September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Filed under: 9/11,Adam Sandler,AON,Blockbusters,ptsd's,Reign Over Me — writebrainit @ 3:24 pm

Last year, I had intended to post a little tribute in my story of that day on the site and had been blown away by a person I met at Blockbuster. I remember I was talking about a movie and when it was coming out. They saw me pretty often in the story, so they never hesitate to make suggestions or ask if I had seen a movie. It was about a week before 9/11 and they said something about the date having been changed for Adam Sandler’s Reign Over Me. I commented that I had wondered about it’s release date being so close to 9/11 when it has a 9/11 theme. The one clerk said he hadn’t realized that. I said that some people may have thought there was a sensitivity issue there and have decided to move it to a different date. This worker whom I had never seen before (come to think of it, I never saw her again) chimed in saying, ‘It’s been six years, I mean come on.’ I know I shot her a look of utter confusion and her boss looked a little shocked. I simply responded, ‘to some it’s still a little traumatic’.

Here’s my experience that day:

I was at home the morning of this tragic loss. I had taken a vacation day just to rest. I was up and watching a movie – a friend called and told me to change to a news channel and I remember being annoyed with him and telling him I would. I remember I flipped to the CNN and just lingered on the channel for a few seconds, it was early and I wasn’t processing, so I switched back to my movie – about 30 seconds later I realized what was going on and changed the channel. My friend called again and I remember telling him that I would need to call him back. What we were watching was horrible. When I saw the second plane crash, I thought this can’t be real. Then the buildings collapsed and my sister called. She asked me to look at my calendar and see where it said my mother was. It said New York. When my mother started traveling for work – she started putting out a monthly calendar that lets us know where she is, when birthdays are and sporting events for nieces and nephews (since I am the oldest of nine and have many nieces and nephews – we all find this a very helpful tool.)

My mother started traveling for her job over 10 years ago. I knew nothing of where her offices were when she traveled and didn’t even know that her main office was in New York since she was based out of Chicago. I know my sister thought I sounded unaffected by this news that she was in New York and she asked, ‘You do know that her head-quarters are in the World Trade Center, don’t you?’ I didn’t. She said that she had been trying to reach her and could not.

For 3.5 hours that morning we could not reach her and heard nothing from her. About 11:45 that morning, my mother was able to return one of my sister’s messages. Her plans had changed the previous Friday and she was, in fact, in Chicago. She apologized and said she had known that she needed to reach us but the phones were a mess with trying to reach people and learning of potential losses from their office. AON was on floors 92 and 98-105 of the second tower. My mother lost a lot of co-workers and friends (AON lost 170 employees) that day and while my family was blessed to be allowed more time with my mother, the tragedy of that day still brings to me that feeling of loss and fear.


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