September 11, 2001. The most tragic day in American history. A day we all remember vividly. One of those days in which everyone has a “where were you?” story. This is mine…
Glenn and I weren’t even back from our honeymoon 2 weeks (married 8/25/01), and on that morning, all was right with the world. That is, before the first plane hit. I was at work and heard them talking on the radio about a plane hitting one of the towers. My boss has a TV in his office so we all went in and saw what was happening.
Then the realization hit me…my brother works right across the street at the American Express building!! I called my mom right away to see if she had heard from my brother yet. She hadn’t. We were so worried. She told me she’d call me back after she’d heard something.
As if it wasn’t enough to be worrying about my brother, my story is two-part…
I don’t even think it was 15 minutes later, my mom called me back. I asked her if she knew anything yet and she told me no. She said not to panic, but my dad had just been in a car accident and he was on the way to the hospital and that she was heading over there.
“WHAT!!!!! You’ve got to be kidding me!”
It’s at this point that everything kind of gets blurred together. I ran into my boss’s office crying and told him I had to leave to go to the hospital. I actually went and met up with my mom at her house before we went to the hospital. While we were there we were trying to get in touch with my brother or his wife or her parents to see if they’d heard anything yet. It was tough to get through to anyone because the lines were so busy. We talked to my sister-in-law’s parents but they hadn’t heard anything yet. I remember watching the news while my mom was talking to them and just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
We got to the hospital to see my dad. He was conscious and could talk to us, which was good, but he had a ruptured spleen which had to be removed. My father had a heart transplant back in 2000, so they had to be extremely cautious with everything they did to him. They couldn’t even get a hold of anyone at his main hospital (Temple) where the transplant was done because everyone was starting to evacuate Philly too for fear of more terror strikes. It was total pandemonium.
It was at this point that I felt like I was some weird twilight zone episode or I was having some terrible nightmare and would wake up any second. No, this was real.
Now at some point in between everything going on we had heard from my brother and he was ok. He was down on the street watching everything going on after the first plane hit, and then he heard the 2nd plane hit. He just bolted at that point and was lucky enough to catch one of the last cabs in the area. He had gotten away and was safe. Thank God!
Now we just had to pray my dad would be ok…
They did the best they could with him, not knowing all of his information. By some kind of miracle, he had pulled through everything just fine. He had a lot of recuperating to do, but otherwise would be ok!
As I’m typing this, it still doesn’t feel real to me. I don’t know how I made it through that day. I realize my family was actually one of the fortunate ones. If you can call it that. I could have lost 2 close family members in one day due to two separate incidents. I thank God every day that they are both still here with us.
My brother still works in Manhattan, but not for the same company. He has had enough. He also worked at the World Trade Center when it was bombed back in 1993. Twice was more than enough for him.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family & friends on that horrific day.
I wrote this on the 2 year anniversary back in 2003. Even now in 2017 that day still seems surreal to me. I know my story is nothing compared to those who lost loved ones or those who went in to rescue everyone that day. Our story, although chaotic, ended well. My father is no longer with us today, but we were blessed to have many years with him after this, and for that I am thankful.
It just goes to show you never know what can happen from one day to the next. Hug each other. Make time for one another. Enjoy each precious moment and be kind to all. Never take anyone for granted, for this may be the last chance you have to let them know how much you care.
Much love to you all. God bless all the families affected that tragic day. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.