Thursday, September 11, 2008

On September 11th

7 years ago today. A Tuesday.

I was 36 weeks pregnant. Lumbering and uncomfortable as I boarded the 7:22 a.m. commuter rail bound for my job at a law firm in Boston. Arrived at work after 8.

Was chatting on the phone with a friend, discussing our baby showers that had both taken place that weekend. Mine on Saturday, hers on Sunday (our poor collective friends!) while our hubbies frollicked in New York City at a Yanks/Sox game. One of my friends from Florida had flown up for my shower. She flew out of Logan Airport in Boston on Monday morning.

I was interrupted from my conversation when a co-worker peeked her head in and said, "Your husband is on my line. Apparently, he needs to talk to you." So I said goodbye to my friend (who was home, but didn't have her TV on) and got on the line with Hubby.

"Do you have your computer on?" he asked breathlessly.

"No. I just got here and was on the phone with Mary. Why? What's up?"

"A plane crashed into the World Trade Center! They don't know many details yet though. TURN ON YOUR COMPUTER!"

Slowly the buzz began to spread on my 21st floor. We were directed into a conference room to watch the breaking news on a projection screen.

That was when I saw the second plane hit.

Shortly after, a firm-wide e-mail was delivered. Our building would be closing at 10 a.m. We were all to evacuate immediately.

I called Hubby back. (Meanwhile he had been frantically trying to call me. The firm's phone lines were being inundated.) Hubby was nervous that they were going to shut down all public transportation. That I wouldn't be able to get out of the city of Boston. 9 months pregnant.

My friend Michelle (who was also working in Boston at the time) and I miraculously got through to each other via our cell phones. We met downtown, so we could walk to the train station together.

It was eerie. Practically everyone in downtown Boston had been evacuated. The city streets were packed, yet it was oddly hushed. Everyone was rushing, furiously punching buttons on their cell phones, desperately trying to get a signal.

I tried to call Hubby from the train station to let him know what my meager train options were to get back home to Central Massachusetts. There was only one train headed towards home, yet it would only take me as far as Framingham, about a 45 minute drive, and not where I had parked my car that morning. But I couldn't get in touch with him. The lines were jammed.

So I waited until the last possible minute to board that train, worried that Hubby might already be driving into Boston to collect me; nervous that he wasn't, and that I indeed NEEDED to get on the train.

Finally, as the announcement was blaring, "Final boarding call!", Hubby and I connected. I SHOULD take the train, and he'd pick me up in Framingham.

As you can imagine, the train was packed. Every seat full, every aisle space occupied. But so silent. Someone kindly felt sorry for my swollen whale-ness and gave me a seat. I let a few strangers borrow my cell phone.

Everyone lost in their own thoughts. Fear, stifled but present. Uncertainty.

I spent the next three days on the couch in my "uniform" (you know, the only XL maternity clothes that fit), glued to the TV. Alternating between grief, disbelief and horror.

What kind of world was I bringing a child into?

Unsafe.

September 11, 2001. I will never forget.

[Re-posted from 9/11/07.]

11 comments:

WaltzInExile said...

Thank you for sharing your story of that day. I was pregnant with my first child, too, then (although only 13 weeks along) and I will never forget, either.

catnip said...

I'll never forget either.

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I posted about it today too. My experience was more geographically removed but I will never forget it.

I had a baby nine months later.

MadMad said...

Seven years and it still feels like yesterday, doesn't it? I am so out of sorts today, thinking about it and remembering.

azusmom said...

Our son (our first child) was just under 2 months old. We had just moved into a new house in Los Angeles. I found out what was going on when my brother, in Texas, called to make sure my parents hadn't flown out of Logan that morning to visit, because he couldn't reach them by phone. It was 7 AM on the west coast, and when I asked him what was going on, he said "We're under attack. The Pentagon has been hit by a plane, and the World Trade Center is gone."
I held on tight to my son all day, huddled up on the couch and watching the coverage on TV. And my sister-in-law, a flight attendant for American who knew a number of the crew members on a couple of those planes, quit her job.
I used to live in New York. I went to the top of the WTC when things got crazy and I needed perspective. They were my beacons for getting back home, downtown, after working in midtown all day. And then they were gone, along with all the people inside them.
I will never forget.

AFRo said...

Thank you Sarah.

Mom in Sahuaritaville said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

I will never forget!

pjmomof3boys said...

I was almost 6 months pregnant with my second child, and I felt exactly the same way as you: How could I bring another child into this cruel world, into a war? And then there was the child I already had, 3 years old and so innocent. I remember the day, the moment I heard the news. I remember leaving work to attend a local church to pray. I remember crying A LOT for days and days. I didn't know anyone personally but felt like they were all my family. My American family. I remember getting chills as I listened to President Bush speak. How for a short time, all Americans were on the same page, united. This morning Glenn Beck played a tribute to 9/11 that he plays every year, and it brought back many of the feelings. My now 10-year-old was in the car listening as well. We talked about what happened and how horrible it was, but how bravely Americans responded. Our local firefighters were having a ceremony in remembrance of the day when I drove by this morning also. They had placed a firefighter helmet and coat with a wreath around in next to a fire truck and were all standing around it. I got choked up just driving by. I hope we never forget.

Janet said...

I remember this post from last year. I will never forget my peaceful morning with a two-week-old baby shattered by the realization that the world was a crazy, dangerous place. No, I will never forget.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

I can't imagine being pregnant at that time. It was already so scary and emotional. My princess was 8 months old. I can't believe it's been 7 years.

Tracey said...

I was pregnant with my second... the memories are so fresh, even still.

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