LatherRinseRepeat--Yeah right

Ramblings of an over-worked, over-tired SAHM

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years after 9/11 - How has your life changed?

I'm sure most, if not all, of us remember where we were and what we were doing on the morning of 9/11/01 when the first and/or second plane hit the World Trade Center towers. It is one of those defining moments of national tragedy that seem to happen at least once per generation. (Pearl Harbor on December 7,1941 and JFK's assassination on November 22,1963 are big ones for the baby boomers and their parents generations).
I was at work that Tuesday morning, trying to catch up on things from the day before because I had been at jury duty. I had the radio on in my office and was only half paying attention when they announced that "a small commuter plane" had hit the north tower of the WTC. Shortly after that, I went down the hall to my boss's office to get some papers and mentioned the plane crash to him. Neither of us thought much of it at the time. A short time later, I heard the news of a second plane hitting the south tower. I called my boss to relay the news and he said, "wow, has the GPS system gone down or something?" It never occured to him (or me) at the time to think it could be some kind of attack.
Then they started saying on the radio that they thought maybe a plane had been hijacked and flown into the buildings on purpose. Next thing I knew, they were saying that another plane or possibly a truck bomb had hit the pentagon. There were rumors of explosions at the capitol building and the white house. I tried getting on to some of the news websites but they were overloaded and I could only get basic information once in a while. Everyone in our office was walking around in a bit of daze not believing what we were hearing. We didn't have a television in the building so all the information we had was what we heard on radios that a few of us had. As I heard the radio news reports of the chaos, I remember thinking that this must have been what it was like for radio listeners in 1938 when they heard the War of The Worlds radio broadcast.
It wasn't until about 3pm that day when someone brought in a small portable tv that I was able to see the full scope of the tragedy. Tears slid down my cheeks as I watched the towers collapse. It looked like a scene from a movie but it was all too real to those who died or lost loved ones. It seemed like the whole world had gone nuts.
A friend of mine was in New York and was supposed to be flying back home that morning. I tried calling him to see if he was alright because at first they didn't know where the planes that hit the towers had taken off from. His cell phone went straight to voice mail the 3 times I called. I finally just left him a message to call me and let me know he was alright. He called later that afternoon to say he had been stuck on the tarmac for hours when all flights were grounded after the attacks. They ran a full security sweep on his plane and all the others that were on the tarmac before bringing them back to the gates.
It was incredibly eerie driving home that night past the airport as I did every night but not seeing any activity at all. I just wanted to get my then 12 year old son and go home and pretend the world was still the same safe place it had seemed to be just that morning when I drove him to school. Little did I know then how my life was going to change.
I can't really say that my life changed because of 9/11 but it definitely had something to do with it. That Friday night, I was supposed to go to my friendly neighborhood bar with some girlfriends as we did many Friday nights. However, one of them was out of town and had been unable to return yet due to the airline situation following 9/11. Another wasn't feeling up to going out, and I don't recall what happened to my other friend, but she wasn't going either. I had decided not to go either since no one else was going. I was sitting in my living room watching TV at around 10pm. The only things on were more depressing reports about the tragedy that week. I decided I couldn't take it anymore and went ahead to the bar by myself figuring I would have a quick bite to eat, play the trivia game there, listen to some music and get away from the depressing news on TV.
That was where and when I met D. He was there with some friends and had walked over because one of the only open seats at the bar was right next to me. He asked if anyone was sitting there. I said no and went back to eating my sandwich and playing the trivia game. We started talking a bit about the game but I wasn't really paying much attention to him until a drunk on the other side of him started making comments about us being together on a "bad first date or something" because we weren't talking to each other. It was a little strange but we ended up talking to each other as co-conspirators against the loud drunk. He didn't ask for my number that night despite us talking for close to 3 hours. (I found out later that the bartender told him that I was pretty much a "regular" on Friday nights so he decided to play it cool until the following week). To make a long story short, here we are 5 years later, very happily married with 2 children (3 for me but 2 together). I never would have imagined that tragic Tuesday morning that this is where I would be just 5 years later. Was it because of 9/11? Probably not entirely, but it definitely played a role.
How about you? How has your life changed in the 5 years since the tragedies of 9/11?


  • At 2:59 AM, Blogger Granny said…

    Haven't seen you lately. Hope everything is okay.


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