I still very clearly remember where I was that morning (heck, there are days I can't remember if I brushed my teeth!).
- I remember the panic of not knowing if my dad was flying that day. My folks lived in upstate New York at the time and my dad travelled quite a bit.
- I remember the panic of not being able to reach my mom. Her hospital in Syracuse was preparing for an influx of stable patients to be tranferred from NYC hospitals to make room for the injured in those NYC hospitals, efforts that were sadly not needed.
- I remember not being able to reach my aunt, who worked in DC at the time.
- I remember my sister's panic at having a close friend who had just started a job at the World Trade Center and no one in her family was able to reach her by phone that morning.
- I remember being 45 minutes away from my son with a military base between us and trying to think of alternate routes to get to him in case I had to stay far away from the base.
- I remember worrying about what kind of world my then 2.5 year old would grow up in.
- I remember worrying about what would happen with our pending adoption. We has started the paperwork to adopt Elise in June 2001. We also had a good friend who was scheduled to travel to Vietnam to pick up her son that fall and I remember sitting with her in a panic wondering how she was going to get her son (not IF but HOW).
- I remember worrying about a good college friend who worked in downtown NYC. Turns out he hadn't been too far away and was still pretty shell shocked when I finally spoke to him and his wife a few days later.
- I remember the rumors that planes were heading for Chicago and my concern for our Chicago relatives.
- I remember learning that Todd Beamer was on the flight that went down in Pennsylvania. I knew his wife, Lisa, from college. Todd had also attended the same college. I remember the realization that these were ordinary people going through extraordinary times.
- I remember how kind everyone was to each other in the days that followed. On 9/11, as gas prices started to rise, I remember a well loved student coming to our office and offering to take our cars, wait in the long lines and fill up our cars with gas before the prices rose again (yes, we took him up on that offer).
- I remember going home (my parents) at Thanksgiving and being surprised to see obits still being run for 9/11 victims in their paper, even in upstate New York. While the rest of the world had started to move on, there was still so much grief concentrated in that area of the country.
The world has changed clearly since that day. When I look back, I remember my clear concern for family and friends and I am reminded to treasure those relationships each and every day.
And, while there are so many sad memories on September 11, it is also my sister-in-law's birthday. She wasn't my sister-in-law back in 2001, so celebrating her birthday today is such a clear reminder that life does go on.
I also just realized that Elise must have been conceived about that same time (she was born in May 2002). Didn't realize that until just now! :)