Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where Were You.....

Today social media will be overloaded with remembrances of September 11th. Many of the posts seem to be about where were you when you first saw or heard what was happening on that day twelve years ago. For many of us it seems like just yesterday. Some of us have children too young to remember or were not born yet. I have tried to express the gravity of what happened to my 14 year old but for them it is not the same as living through it. On that September 11th many years ago I had a son in middle school and a daughter barely two years old.

That day just like everyone else's day started out very normal. My sister was on extended maternity leave and had offered to watch my two year old. We were having trouble with the daycare facility that had been watching Grace and at that time in my life I worked full time at an animal hospital that I had worked at for many, many years. Since I was 17 to be exact. This September 11th would find me the ripe old age of 34. I had dropped Grace off at my sisters between 8-9 in the morning and headed to work. I remember hearing something on the radio about a plane crashing into a building in New York and thought to myself that isn't something you ever hear about happening. By the time I had reached work the second plane had crashed into the twin towers and work had turned on the television. At the animal hospital we only had TVs in the exam rooms to show educational videos to clients and had no cable reception. What we could pick up was a local station but with not so good reception. The same time that this was all occurring we had a representative of a software company visiting our practice that morning to show us a new software package we were interested in purchasing. That was the whole reason I was going into work that morning. I was the assistant office manager and it was my job to help chose the right software that would work for our practice. Of course because of what was happening the meeting didn't really go well, no one could concentrate at that point. Plus during all of this there had also been relayed to us on the TV that the Pentagon had been attacked as well. All of us were thinking the same thing. We were being attacked and what was going to happen next. We had never experienced anything like this. Maybe our parents had with the Cold War scare and World War II but this was different. This was on our territory.

The software meeting got cancelled out. The software representative had flown down for the meeting and of course we all now know that all the airlines were shut down and nobody was flying anywhere. He eventually rented a car and drove back home. When I discovered that the meeting had been cancelled I requested to go home and check on my kids. All I wanted at that point in time was to hold my children and pray. I picked up McDonalds food for lunch and rushed home to my sister's house. We sat and watched (which is what everyone did for days), ate lunch, and discussed what this meant for our country. I called the school as I am sure all parents were doing to see what they had set up if any problems arose, because at this point none of us knew how far this was going to go. Were we going to war, would there be more attacks? I stayed at my sister's house for a couple of hours and then went back to work.

So many days of waiting and hoping for the news shows to say there were any survivors and it just wasn't happening. All kinds of stories circulating through the news. It was just a terrible time to get through. I do understand a little about this personally. I didn't have any family members personally affected by September 11th but years before this when the Oklahoma City Bombing occurred I had an adult cousin that worked in the building in the social security office on the ground floor. For days the family waited for word that he was alive, then it was weeks of waiting for his remains to be recovered. He died in the Oklahoma City Bombing. I remember that day very vividly and clearly as well. My generation's days of innocence were over. We would never be the same.

My prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones on that heart wrenching day from our history.

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