Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's the Moments When Time Stands Still.

A few things to consider. I am a live-long Minnesota girl. Growing up in the northland and frequently visiting the Twin Cities, along with going to the school @ the U of M, leaving off of 10th Street Bridge, and all other occurrences, I like prolly nearly anyone else in the Twin Cities has crossed that bridge on 35W going north or south. prolly a more accurate number is a few thousand times. it was how i got to class, to work, to visit family up north. it is prolly something I have traveled frequently.

When I was younger, I got bored easily and I wanted things to "happen" in my life. Now at 26, I realize I was too young and dumb to know better. My generation the cusp of X/Y has been shaped by 9/11, a war in Iraq and if you live in Mpls now a bridge collapsing. You remember where you are. You remember weird details --- smells, sights, how the world seems to slow down. And then you think of your loved ones and who could possibly be affected.

I am lucky all of my loved ones family and friends are safe.

I am also lucky to live and Minnesota and serve as a public affairs volunteer for the Red Cross Twin Cities Chapter. Nobody could have predicted that this would happen. Nobody would ever venture that a main atery to transportation would just fall into the Mississippi River 60 feet below. But I am lucky that we were ready. Volunteers, medical teams, first responders were calm, level-headed and acted heroically, whether they had a camera on them or not. Unless you were at the sight, the photos will tragic and castatrophic don't even give an actually glipse of what your eyes see before you when you are next to the River. It is something that "eyes only" should see.

And this made news fast. At the Red Cross I was fielding phone calls from Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, France, the BBC or heard about people that were checking with phone calls from around the world. Loved ones in India wanted to know if there U of M grad student son was okay. There were hundreds of stories like this, just like there were hundreds of stories of Red Cross staff, volunteers and regular citizens who remained calm and acted the best that they could.

I am suppose to look for new places to live today. Ironically, one place I like is the StoneArch Aprts near the StoneArch Bridge. Don't think I will be visiting there. And that's ok. It's weird to move forward. I am still on-call for the Red Cross, so my life is a little bit in up-in-the-air, and that's ok as well. All of us in the Twin Cities will be okay again, eventually.

We are still in recovery mode and will continue to recover in months, years and decade. No one will forget where they were. Everyone will hug their loved ones a little closer. Even as I'm not a religious person, you can't help but send a happy thought or a loving thought out to those who have lost someone, or don't have answers.

I am MPLS proud for all sorts of reasons. And after only a few hours of sleep -- I didn't get home from Red Cross HQ until 3:45 a.m. -- I am hopeful, concerned, calm and doing the best I can to be the humane person I hope I am. I think the rest of the Twin Citians are doing the same.

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