the time. I don't know. Every time I think of those towers falling or hear the date, September 11th, I think not just of the towers but of everything else that was going on in my life at the time.

When all was said and done, we found out months later that I was suffering from post-partum depression. We had no idea, but we knew something was wrong. We tried to hide it from the world because we didn't know what was happening. I was different. I know other people could see it a little, but no one said anything. I didn't say anything either because I didn't realize that I should. I had never experienced anything like PPD. Once I understood what was going on and began seeking treatment, it was much easier to talk about it with those with whom I was close.

I don't like to watch movies about real tragedies. I watched Titanic once , and I'll never watch it again. I hated watching all those people die knowing that it really happened and that many of them were not believers. The same thing applies to Remember Me. So very many people died that day, and so many more were left suffering. Why would I want to re-experience that? I don't, nor do I want to re-experience any of what I was going through during that season. I watch movies for many reasons. This is not one of them.

I will say this about the movie. I'm glad they made it. This story needed to be told to show people who are younger than we are what that day was like and to remind those of us who experienced it as part of our reality not to forget. Life goes on. I know it does, but, somewhere in our minds, we'll all think of September 11th as a day that changed our country. Movies like this will keep the memory of those people who lost their lives that day alive. I'm glad I watched it, but I hope to never see it again.

And, of course, I know this blog post seems a little self-indulgent. Still, it is what I experienced. It's my story. I won't pretend that all that I experienced was bigger or more important than what was happening in the world. It's just my story of that week of my life, and I hope that it doesn't come across as flippant or that it doesn't seem like I tried to downplay the importance of the September 11th tragedy. By all means, it is the most important thing that happened in the world that week, and I doubt that any of us will ever forget that.

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