I’ve been thinking about this all day. How I can’t believe it’s been 8 years. I was serving as a missionary in Montana on September 11, 2001. My mission companion and I were at a food bank in Havre when we heard about it on the radio. Sister Khishgee, from Mongolia, asked me what it meant, and I could only shake my head. I had no idea. As a missionary, we couldn’t watch tv, listen to the news, read the paper or go online. We tried to visit with families that night, but everyone was so caught up in watching footage on CNN that we had to excuse ourselves. I was confused and uninformed. Khishgee’s family called her from Mongolia and wanted her to return home as soon as possible. I just really wanted to talk to my dad. So I broke the rules and called him.
And that’s how I found out my mom had been hospitalized at the beginning of August and that her condition was unstable. No one knew for sure if she would recover from a rare disease that made it impossible for her to eat. Because I was away, I have never really known the details about her illness or even about September 11th. All I knew was that both the towers and my mother had collapsed and that things were different.
My mom came home from the hospital two days before I returned home from my mission on Thanksgiving Day. It’s been 8 years, and I’m grateful for every one of them.