Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you? Have you changed?

I was on my way to work.

I had to drop Angela off at my friend Joanie's daycare first. It was just five minutes from home, and on the way the people on the morning radio show I listen to were talking all confused about a plane and a building, and I couldn't put it together. I got to Joanie's and told her to turn on the TV, where we saw the first building in flames.

We stood there...speechless....

Then there came the second plane....

and we screamed in horror.....

How could this be? How could this possibly be?

At some point I said. "Is that building leaning? Doesn't it look like that building is leaning? Those buildings can't fall down can they? I mean, they're too BIG to fall down! Can you imagine how horrible it would be if that building fell down? If one fell down, would it make the other one fall down? Please Lord, don't let those buildings fall down!"

I had to leave for work. Oh, how I didn't want to peel myself away from that TV!!!! Joanie didn't want to turn it off, but she didn't want her daycare kids watching either. I don't know what she did. I just know I had to leave, and face a building of 500 kindergarten students, me working in a class of 25.

Some of our kids didn't come to school. Their parents kept them home. We're in Minnesota but everyone was afraid. Some of kids had parents who were in New York. Some  had parents who were flight attendants. One had a father who was on one of the planes. Many of the parents were just plane scared and wanted all of their babies home in the nest. I wanted to be home in my nest, with my babies, in front of the T.V.

All day our building principal sent emails every 15 minutes, keeping us updated on the latest news. He told us when the buildings collapsed. Our building went silent. All the staff with those 500 kindergarten students had such a hard time trying to keep our composure, we felt a sense of panic for something we couldn't see.

When school was done that day, I couldn't get home fast enough. It was an hour drive, but by the time I got there I had a  horrible migraine. I listened to the president address the country on TV through the fog of Tylenol PM, and I remember feeling comforted by his words. I felt like somehow we would be ok, but how I grieved for those families. For those lost in the towers, in the planes, in the pentagon, on the ground.....for those who never got the gift of one last cell phone call of "I love you...."

September 11th, 2001 changed our country forever. We will never be the same. Our children will never know what our country was like before those towers came down. I hardly remember it myself some days. The little things we took for granted that are already ingrained into us, some of them a very sad reminder of what we have become, others a bond that brought us closer.

What are some ways you can think of that we have changed since the towers came down?  I can think of many!  Some are very obvious, and some are more subtle. Some are good, and some are not. I think it's important for our children to hear about them. I'd love to hear your observations!


Kathie Brinkman said...

I have a much greater appreciation for our service men and women. They are the reason I can still go about my business and my life in relative safety and freedom. Our soldiers and veterans have kept our country free of war for a long time and they continue to do so. If not for them tragedies like the 9/11 attacks would be a regular occurance on U.S. soil. Post 9/11 whenever I see a person from any branch of the service or a local police officer or fire fighter, I always stop them and thank them for their service to our country and their protection of me and my family.

Todd Davis said...

I was in my office. This was back in PA. My wife was pregnant with my youngest daughter at the time, and the baby was due any day at that point in time.

It was a normal morning like any other, eh? Then one of the people in support sent out a mass email to everyone in the office - a terrible accident had occurred. A plane had flown into one of the twin towers in New York.

It was bad news to be sure - what a horrible accident. But we live in a nation where you hear bad news on the radio every day - someone got shot, a building exploded, a bank was robbed, whatever. We get used to it. It was sad and shocking, but didn't stop us from working.

And then - not much later - a second email. Another plane hit the second tower. And it is amazing at that point, how the brains just... stops. And tries to comprehend what it just heard. Because one plane flying into a building is an accident, but it is plausible. But two planes, in matter of minutes, into two towers? And as the realization starts to sink in, so does the horror. That this wasn't an accident at all. And if you had never mouthed the word WTF before then, you surely mouthed them then, because what just happened was incomprehensible.

I got on the phone and called my wife, just to make sure she was OK. She had the TV on, and was telling me that the pentagon had been hit, and another plane had gone down in PA. You have to understand that we were in Philly at the time. And if you took a pen and drew a circle around the map, from the twin towers to the pentagon to the downed plane, well, the very middle of that circle was Philly. We were in the center of it all. And I started to think what a world we were about to bring a child into.

Katja was born about two weeks later.

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

My husband and I were working outside of Boston. His office was about 10 mins from mine. I had arrived at work before anything had happened. So I was sitting in my office and there were people talking about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. We were looking at the internet...but couldn't really figure out what was going on. I called my husband and put him on speaker. He had a small TV in his office. I'll never forget the 20+ people packed into my office listening to my husband explain what he was seeing on TV....the tower fell, the pentagon has been hit...OMG, what is going on!!!

Being in the Boston area, everyone was scrambling around trying to find out if any loved ones were on the flight. Several people had friends who worked in NYC. My husband's cousin Sherry worked in WTC 2. She saw the first plane hit Tower 1. She knew she was in trouble. She told us that when you work in high rise buildings...they have routine drills to ensure everyone knows how to escape. She said there are 3 types of people in crisis situations. First ones help others before helping themselves (like fireman), second type helps themselves before helping others, and the last panic...and help no one (including themselves). Sherry learned that day she had to help herself before she could help others. She saw tons of panic striken people on the stairwells on her way down. She knew she had to keep putting 1 foot in front of the other to get out. She knew if she stopped...she wasn't ever going to see the light of day again. On her last few flights down the stairs....she passed all the fireman walking up. She made it out...seconds before the 2nd tower colasped.