8 Years

by Kathy on September 11, 2009 · 9 comments

in 9/11, Baby Benson, Bob, Holidays, Loss, Memories

It’s hard to believe that eight years have come and gone since 9-11-01.

On Facebook today a number of my friends have posted status updates sharing their memories of their personal experiences from that day and asked others to share theirs. I thought for sure that I would have done so here on my blog previously, either last year or in 2007, but in looking back at my posts, I have not.

I did post this on 9-11-2007, referencing the 6th anniversary of that tragic day in our nation’s recent history. I also found something on our hard drive that I vaguely recall writing on 9-11-2002, as I wanted to write what I could remember about my experience that day while it was still somewhat fresh in my mind. So here is my recollection of my day on September 11, 2001:

Bob and I had a routine for getting ready in the morning at the time that year. He would wake up and shower, then wake me up and we would eat breakfast and watch the morning news together. Then he would leave for work and I would shower and get ready and go in. At the time I was managing the Teen Center at the park district where I worked and typically worked later and therefore would go in later. I had a meeting scheduled for 9am that day at a local school and another at 10am (an all park district staff meeting).

So anyway, while Bob and I ate breakfast in the living room we watched the big news of the day at that time that Michael Jordan had announced that he was coming out of retirement (who ironically is getting inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame tonight)! We discussed his announcement over breakfast and then we said our goodbyes and Bob left for work. Bob was (and still is) an accountant for a law firm in the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago.

After Bob left I turned the TV on in our bedroom on NBC. In those days I usually defaulted to the TODAY show. As I got out of the shower I could hear news anchors Katie Couric & Matt Lauer in the bedroom talking about breaking news.. I was surprised to walk in and see that the first tower to be hit was on fire and smoking. At that time they knew a plane had hit, but they thought it was an accident. I called Bob and left a voicemail knowing he’d still be on the train. I wanted to talk to someone, so I called my dad who worked from home at the time (he is now retired). I told him to turn on the TV, as he had not heard about the crash yet.

Dad and I watched the coverage of the first plane hitting while we talked over the phone. While we watched and talked we literally saw the other plane hit! Then we were shocked and scared! I told dad I wanted to call Bob and leave another voicemail so he would know what was happening. By then they were starting to talk about what other tall buildings could be targets and I started to worry about Bob being on the 77th floor of the Sears Tower. After leaving Bob another voicemail, I called dad back and we watched and talked as a reporter on NBC said he heard a big noise at the pentagon (turned out to be the 3rd plane). While talking to dad, Bob called on the other line and said they were evacuating the Sears Tower and that he would be on his way home within 10 minutes. I felt better knowing that.

I just wanted to stay home and curl up and watch TV, but at that point I felt I needed to go to work. I wrapped up with dad and finished getting ready. As I drove to my first meeting I heard on the radio that the first tower had fallen. I met up with the teacher I was suppose to meet with and we quickly agreed to postpone our meeting. At that time I was paged by a co-worker who told me that our staff meeting location had been moved to the Administration building. So I went there.

When I arrived most of my co-workers were in the board room watching the news on a big screen TV. People were sad and scared; making cell phone calls to be sure their family was okay. At that time my sister still lived in New Jersey and worked near NYC, so I was worried about her. I had co-workers with family members they knew were flying that day. All very scary. Anyway, I got permission to send my two employees that worked for me at the Teen Center that day home to be with family. I also was allowed to close the Teen Center so I could go home and be with my husband.

When I got home Bob and I watched TV pretty much the whole day and soaked it all in. We soon found out that my sister was fine and we were able to touch base with other family and friends to confirm they too were okay. Many of our family and friends were worried about Bob working in the Sears Tower and called to be sure he was home and safe.

Oh one more thing, the Sunday before 9/11/01 Bob and I watched the first episode of Band of Brothers which premiered on HBO. That was just two nights before 9/11. When it was over we talked about how horrible it must have been to be alive during WWII. We talked about how blessed and lucky we were to not have been alive during a major war like that. Little did we know only days later what would happen….

On this 8th anniversary of 9/11 I call to mind those who lost their lives that day and hold their loved ones who are carrying on close in my thoughts and prayers.

Only 6 more days until we get to meet our baby girl, if she doesn’t arrive early! We had our last prenatal appointment this morning. It was another normal and routine appointment. I had a lot of questions for our OB, but they were mostly related to last minute details in preparation for our scheduled c-section on Thursday. Tomorrow we will be 39 weeks gestation. This all still feels very surreal to me. I continue to focus on my mantra that “September 17 is going to be a happy day” and am grateful for your kind words, support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 S September 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm

It IS going to a happy, happy day. I'm ready for some sweet pictures!!!


2 Becoming a Family of Four September 12, 2009 at 7:23 am

I can't imagine what this must feel like for you — to be at the end of a normal pregnancy and seeing the bright light at the end of a very long tunnel. I can't wait to see pictures and to learn what this special little girl's name will be 🙂


3 Lori Lavender Luz September 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

First off, happy early birthday to Abby! September has such a bright spot in it because of her.

Though it’s hard to re-live that day by reading accounts like this, it’s also healing.
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Time Warp Tuesday: 9/11My Profile


4 missohkay September 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I’m always interested to read others’ accounts of their day on 9/11, even though I couldn’t bear to write my own – I suppose it’s comforting because those of us who watched it on TV share such a similar experience. I watched the second plane live too and had the same shock and dawning horror as I realized what it meant. I didn’t live in Chicago at the time, but now I work in the building next to Bob. I don’t think I could work in the Sears Tower (though if anything ever happened, I’d be just as screwed in my building…)
missohkay recently posted..Time Warp Tuesday: Still FracturedMy Profile


5 Justine September 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I was surprised that I’d never recounted my own experience of 9/11 on my blog, and I guess you could say that I didn’t really do it this time, either. But somehow I think it’s so important to do so … and it’s interesting to me that the stories of 9/11 are about connections in the midst of loss and despair and disorientation. In that way, I think they give us hope.
Justine recently posted..Friendship, Under the Circumstances: Fudge BrowniesMy Profile


6 Jjiraffe September 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I resisted for at least a year before I wrote up my story, but finally decided to do it because of posterity, so my kids could read my story.

It must have been very scary to know Bob was working in a tall tower that day. Thank you for sharing your story.
Jjiraffe recently posted..Terrible NewsMy Profile


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