Posted by: ladybughugs | September 11, 2008

Seven Years

So much has been written about this day seven years ago. Who am I to think I have anything relevant to add? But, I can’t help but think about it and so, therefore, I write about it.

I, like most people, remember where I was when I heard the news. Back then I was commuting from Pennsylvania, 50 miles, into New Jersey. H, who worked in New York City in those days, thankfully did not go to work that day. We had been down at the shore that weekend and not knowing what time we’d get home the night before and his work schedule requiring getting up very early in the morning he’d requested the day off. Thank God. So, Scout and I were sitting in traffic on route 80 on our way to daycare and I was listening to the news while he played tapes on his tape player to entertain himself. I remember the denial I felt when the first plane hit the first tower. It surely must have been a small plane, an inexperienced pilot, a malfunction. Then the second plane hit and, there was no denying it, it was no accident. I sat in traffic, shocked, as long as I could endure and then for the last quarter mile I drove on the shoulder to get to my exit. I couldn’t sit any more.

When I got to work they had set up a TV in one of the common areas. The reception was terrible. Radio reception was worse. We tried getting information from the internet news sites, but the connection was slow, at best. Most of the time the connection would fail or timeout. I remember not being able to focus on work. I remember not being able to call, my husband, my mother, my sister (who was in the city, working below midtown, but north of the Twin Towers at the time) because all the lines were jammed. We were in a slow period, anyway, and we were sent home early. I remember feeling that I had to get to daycare to put my arms around my son and hold him and then I had to get home, close the door behind me and shut out the world.

Scout was three at the time. He had no idea what was going on. We kept the TV off at home while he was awake, for days…weeks, afterwards.

My neighbor across the lane didn’t make it home that night, but she wasn’t downtown so it was just a matter of not being able to get a ride out of the city. A few days later, there were cars in the parking lot at the bus stop where H caught his bus and we knew those people weren’t coming home.

My connection to the World Trade Center wasn’t as close as it was for so many people that day. My connection goes back many years. My dad worked in Building Two back when I was in high school and college. Some of my favorite memories of those years was making the trip into the city with him, planning to meet up with friends, getting there early, and using that time to go up to the observation deck. It didn’t matter how many classes were there on field trips, how many kids were running around oblivious to the spectacular view but chasing each other, the cacophony of their squeals, it was the most peaceful place on earth. An oasis in the middle of the urban jungle that is New York City. Views of the water on three sides. A spectacular view of the city as you faced north. ‘Cheat sheets’ in the form of decals on the glass as you’d try to pick out and identify the bridges and other city landmarks. Trees in the far distance where I lived.

My dad passed away six months before 9-11. I’m glad he didn’t live to see the horror of that day. He loved those buildings…loved working there. He didn’t mind that he had to sit on a bus three or four hours a day for his round-trip commute from northern Westchester to the southern tip of Manhattan. He loved working there.

Since 9-11, this week is tough for me. It is a reminder to me of what is lost. If my dad were still with us we would have started this week by celebrating his birthday. The toughest part is that all this loss comes in the same week. I don’t feel the loss of my dad on the anniversary of his death as much as I do this week. Today. Losing those buildings was like losing another part of my dad and I feel that again every year on this day.

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Responses

  1. We think this day is tough for so many. We all remember where we were when we first found out, it was such a moment of shock for our country.

    Sweet post, very nice.

  2. It’s interesting. We feel like we are repeating ourselves when we tell the same story year after year. But, not only does it allow us to remember a day that would forever change us. But, it also allows new people in your life to share in your day. Thanks.

    It helps that there were happy memories. The view from the observation deck was spectacular. It’s sad that I won’t be able to share that with my children. ~lbh


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