september 11th


I awoke with a grateful heart. The sun shining, the breeze rustling the tree outside my window, listening to my son gently walking down the stairs as to not disturb anyone.  So much to be grateful & thankful for. Our health. Our home. Each other.  Each of those things which make us feel loved, safe, and secure.

Then I remembered it was “9/11″. My heart immediately shifts. My mind, like most, flashes back to “that day”. Every adult I know can recount exactly what they were doing each moment of September 11, 2001.  I liken it to Pearl Harbor; the stories I heard as a child from my grandparents. The same my children will hear…… except very different.

I was pregnant with my first son. “9.11″ was my due date.  Our EMS friends thought that was great; both my husband & I being in emergency service (firefighters/EMTS) our son being born on 911!   The morning of September 11, 2001, I went to get my hair colored, (as every woman who was about to give birth does) and while driving to the salon, on the radio. I heard, “a plane has hit the world trade center!”.    A chill ran through me.   I called my husband, (who thought I was “delusional”) and insisted he turn on the TV.  I heard the voices of the radio personality in panic . . “another plane has hit the pentagon!”… “we could be under attack!”

For reasons unknown to this day, I continue to my appointment. Arriving, my colorist proceeds as usual as well.  No one else showed up for their appointment, nor did the other workers; it’s just him and me.  There’s no TV, just the radio, and we listen in stunned <robotic> silence.  Occasionally he’d run out to a shop next door that had a TV to look at the images, and called me along to do the same. I had foils on my hair, I was *not!* going outside. So I sat alone and listened. “the building is on fire!” – “people are jumping out of windows of the world trade center!”  In my minds eye I see it all.  I felt the panic rise up inside of me, while imagining being that person in the building so desperate to jump 90 floors. I imagined the people trying to get out, the elevators, and my heart broke for each and then for all of their loved ones.  Alone in a salon, I wept.  As I cried, I begged God to ‘PLEASE! do not let my son be born on this day!’

I came home to find my husband, mother, & father watching our tv. I turned it off, telling them I could not watch.  Tom and I went to the firehouse, where he raced off in an ambulance to help. I hung out with “Mac” – a fellow firefighter who’s office was on the 96 floor of Tower One and who just ‘happened to not go into work that day’.  He was the “96th floors Fire Marshall”.  He talked and talked and talked. Clearly in shock that everyone he had worked with for years were now gone in the fallen buildings.  He knew he cheated death that day.  We talked about that.  He and I drove to the shore of the Hudson River, and saw the smoke rising from NYC; standing there with many others who happen to also came to the water. The stunning silence was broken when someone began saying the Lords Prayer out loud.

For me, standing there, I was captivated by the color of the sky; it was amazing to me just how blue it was.  It will stay with me forever. I kept finding myself looking up at it.  Maybe I was looking at it because I was scared out of my mind because that’s where the terror came from?  Maybe I kept looking up at “heaven”, searching for some sort of answer, or reason for it? Or maybe we were all looking at to catch a glimpse of the thousands souls that were transitioning from this planet? While looking up, I kept praying.

It was 11 years until I could watch some the images of that day on TV. For eleven years I used my imagination, to envision the horror. I didn’t need to see all of it. In my minds eye, I’ve rolled the ‘movie’ hundreds of times, putting myself in their position; what would that feel like to know in an instant you were going to die? That you never had a chance to say all you had to say?  Those things have been torture enough -  its been all I’ve needed.  I still can not bear watch.

Thousands and thousands and thousands more were negatively affected that day.  For each and everyone of us affected, I ask you to feel grateful for the day you have been blessed with.  Remember those who have passed, their lives, their impact on you.  Share more laughter than criticism or anger.  Make as many happy memories you can.  Do more random acts of kindness.  And most of all, tell the people you love that you do with words & actions… every-single-day.

So I end this with a continued sense of gratitude on this day.  No madmen with planes have decided to change history this morning. My sons are safe and healthy, and the sun is still shining and the breeze it still moving the curtains. The sounds I hear are of birds and cicadas and peace. No fear, or sirens…..

And I wish this moment for everyone in the world each day, forever.

I welcome your thoughts about 9/11 and this post.

Thanks for reading.





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  1. patsy says:

    thanks for your words!! We all need to do more random acts of kindness!

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