Remember…

Everyone has their own story about where they were on September 11th and here is mine.

I lived in Miami, Florida.  Jamey and I were scheduled for a 10:30 am dentist appointment so I got up around 8:30am and jumped in the shower.  I made a pot of coffee and turned on the television.  Just as I was getting comfy on the couch the 1st plane crashed into the World Trade Center.  I didn’t really understand what I was looking at but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.  At 9am I went into the bedroom to wake up Jamey and I told him about the plane crash.  He blew me off and asked me to wake him up in 10 minutes.  I was his living snooze button.

I filled up my coffee cup, grabbed my makeup bag and sat back down in front of the television set.  Just then they reported that the second plane crashed into tower 2.  I jumped up and ran into the bedroom and dragged Jamey out of bed telling him about the plane crashes.  He begrudgingly followed.

We sat in front of the television unable to pull ourselves away.  By the time the plane crashes into the Pentagon I am full on ugly cry.  I call the dentist office to let them know we wouldn’t be able to make our appointments.  I explained what was going on and told the receptionist that I  just couldn’t pull myself away from the television.

The towers collapse and then flight 93 crashes in Pennsylvania.  A gasp and tears.  And many WTFs.

It is then that paranoia sets in. I started calling my family and friends that live in New York and NOVA.  I didn’t know anyone that worked in the Pentagon or the World Trade Center but I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe.  The darn “all circuits are busy” message was my only reply.  This added to my paranoia.

Jamey and I both had to go to work later that day.  Around 11am I called my boss.  This was her second day at the store.  I explained what was happening and that I was unable to come in.  I told her that I couldn’t pull myself together and she insisted that I come in to close the store.  This may be one of the reasons she and I never clicked.  I told her I would be in around 4pm.  I never got around to putting my makeup on or doing my hair.  I wore sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt to work.  She didn’t say a word.  The mall was slow.  I was the wordspreader.  Talking about what was going on to all the unassuming shoppers.  Crying everytime I discussed it.

The mall closed early and I got out of there as fast as I could.  When I arrived home Jamey was already there sitting on the sofa watching the events of the day over and over.  I plopped down next to him and there we sat.  At some point we decided we must eat something.  I think we had cereal.

I finally heard from some of my friends and family but we had not heard from my brother-in-law.  He worked in the city and we had no idea where or how close he was to what had happened.

I don’t know what they call what happened to me.  But I was affected.  I watched every news cast.  Every video, every interview.  I became obsessed.  Crying and crying and crying.  I took a few personal days.

Gap inc is a great company to work for.  When I returned to work I learned the stories of the affected employees.  It put things into action.  We started fundraising.  Our store was amazing.  We did a bake sale and pass the hat.  Raising the most money in the company.  I received a letter from the President of Gap inc for my Humanitarian efforts.  Our store also received Thank You notes from the staff that worked in the World Trade Center.

Hearing all of the personal interest stories made me start to reflect on my own life.  What will be my legacy?  What will people say about me?  How am I going to make a difference?  I felt like I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live.

I enrolled into college to get my degree in Fashion Design.

I made sure I called my friends and family and told them how much I loved them on a regular basis.

I can’t seem to watch the specials that have aired over the past couple of weeks.  I can’t even watch the commercials.  I get teared up and go into the ugly cry again.

Everyone has a story and this is mine.

Remembering September 11th, 2001 in my own way.

 

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One thought on “Remember…

  1. I was at work. David was at work. Hunter was in daycare. I was in full swing of my project which involved coordinating the computer installations in FCPS. I manned a hotline. I had a lot of scheduling going on. I kept calling the schools and they said that they couldn’t talk right then. I was irritated. This was important! Then someone came by my office to say that a plane had crashed into the WTC. It meant nothing to me. Then all of a sudden I learned that everyone was up in the conference room watching the news. Still….I sat in my office working. I was in my own world. I had work to do. Later on, David called to say that he was going in to cover Fairfax Fire Station (he was a volunteer in Ashburn) since Fairfax had been called into the Pentagon. I knew he may be in danger, but I still didn’t get it. I got a call from daycare around 330/4 asking if I was coming to get Hunter. I told them I’d be there as soon as I could. I had no intentions of leaving work early…I still had work to do. I left. I picked Hunter up. I got home. I turned on the TV. My heart sank. I cried and cried and cried and cried. How did this happen? How did this go on all day and I honestly had no clue?!?!? I heard the words…but SEEING IT made it real. I felt the impact. I was overwhelmed with emotion that came flooding all at once. I didn’t get to see one crash…process it for a bit and then witness the next act of violence. I was watching all of them…one after another….being replayed on the news. By then, there was a running death toll and the survivors were sharing stories, makeshift memorials were being put up. I was hugging my boy tighter than I thought I should….but I couldn’t let go. I also remember feeling shame…shame for not taking time out of my day to understand what this meant for those directly affected and our nation. I am so moved by what people have done in the name of this experience. Tragedy either pulls people together or tears them apart. I think we were pulled together. I remember…and I am thankful for all that responded and sacrificed for the safety and freedom of all of us. I look forward to seeing the memorial at Hunter’s elementary school tomorrow. His school was named after 2 residents of our community who died on 9/11. Gone but not forgotten~

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