The day began like most days: got up, got my 2 children breakfast, started to rock the baby to sleep, while the eldest got ready for homeschool; and then I got the phone call:
"Where is [husband's name]?" said my mom, with an urgency in her voice.
"At work, why?" was my breathless reply.
"A man just crashed a plane into the World Trade Center," she said. "[husband's name] wouldn't be down there, would he?"
"No, he is at work, I am sure. "I said. " I will call him."
At that point, I was picturing a small passenger plane crashing into the World Trade Center, an accident, of course.
Called my husband. Told him what happened. No, he hadn't heard, and yes, he was ok. At that time, he was working in midtown Manhattan, less than a mile from where the tragedy was occuring. We hung up, satisfied and convinced it was a passenger plane that had merely been diverted in a wrong direction.
We had no t.v. Only a couple of weeks before had we made the decision to get rid of t.v. for awhile. I tried to get reception, but found I could not. Turned on the radio and heard bits and pieces of the action, realizing it was a terrorist attack. Checked email and found email from friend, telling me of the details, asking about my husband. Of course there were phone calls from people, but I can't remember all of them. It seems every 5 minutes or so the phone was ringing. Tried to call husband's cell but no through service.
When baby awakes, I pack up eldest and youngest and we go to Kmart to find a T.V antenna. Salesclerks are going crazy, talking about how one of the towers fell down. Fell down?
Hurry home and get a fuzzy picture. Talk to husband. He is still ok, but at a friend's house now, trying to get out of the city. Says he smells smoke, even on the upper West side. Trains are locked down, he can't get out. Will let me know when he can.
Scared and waiting. Talking on the phone when I can, trying to get through on the internet to get better news, but I can't. Miraculously, my husband goes to Grand Central and gets on the first train that opens....this is at 2pm. Relieved he is out of Manhattan, we wait. More relief when he is home.
Find out that the t.v gets better reception in our small galley kitchen. Prop it up on the kitchen counter and stay glued to the events. We are silent, speechless.
After dinner we are watching the congressmen sing, "God Bless America." That's when I lose it. I bawl like nobody's business. I cry out of fear, out of sorrow, out of confusion. Husband holds me tight against his chest. Oldest daughter watches silently.
And that's my last memory of the day.
May we never forget that day.
My point in writing out this story was for a keepsake for my children of what happened that day, my own story.
This is a repost of a post written in 2006. I felt like I wanted to remember 9-11 today on my blog. Because I am in such close proximity to New York City, it affected many personally in my community.