I am so torn every year on September 11th. It is my sweet niece’s birthday, but it is also that fateful day that we all remember as 9/11.
I wrote about it last year on the 5-year anniversary. And it has been on my mind again today, as I’m sure it will be every year. I wasn’t going to write about it again this year, and then I realized that last year’s entry is in our old journal. And since I really want to make sure that the story is saved somewhere for the girls, I think I’ll re-post last year’s entry.
(Reposted from September 11th, 2006)
I really wanted to write this yesterday, but just didn’t get a chance to get all my thoughts down. Five years ago yesterday was the day the world knows as 9/11, has it really already been five years? When I think back to that day, I just thank God that I am here to remember it.
I’m sure everyone remembers that day, for our generation it will always be like the day Kennedy was shot for our parents’ generation. I really want to make sure that I write about my 9/11 somewhere, so the girls will know the story and have a glimpse of how that day affected me.
The week before 9/11 I had been traveling for work on the East Coast, and was very upset that I had to stay over the weekend in Washington DC, all because of one meeting on Monday. So my co-worker Peggy and I wasted some time wandering around DC on Saturday. And, I did get up early on Sunday to visit the Holocaust museum – which is incredibly moving and emotional, and well-worth the time and tears – so the whole weekend was not entirely lost.
But when we got to our meeting on Monday it lasted…30 minutes. 30 MINUTES! We were, needless to say, disheartened and ready to go home. As soon as we left the so-called meeting, we called the airport to see if there was any flight we could get on, just to get us home earlier. Thankfully, there was a flight that left that evening. So we got back to SF on Monday night.
I woke up to the phone ringing on Tuesday morning. It was a friend of mine who didn’t even say “hi” – her only words were, “Thank God you are there. Turn on your TV and call me later.” And that is how I found out about the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
I sat and watched the TV for hours straight. It didn’t really register at first the magnitude of what I was watching, until I heard that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. A United flight, leaving from Dulles airport on Tuesday morning, heading for California. I felt my heart stop. That could have been my plane. I was supposed to be on a United flight, leaving Dulles airport on Tuesday morning, heading to California.
I started shaking and I am pretty sure that I went through the same symptoms that people in shock experience. I did manage to call my parents and my boss to let them know that I was in fact in San Francisco, not in DC, where everyone thought I was. The next few days were just a hazy fog. Peggy and I talked a little about “what could have been” but mostly I just wrote it off as “man, I was soooo lucky.” It must’ve not been my time to go.
Every year, I think the same thing. Until this year. I don’t know what it is about this year but I just can’t stop thinking about everything I would missed out seeing and experiencing. Mainly having our girls.
I just can’t even imagine not getting to carry them in my belly and feel their first movements, seeing them come into the world and take their first breaths, hearing their first cries, watching and helping them to grow into the wonderful little girls they are becoming.
And most of all, I can’t imagine not being able to hold them tight and realize how truly lucky and blessed I am.