September 11, 2001
I'm a nightowl and I had slept as usual until about 10:00 that morning. I was dreading going to the phone to listen to my messages because my 89 year grandmother had been very ill all summer long, and now she was near death. We were expecting to lose her at any minute. She was a wonderful grandmother, full of life, strong, always confronting and overcoming any obstacle that life presented. I was half-heartedly hoping that God would just take her, for her relief and selfishly, for ours....yet, I still didn't want to check my messages.
I noticed that I had many messages, so I thought.."she's gone." I listened to the first one. It was from a high school friend of my daughter. My daughter lives in New York City and at the time she was in college. Her friend's message was full of tears asking over and over " Is she alright?" "What is going on I thought?" Her friend kept mentioning something about "It's all on the news. " I listened to the second message. It was another friend of my daughter. This friend lived in Chicago at the time. She kept saying " I hear they are on their way to attack us." ...and the messages went on an on..I stopped for a second and ran to the remote and watched and listened.. then I screamed and cried. I listened to the rest of the messages and the last one was from my daughter saying that she was alright. I thanked God. Unbelieveably, I was able to make contact with her by phone early that afternoon. From her office in mid-town, she had seen one of the towers fall. She spoke of how surreal everything was, of how she had walked many blocks to one of her friends so that she could stay there for the night. She didn't want to be alone. She passed by dazed people and people lined up to give blood. And then there was the smell...
Our best friend's daughter worked in building 7. We called them that afternoon. At the time they had not heard from her. Later we found out that she was alright but she has never been the same since. She has gone through a lot of therapy to help her deal with the trauma of that day. Yes, she saw the bodies tumbling to the ground. She along with many many others will never be able to erase these memories from their minds.
I teach piano. I continued with lessons that day. I didn't know what else to do. It seemed to help to just try to act normal. The students came as usual, but everyone was quiet and we were all just going through the motions.
That night my grandmother died.
Today we remember those we lost on that black day. Tomorrow we can blame, tomorrow we can complain, but today let's contemplate the loss.
God bless our troops!