Thursday, September 8, 2011
WHERE WERE YOU?
My emotions are still raw. Talking about it is difficult. The event haunted me for days, weeks, months and yes, even years. I think it would have been different if we were home. I have a support system here. But at the time... we were living in a rented house in Indiana, about an hour from Chicago. I didn’t know anybody there except the landlords. They worked odd shifts and were seldom home. And to tell you the truth, they sometimes acted a little strange. So even though they lived right next door, we kept our distance. There was no other house on the street or neighbors. Since my husband had such a long commute, to and from the office… this left me to fend for myself, for hours on end. I kept busy blogging. He took I-94 to drive to work. I didn’t know where he turned off to head for the plant. But I knew that route would take him right past the Sears Tower. “Standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories high, it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere.” (It’s now called The Willis Tower.) When I saw the images on TV that morning... I immediately thought we were at WAR. But with who? It was frightening. The World Trade Center, The Twin Towers. The Pentagon. Shanksville, Pennsylvania. There seemed to be no end in sight. Where would they strike next? I collapsed in a heap on the floor and began to cry. Then I prayed. I had no way to get a hold of my husband, who was in route to his job. I was worried The Sears Tower would be another target. And, I was afraid that he’d get caught in the aftermath and carnage that would occur if it were hit. Gripped with fear, I monitored the unfolding crisis by getting online and continuing to look at the TV. I watched and waited, glued to my chair. I could not believe this was really happening. Not here. Not on our soil. I went through the hours in slow motion. I couldn’t imagine actually being in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania or D.C. The telephone startled me. It was my husband, at long last. He was safe. We commiserated. He said he would try to get back to me... in Indiana, as soon as he could. In the meantime… he wanted me to stay put. He knew I was by myself, alone in a strange place. I was terrified by the notion. I didn’t want to hang up the phone and lose contact. I have never been more scared in my whole life. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like we were right smack dab in the middle of a bad Horror or Disaster movie. This was AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE, REALIZED. Planes crashing. Fires raging. Buildings collapsing. Dust clouds filling the streets. People jumping to their deaths or running for their lives. It seemed like the end of the world. All that mayhem. I will NEVER forget and neither should you. “Let’s roll.”
PS) If you haven’t read 9/11 Survivor, Lauren Manning’s book Unmeasured Strength. Check it out at the library or pick up a copy. Here is a description of the book.
“ On 9/11, good fortune was no match for catastrophe. When a wall of flame at the World Trade Center burned more than 80 percent of her body, Lauren Manning began a ten-year journey of survival and rebirth that tested her almost beyond human endurance. Long before that infamous September day, Manning learned the importance of perseverance, relentless hard work, and a deep faith in oneself. So when the horrific moment of her near-death arrived, she possessed the strength and resilience to insist that she would not yield—not to the terrorists, not to the long odds, not to the bottomless pain and exhaustion. But as the difficult months and years went by, she came to understand that she had to do more than survive. She needed to undergo a complete transformation, one that would allow her to embrace her life and her loved ones in an entirely new way. Fleeing the burning tower, Manning promised herself that she would see her son's face again. Courageous and inspiring, Unmeasured Strength tells the riveting story of her heroic effort to make that miracle—and so many others—possible.”
Here is a link to buy the book from Amazon. Or just click on the site, to read the reviews of the book. They are at the bottom of page if you want to know more about it. http://www.amazon.com/Unmeasured-Strength-Lauren-Manning/dp/0805094636/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315456122&sr=1-1