Saturday, September 11, 2010

My September Eleventh

If I am alone in the house in the morning hours, I will sleep late and I will most certainly not have a TV on.  I don't watch morning news and I don't care for the morning talk shows.  I love a quiet house in the morning.

On September 11,  2001 I was alone in my home in Coldwater, MI.  My husband was in Spokane, WA  picking up an airplane and taking a week long course to learn how to fly it.  They had spent the day before doing book work and on Tuesday the 11th he was going to fly it for the first time.

I woke up quite early for me.  It was strange what was happening, actually, because I felt like I was being forced out of bed.  I've learned to listen to those little voices, even if they compel me to get up far too early, but what I didn't understand was why I felt the desire to watch TV immediately.  Our master bedroom was on the second floor and the TV room was in our basement, so I went down two flights to plop in front of the TV.  I kept changing the channels trying to figure out what I was supposed to find.  I finally just turned it to one of the morning shows and waited and watched. 

Then of course it happened.  The first plane, the announcement on TV that a plane had hit one of the towers.  I went upstairs to the kitchen and grabbed a bite to eat, I had a feeling it might be a very long day.    Then the second plane. 

Now I understood why it didn't matter what channel, just that I had the TV on.   I watched, I cried, I sobbed.  It was still too early to call my husband on the West Coast, but my friend JB called me.  She knew that I didn't watch TV during the day if my husband is gone and she wanted to make sure I knew.  She grew up in and around New York.  I can't imagine what it was like for her and she was calling me. 

My Mom was flying on Sept. 11th.  8am out of LAX. 
She would end up staying for several days at Hilary's new apartment with her new roommates.

Hillary (my sister)  was starting her first day of school out in L.A. and my Mom had gone with her to get her settled. 

My sister, Alison, was attending a bachelorette party of a close friend that evening.

Hillary's beloved cat died just two days after she left for L.A., on Sept 10th.

Alison and I had decided to have a funeral for him in the backyard at our Mom's house. We'd meet on the 11th.

I remember Alison and I crying our hearts out for Apollo, the cat, but also for the events of the day and because for the first time in a long time, our family was spread across the United States. So many tears.

I finally got in touch with my husband and found out that he was going to be grounded for days.  All private airplanes were grounded indefinitely (which turned out to be Friday of that week I do believe) so Tom couldn't train in the plane, nor fly it home until the no-fly was lifted.  I think he finally got home on Sunday.

To be honest, I'm glad that my husband wasn't home when this happened.  I cried my heart out for a few days and I know that I wouldn't have been able to fully express my sorrow if he were home.  I hated being alone for most of that week, hated knowing that my sister, mom and husband were all on the West coast, but it truly was a blessing that I was alone. 

My sister Alison, who went to the bachelorette party, met her future husband on Saturday Sept 15th - just four days after the collapse of the towers.  He was in the band that played at the wedding.  They were married exactly one year later.   (we did have some happy news during all of this)

All of my family finally came home and we were whole.

My prayers still go out to those families who are no longer whole.


Ann in the UP said...

I guess everybody who was old enough to grasp what was going on will remember where they were that day.
I was working as a nurse in an assisted living facility and I just wished they'd have turned the TV sets off. People didn't seem devastated as much as they were confused and disbelieving that such a horrendous thing could happen! Talk about shock and awe!

It was like a bad action movie--and nobody knew how to cope, because such an awful thing had never happened here before.

jb said...

I was in an English teaching methods class at UNH that day.

It was a glorious fall day, bright sunshine, fluffy white clouds, the excitement of new classes and learning.

My phone rang during class. I noticed it was a NY number, so after I apologized I stepped out to take the call.

I returned to class and told them what I had just learned, that it appeared that a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Being form NY, I knew instantly that we were under attack, the attempted bombing of the Twin Towers from the previous decade was still in my head.

I turned to my British English Professor (and advisor) and told him that I needed to leave class, right now. I didn't wait for an answer. I left and drove straight home. When I turned on the tv, the second plane had hit and the towers had fallen. I sat on the couch, balling my eyes out...not believing what I was watching...over and over again.

I guess that must have been when I started calling people, in NY, here in NH, and you in Michigan. I had to check on everybody and account for them.

I spent hours calling friends, checking up on others, trying to make sure everybody I knew in NY was safe, okay, and not missing or dead.

Sadly, there was great loss for me, for the Nation.

Jean said...

Thanks for your post. September 11 had such an impact on us all.

I went to the website you listed as source for your photo and posted it over on my blog...lots of information there.

Take care!

Ruth Ann said...

I was working at Sony when this all happened. And I don't know if I told you this before but Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville about 40 minutes from my house! That day I was working at Sony and I was late to work. I was punching in when one of my employees was going on a morning break. She said you are already late...just go with me on a break, so I did.

We were walking through the cafeteria to the breakroom. In the cafeteria is a very large tv. At this time the first plane just crashed so we were watching the live footage when all of a sudden the second plane hit! We stayed for a very long time watching all that was going on.

We had several people calling in who saw a low flying plane on Route 30 near where we work. It was Flight 93 and it crashed nearby. It was so chaotic where we worked. Because there were alot of explosives at our plant, they shut it down and sent us all home.

There were tons of military helicopters flying overhead going to the crash site and it was very scary!

September 11th was the whole reason I got out of the abusive relationship that I was in! I was so scared and realized that life is too short to stay in a situation where you are unhappy!

I planned on going to Shanksville today but it was going to be soo busy up there. Hopefully I'll be able to get up there this week to take some photos.

Debby said...

Everybody remembers that day in detail. It was tragic.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Amen! I was on the west coast scheduled to fly home to Tulsa later that morning. Such an overwhelmingly sad day!

Sushiboofay said...

Ironically, I was on my way to a flight lesson. By the time I got there - they were making all the planes land. It was very surreal to arrive and hear such quietness at such a busy airport.

Gods Little People said...

Hi Kristin
Just came across your blog.
Watched a documentary yesterday on 9/11 and it's truly overwhelming to hear how SO many American peoples lives was affected direct or indirect by this event. Even to hear your story - and it's just a drop in the pond. It's a day that changed world history and even in this part of the world (Europe)it affected peoples lives. No one will forget where they were that day that moment.