Monday, May 2, 2011

Where were you when it all happened?

So, today seems to be a day of reflection on the moments of 9/11 as we "celebrate" the death of America's Most Wanted Terrorist. People were out in the streets celebrated last night and chanting..."USA ,USA, USA!!!" I did not hear about all this till I woke up this morning and put on the news. Though there was a moment of relief it was immediately followed by a moment of panic. What's going to happen next? Will there be retaliation? Who will be his successor? Are my kids safe? And so many more questions....then it all came back to me, that day! That horrible day almost exactly ten years ago. Do you remember where you were? I do.

Ten years ago, I was a personal trainer and trained clients in NYC. That morning, I woke up at 530am and got myself ready to travel out to meet my clients in their home. My son, who was only 3 then, was with his daddy because I had an early work day and it made it easier. So, I got on the train and met my clients at 7am. When I finally left them after 830am, I walked to the train to head back, I was deciding whether to go back to my place or go be with my son and boyfriend. I get to the train station and make a spur of the moment decision and decide...go spend the day with my guys. Who knew that  decision would change the course of my existence. My train path went to Queens instead of through Lower Manhattan and home to Brooklyn. While on my train ride home, a pregnant woman got on with a coworker and was saying that her building sent everyone home. That there was some possible threat to the building and that they should all go home. I admit, I was eavesdropping on their conversation. Then my stop to transfer to the next train came, and they kept on that path. I get on the J train headed to Queens and make it as far as Jamaica Station. And the announcement went over the sound system..."All trains are being halted. No train will be coming or going. Indefinitely." Now, I am like oh geez, wth?! So, I walk out of the train station to find hundreds of people in the streets. I pick up my cell phone and try to dial my boyfriend, but I cannot get a line out. What is going on?! And then I start to listen to the people around me...the first tower had been struck! No one knew exactly what was happening...speculations were flying all over. I kept trying my cell and nothing! Then, by the grace of God, I look up and see a payphone...and what happens, it doesn't work! So, now I am in the middle of Jamaica and not sure how to get to my destination. I start walking and find myself in line with dozens of people waiting for a bus that I hope will get me closer to where I had to go! We are standing in line and someone is listening to a radio and the news of the second tower comes through...terrorists! OMG!! OMG!! What seemed like an eternity passed because the next thing I remember is the sound coming over the radio that the first tower had collapsed!!Collapsed!! Thank God the bus finally arrived and I continued to frantically call till I could get a signal out. On my way, I finally get through to someone, my boyfriends mother, she is in the bath when she heard the phone ringing...she had no idea what was happening. I told her turn on the tv!! She was shocked! I told her I was on my way there, to wake up my boyfriend, let him know I was ok and I was on my way. I got off the bus at Woodhaven Blvd, and needed to take another bus to get to my final destination. As I am waiting, I pick up my phone again and call my mom..she must be going crazy.  I get a line again ad she picks up hysterical...I tell her I'm okay Mom, I decided to come to Queens instead of going home...and she said Thank God...but then panic set in again..Chris, I heard from everyone except your brother and my heart sank!! What? Wait, doesn't he work right there?! Why hasn't he called?! All the worst scenarios hit me! And I panicked. I told her to calm down, though no part of me was calm, and that he was fine. I just knew he was fine. By the time I got to the house, everyone was awake and watching it on tv. It seemed to be the  longest day of my life. I hugged my son that day tighter and realized what precious people I had in my life. Hours and hours later, my brother finally calls! He is okay but he is devistated...he saw the whole thing from his office window. He had to walk through all that falling ash and chaos. But he finally made it to my mothers house. Thank you God was all I could say.

The days that followed were proving to be more and more devastating as the realization of what took place happened. Remember, how I said I was a personal trainer, well a few days later I had to go into the gym and it was then that something hit me. One of my personal clients was a event manager at Windows on the World. I didn't want to believe it....I said no, maybe I'm wrong maybe it was a different place she worked. Then I looked in my files and dialed her work number...and nada a dead line. I realized then that she was in that building. The internet became a place of information that lead to the discovery of my clients fiance asking if anyone has seen or heard from her to contact him. Wow...she was gone. With each day, more news of sad and happy moments. My high school best friends brother, was one of the first responders and he too had perished. But on a happy note, my cousin's wife was in the building and made it out in time...and weeks later she got the news they were pregnant. The overwhelming feeling of what if had overtaken us all but we were even more excited that this was the grace of God.

That was my story and where I was that day. All I can think about when I look back was, had I decided to just go home to my mom's house...I may not be here today. Because I would've  been stuck right in the middle of it all. That day was a renewal of love and family. Togetherness.

So, when I wake up this morning and hear that Osama is dead. And all these people jumping and cheering. It doesn't make me the least bit happy. It scares the hell out of me. Because even if he is gone, there is always someone waiting in the wind to do bigger and more destructive things than the man before him. I do not rest easy on this day that the nation cheers. I get on bended knees and I pray to God that no retaliation comes to us. That we do not lessen our fight and keep security at its all time high. That my children are safe in their schools. That my family and friends will not fall victim to vengeance.

We got one, but who's next? That's just my two cents....and it counts.

1 comment:

  1. Hello :)
    Your story is amazing, I was home with my two children my little was three months old at the time, I had a surgery done so my husband was home with me. I turn the tv and saw what was happening and though it was a movie then my husbands partner called him and said it wad real, my husband is a police officer. Thank god he was home that day. My brother worked for Lehman Brothers at the time my heart was pounding I'm calling no answer my family is calling me and trying to find out if I knew anything, I couldn't reach him, finally someone called my house and said to me not too worry he was able to leave before the tower collapse, my brother stopes his beeper and another person picked it up and was kind enough to call us and tell us he was ok. Talking about it brings tears to my eyes, my brother shows up in my house I lived in Astoria at the time so I was the closest to walk too, he was standing there covered in that white stuff I was so happy to see him it wad a very sad day. My brother has experience both terrorists attacks in the city, an angel us definitely watching over him.
    The only thing that stays in his mind is the firefighters that were going up as they were coming down ........ I am sorry for all of those who lost live ones....



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