Monday, September 11, 2006

The changing meaning of "911"


Today may be a national day of mourning, but 911 has other meanings for me.

911 was first my home. My childhood house number was 911. I think I learned that in time for kindergarten, so since I was 5 years old, 911 was home.

My dad was a doctor, so the next meaning for 911 was the number to be dialed in an emergency. I have not yet had to dial it, but it is firmly ingrained in my psyche. My brain was entertained by the irony of having the medicine-related number on the front of my house (where a doctor lived).

Then 9/11 was September 11, 2001, a day full of heart-sickening news from New York and DC.

And 9/11 was September 11, 2002 the day my wife had major surgery and came through it OK. I spent the day in the hospital waiting room with her parents. A nice enough waiting room, but a place no one really wants to be.

What else will 911 mean in my life?