I remember the cars.
All of those empty cars.
Just sitting there in train station parking lots.
Waiting for owners who would never return.
Silent reminders of every day routines suddenly shattered.
It's weird that's what I remember about this day 12 years after that day.
All those cars. And all those cars' owners.
Folks like you and me just making the morning trek to work.
Never realizing they'd never make it back.
And so their cars just sat.
Some for days.
Like some giant metallic motionless pets, waiting for their owners to return.
But those owners never did. And they never would.
And so those cars would just sit. Day in. Day out.
Until those owners' spouses or sons or daughters or fathers or mothers claimed those cars, and moved them.
And tried to move on themselves.
I've always wondered what they thought as each turned the key in that car.
If only dad had slept in that day.
If only mom hadn't been in such a rush to get to work that day.
If only we could wind the clock back on that day.
I remember one teenage girl crying she had been arguing with her father that morning and never said goodbye to him that day.
All she remembered was dad's big Chevy she had wanted to borrow that night, quietly backing out the drive way that morning.
Little did she know she'd be the one picking up that car from a train station parking lot weeks later.
Car still there. Dad not.
A teenager's world shattered.
Whole lives suddenly in park.
The dads who would never return home to catch their kid's game.
The kids who would never see their dads at any games.
The familiar faces cheering on the sidelines suddenly not cheering. Suddenly not there.
And to this day, nothing brings it all back like all of those images of all those empty cars in all of those parking lots.
When the things we take for granted in life just stopped.
Until eventually the cars moved on and out.
And the relatives who moved them tried to move on but never really could.
And never really have.
Even after 12 years routines are a very tough thing to break.