Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9-11 at 7AM I flew out of Boston....

Ten years ago today  is a day I will never forget.  It started like any other day, except that morning I woke up early to board my flight out of Boston on American Airlines, headed to Orlando Florida.
We were in the air when the planes hit the towers around 9am but our  flight crew didn't let on...looking back the attendants were pacing the aisles looking intently at each passenger in every row...at the time I just thought they were being attentive. Upon landing at 11am there was no announcement to let everyone know what had just happened either. It wasn't until we turned on our cell phones that we started to retrieve messages from loved ones, frantic and crying for us to return their calls and let them know if we were ok.
My mom was babysitting my three sons for me so I could take a short 4 day trip to Orlando, Florida.  My oldest son was listening to the radio when the drama unfolded, that planes had hit the twin towers, and other planes were crashing...he knew I was flying and he knew that one of the flights had originated from Boston.  He was so frightened. It was traumatic for the ones at home, to think that we were suddenly dead from a  vicious act of terrorism. 
 Fortunately I was spared watching the television and having those images seared into my memory.  I was staying at a home that I was there to decorate, and there were no televisions or even radios. We did go out to restaurants to try and get information, but just knowing that we had escaped with our lives, when so many did not, was just too much to absorb. 
It was a time for reflection and sadness and feeling that our country was vulnerable....and with these moments came a need for peace and kindness.  I remember the air being so quiet, there were no planes flying, and I remember drivers being so kind and letting others cut in front, and stopping for pedestrians.  We had to drive back to Boston, as all air travel was cancelled. We drove through New York city around 3am and the smoke was still billowing out and up from "ground zero" as it came to be called.  It was all lit up with gigantic spotlights and we could see it as we drove over the George Washington bridge. We watched with a blank numbness and helplessness. We were all needing each other~this feeling is still  so vivid in my mind. 
I will never forget 9-11, and my heart is with those that lost loved ones on that horrific day.  I must have stood in line behind them at the security checkpoint, next to them as we grabbed early morning coffees, and sat next to them while waiting for our respective flights as our gates shared a seating area. 
And as our flights were called to board at the same time, they walked through their gate, and I walked through my gate, and we headed to our separate fates.  A brush with fate I will never forget and am forever grateful for, that I got to continue being mom to my kids, and daughter to my mom and dad, and sister to my siblings, and future wife to my future husband.

 
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