Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering

Various Memories come back of Sept 11, 2001, as if it were yesterday-

Sending Gameboy off to Kindergarten on that gorgeous day. The promise of autumm's arrival made the air crystal clear, the sky vivid blue and the clouds puffy.

Bear in the Big Blue House was on the television for 2 year old Chef and I was tired-Ed sent me off to bed to get some more sleep.

Ed waking me up because my boss was calling. Elaine, crying on the phone "Suzanne, we're under attack." The fact that she was crying, unflappable Elaine, freaked me out.

Sitting in the morning room, watching TV, unable to tear ourselves away. My anxiety, a sporadic visitor, came back with a vengeance that morning and stuck around for a while.

Having to act as if nothing were happening for the sake of the kids, all the while trying to call loved ones in New York. No luck.

Worry and fear that my brother in law was on site at WTC (he'd done work there before.) More worry that Davey da Cop was on duty that morning. Ed's gut was right-he calmed me down, saying "he was on vacation-I just know it".

Calling my Mom in Florida and finding out Jimmy was just across the river in Brooklyn when it happened. People in NY could call out, so my sister Peg did as soon as she heard from her husband. Worry shifting to friends in the computer that I knew worked in the city.

Getting an IM late that night from Davey da Cop. He had just arrived on LI from visiting his parents and was on his way into Manhattan. He said he couldn't see the skyline coming over the Verrazano, because the smoke was still so thick.

Using our 40 hour allotment of Netzero free use in two days, because Ed and I wanted to keep up with what was going on. Switched to pay plan on September 13th.

Not seeing the contrails going into BWI or Dulles.

Working 5 miles from Dulles airport and being terrified when flights resumed because the planes came in lower and right over my part of the mall. They'd come in so low, you could see the faces of the people in the plane. It was a fear that never went away.

Finding out two classmates died in the towers and a cast member from Boston.

Closing down the National Airport location and getting two of their cast members for a while. One telling a horrifying recounting of being the Gate Supervisor for her airline that morning, watching the plane go overhead and into the Pentagon, then later being forced to lie down on the tarmac with fighter jets flying along the Potomac, because Flight 93 was headed for DC.

Thanking God that Ed no longer worked two blocks from the White House. He'd lost his job two months prior to that day.

Hearing from our friend Chris that he evacuated DC by walking out and over the bridge into Alexandria on the rare day that he'd driven his car into work. The metro was shut down.

My wonderful DM, closing down all stores and calling every manager individually to make sure they were okay. A couple of days later, she strongly encouraged each of us to take a week of our vacation prior to the November 1st vacation blackout-she felt we needed to escape the DC area for a while.

Two weeks later, going to Walt Disney World. It was a ghost town. Leslie had been right-it WAS good to escape the DC area for a week. Most of the managers did as suggested and spent a week in Florida.

Having the fighter jets circling Camp David once flights resumed, which meant they always flew over our house. Thursday nights, hearing a Harrier pass over at about 10-10:30 and knowing that W was headed up there.

Driving over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, headed to Long Island a few months later and having Gameboy ask "Where are the Towers?". He'd known them as the sign that we were *almost* to Mema's and Aunt Kathi's. Trying to explain why they were gone in a way a 5 year old could understand.

Going over that bridge every other trip to Long Island and having him ask "Why?"

Watching favorite movies and getting upset at the pre 9/11 skyline. Even at WDW, watching Timekeeper and seeing that skyline caused Ed and I to tear up.

Thankful that the kids don't remember the fear and anxiety or how worried their parents were for months and even years afterwards.

4 People talked back:

Mike Golch said...

that was a verry scarry time. I was on vacatiion from the justice center were I was a corrections office. My Middle sister worked downtown and there was panic that went on here in cleveland as well.were our city one of the targets My BIL saw one of the planes turning around and headed back east.

daysgoby said...

Beautifully and eerily written, S.

Joyce-Anne said...

I don't think there's an adult alive who doesn't remember where he/she was that day. As a new mother of a 5 week old infant, I was numb and dumb founded at first. Then I realized I would know a lot of people affected by the tragedy. I sang at some of those memorial services. It was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. To this day, I will not go to work in Manhattan. Visit - yes, work - never.

Kaoscapt said...

I think the scariest thing about that day for me was when I left the house with Chef Jr. to take him to the play area around the corner from the house. As I watched him play, I saw the scrambled fighter jets heading north (to Camp David or maybe NYC), west (towards PA or other "covert" government locations that everyone knows about in Maryland but doesn't talk about) and east (DC and Northern Virginia) and the way that all the other aircraft that would normally be flying overhead just stopped. Granted, we didn't live anywhere near Dulles or BWI, but the planes would pass over at a high altitude. After an hour or so, we walked home under a completely empty sky.

The fighter jets continued during the period that the planes were grounded. Every time one would fly by, I'd think 'NOW what??'.

They still freak me out to this day.