Friday, September 09, 2011

Where Were You on September 11, 2001?

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. 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 heaed 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 annoucement 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 gave me a seat. I let a few strangers borrow my cell phone. Everyone lost in their own thoughts. Fear, stifled but present. Uncertainty heavy in the air.

I spent the next three days on the couch in my "uniform" (you know, at 9 months pregnant, the comfy maternity clothes that are the only ones left that possibly 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.

Ten years, you guys.  Ten years.


Charlene ( said...

Too funny. I am writing a similar post. I was in the Legislature at the time. Needless to say, we thought we may be a target. I remember the weird walk too. And flying out to Disney a few days later when the airports opened. Wait till you hear that story. 10 years. And what a difference since.

Evonne said...

What kind of world am I bringing a child into? I completely relate to this as I was 7 months pregnant at the time.

Flight 93 was brought down a few hours from where I live. Before it went down, we had no idea where it was so things were scary here, too. Such a horrible day.

Mari said...

I too was pregnant - but only 10 wks. Too early to tell anyone at work so while we all watched the second plane hit I thought the same thing - what kind of world will my child be born into? I couldn't share that fear with anyone. It was so incredibly scary and sad.

Adrienne said...

Wrote on thursday. Got teary reading yours...I was in cambridge and, yet, don't remember hearing about all the down town offices closing. my kids were at school - all very eerie to remember. 10 years is hard to grasp.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

I still cannot believe it has been ten years. It still takes my breath away.

Anonymous said...

I was getting ready for work when we heard about the first plane on the news. I'm Canadian and since I live in Western Canada, I'm pretty far away from New York. I thought it sounded weird, but figured it was a small plane. We immediately switched on CNN when we heard about the 2nd tower. Even though I live far away and it's been 10 years, my thoughts go to those who thought they were just going to work, like any other Tuesday, their families and friends, and those rescue workers who were also just doing their jobs.


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