Friday, September 09, 2011

9/11 - I remember

10 years ago, on 9/11/01 I turned 22 years old.  10 years ago there was no blogs or facebook or twitter, no place where I really wrote down all my thoughts on that day.  I think it has taken 10 years for it really to hit me.  Looking back on all the highs and lows that has since happened, it is like it has all washed over me as a wave.  This is what I remember from that day 10 years ago.

I remember waking up on 9/11/01, the sun was shining and the weather had just a touch of fall in the air.  I was no longer 21.  I put on one of my favorite outfits, excited for however work was going to celebrate my birthday that day.  I got on bus 677 at around 7:30am (central) taking me from Mound, MN to downtown Minneapolis to my full-time job at WCCO-TV.  Like I did most mornings I sat down about halfway back on the bus and put my headphones on to listen to some of the local radio morning shows (I usually flipped between K102, KS95 and KDWB).  I am sure I was reading something, maybe some of the newspaper.  Somewhere along 394 going east near St. Louis Park I heard the most disturbing thing on the radio.  They had a TV on and they were reporting that an explosion or something happened to the World Trade Center, then they said a plane had hit the other tower.  They did not know what was going on. 
One of the biggest images of that day then happened.  I remember looking up on the bus at everyone just sitting there, I didn't notice anyone else with headphones on, and I thought to myself, they do not know that the world as we know it has just changed.  As I was looking around I also looked out the front window at downtown Minneapolis with that sun shinning bright and thought about how serene it looked compared to another downtown right now. 
We got to downtown, I hopped off the bus at Nicollet Mall and 11th and ran into the front door at WCCO.  There in the front lobby I had my first glimpse on the TV of what I heard on the radio.  Not long after, they lockdown that front door and would not let anybody use that entrance for months.  I ran upstairs to my desk, dropped off my stuff and started watching one of the TVs we had in our area.  One of the TVs I could see if I stood up in my cubical, the other was behind a friend's desk.  I remember standing at that TV when my friend told me Happy Birthday.  Eventually we got word about the plane in the Pentagon and about another plane.  Where was that plane headed when it went down, we did not know.  We wondered if the attacks were done.
Working at a TV station it was kind of crazy... I worked with commercials and as many can remember we had wall to wall coverage for days.  Being local TV we really didn't have to worry about what was on (except for the local news break ins) but we never knew when we would stop covering it.  We spent many hours just staring at the TVs not knowing what to do.  I remember during that time calling my Mom at work, making sure she knew what was going on.  And I talked to my husband who was out mowing lawns, to find out what he knew.  I do not remember eating lunch that day, but I must have. 
Eventually our department head said we could go home.  My co-workers said we could celebrate my birthday tomorrow.  Because I had taken a bus I had to wait for the 676 bus to go home (now not available) which meant a longer trip home.  I of course listened to the radio the whole way home, but there was no new news.  And I went home to do what I had been doing all day, watching TV.
In a way I was thankful that we had celebrated my birthday as a family (at TGIFridays) the weekend before, no one would have wanted to celebrate that night.  I know that I spent many days in shock, I do not even remember crying at that time.  When the tragic events happened I knew no one that had died that day, 10 years later I have met a few people who lost loved ones.  It almost made me feel sheltered living in the Twin Cities.
Does it suck having your birthday on 9/11?  Yes, it does.  But someone has a birthday every day... it just so happened that mine was that day.  Has it been hard celebrating in the years since?  I remember spending the first anniversary just very depressed but it has gotten easier.
One piece of joy happened that September.  It turns out right before the attacks I got pregnant.  Later on that month I found out I was going to be a mother for the first time and 9 months later, on May 21, 2002 I gave birth to Jeffrey.  He is finally old enough to talk to about what happened when he was the size of a pea inside my tummy.  Since then I have brought 3 other children into this world.  But I have also had to say Goodbye to many loved ones (including our fathers).  Maybe that is why this year has hit me so hard... so much has happened since that day.

Now 10 years later on 9/11/11 I will wake up 32 years old.  I will go to church for mass (since it is Sunday).  I will try to spend sometime at the Incredible Festival.  I will probably have play practice.  I will not forget where I was 10 years ago.  I will never forget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your story. Belated Happy Birthday!
Nancy L - Montana