Day 11 – Remembering 9/11

TODAY’S NUDGE: Give something away. A printable, a mini class, a tutorial you did on YouTube, or sound advice about something your readership might benefit from.

Today I am deviating from the prompts.  Today is a day I remember, the day the world was forever changed.  The moment in time that is forever marked in my mind and heart.

Monday      September 10, 2001

Our time in Brooklyn was drawing to a close.  My girls and I spent the last three weeks with my Grandma, packing what could be packed.  Throwing away bags and bags of old, no longer needed things. Selling what furniture could be sold that she decided not to take. In a couple of days, my then husband would be arriving to pick up a U-haul and drive her stuff back to our house in Georgia.

Since I didn’t know when I would be back to my beloved hometown, I decided that the next day I would take my girls to the city.  We do a last hurrah tourist adventure.  The plan was Battery Park, Trinity Church and it’s centuries old cemetery, South Street Seaport, and of course the Twin Tours.  The plan was to get up early and hit the sites.

I got them off to bed, but being giggly little girls at Great-Grandma’s house they always took a long time to settle down to sleep. About 11 PM my oldest comes to the kitchen with the worst nosebleed I had ever seen her have.  It took well over a half hour to get under control.  It was so bad, I thought we would end up in the ER.  It finally slowed and stopped. But she was up and down all night worried it was starting again.  We got little to no sleep.

Tuesday     September 11, 2001

That morning dawned beautiful with blue skies and sunshine.  My Grandma had planned that morning to go to her beautician for one last hair do appointment and bid the lady farewell.  She turned on the her little radio to the AM news channel to hear the weather.  Only it wasn’t the weather report that was coming over the speaker.  It was a news report that one of the towers had been struck by a plane.  I jumped off the couch that was my bed and ran to the kitchen, turning on the TV.  We stood there in the middle of the kitchen in shock, watching thick black smoke pour from the tower.  Listening to the reporters describe what they saw, we were stunned.  What happened? Then I’m suddenly waving my hands at the TV.  There’s another passenger plane coming in heading for the other tower.  I’m yelling at the TV and waving my hands trying to make it veer away as we watched in horror hitting the tower.  I couldn’t believe it!  It was like watching a bad horror film, only live.

I sat down, stunned.  Realization struck me that we were supposed to be down there.  If things didn’t happen they way they did the night before.  Me and my girls would have been down there when those planes hit!

We sat and watched as events unfolded.  We sat and listened as the skies grew silent when all remaining aircraft was grounded.  It was scary as hell hearing those fighter jets fly over head.  She asked me if I wanted to go see.  If I walked down to the corner, I could have watched it all.  I told her no, the  TV was more than enough, I didn’t need to go out there and watch it “live”. You could see the smoke creep across the river heading for Brooklyn.  We were only about 3 miles away.  Only a 15-20 minute train ride.

We were supposed to leave in 2 days!  My then husband was supposed to be flying in the next day.  What were we going to do?  He managed to get a flight, I think he came in on Friday.  He made it as far as Philly I think it was.  He rented a car and drove the rest of the way in. We got the little U-haul loaded and off he went.  It is now Saturday.  Flights are limited, if at all.  I kept calling my airline. They confirmed us on the only flight out they had on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday   September 15, 2001

We got to the airport. It wasn’t as  crowded as it normally is.  But there were police everywhere. They looked at everyone with a slight air of suspicion. I went up to the ticket counter and they had no confirmation on their manifest for us.  Computers were down, phones were sporadic at  best.  My cell phone was dying.  I plugged into the first outlet I could find and called the airline again.  Again they confirmed the four of us on the flight. I was in a panic, but the rep was patient and told me to bring the phone to the ticket agent.  All I could think of was please let my battery last!!  The rep on the phone told the agent to put us on that flight.

One flight in, one flight out to Atlanta and we were on it.  We had no luggage, packed it all on the truck, just our purses and the kids. Get me the fuck out of here.  Finally we boarded, we taxied for take off.  As we are going, a helicopter practically lands in front of us, just missing a collision! We all held our breathe.  We were a full flight, not an empty seat to be found. I looked out the window as tears filled my eyes, looking at the smoldering rubble as we flew away.  The flight it self was uneventful.

We finally make it to Atlanta, and we are about to land.  Out of no where a small plane lands in front of us as we are about to touch down.  The pilot some how managed to pull us back up and into the air avoiding yet another collision.  This guy….he was pretty damn amazing!!!  Once we were safely on the ground and at the gate, the entire cabin erupted in applause!  Each and every person thank him for getting us there safely.

My then husband said he was stopped several times on the way back to Atlanta to make sure he wasn’t hauling any explosives.  Especially when he was going through tunnels.

I can never forget that day.  Neither can my girls.  Today they are two lovely grown women, still living in Georgia.  They are currently without power, thanks to Irma who is headed their way as a tropical storm.  There is a reason, I’m sure that the three of us are still here.  There is a reason she had that nosebleed that night before.  We may not know exactly why, but there is a purpose.




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