08 September 2011

On That Day

Several months ago we watched Julie and Julia and Julie's job (answering telephone calls from victims of 9/11) made us think about that awful day. It was the first time that we really had a conversation with Emi about the topic. Sure, we'd mentioned the Twin Towers before when watching episodes of Fringe involving Walternate's World where the Twin Towers still stand, but we'd never really talked about the terrorist attacks with Emi.

She was born about 9 months after that terrible day and changed the course of our lives. Her birth parents hooked up during that confusing and scary time in the world resulting in our "post 9/11" baby. It's crazy to think about how that day affected us in a positive way because it was such a sad and scary time, but so wonderful to see people showing love and support after the horror. And what a wonderful surprise for us several months later...

On that day I was at my office and Scott was home after working the night shift at AOL (training new SAVES employees). I was on the phone with a co-worker based at our headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. I was finishing up my coffee and talking to him about project documentation and more specifically, our requirements management tool that we use to track changes to requirements and documentation, when he said that he saw smoke coming from a building close to him. He thought it might be the Pentagon. I could hear some scuffling going on through the line and then he had to hang up quickly because they were evacuating all of the government buildings. They had confirmed it was the Pentagon.

Soon, my office, 1300 miles away, was buzzing with the information of the attack on the Twin Towers and we were told to go home. I called Scott at home and in a panicked voice, told him to turn the on the TV. He'd been asleep and I was annoyed that he wasn't already aware of the situation. It didn't register with me that he'd been up working all night. We lived out in the country and had been through a lot of scary things already in our 3.5 short years out there: IVF followed by miscarriage, FET followed by miscarriage and the Y2K scare. Our family at this time was just us, our dogs and our cats. I told him we were being sent home and I was scared.

I stopped to gas up on the way home and it was impossible, the lines were so long at the gas stations.  I listened to the radio news on the 13 mile drive home. At home we watched helplessly as the Twin Towers burned and people jumped out of the buildings. I remember wondering if there would be more attacks or if we were safe. I think we were allowed to come back to work the next day. I remember that soon enough we all had t-shirts to remember the victims (United We Stand).

This event brought back memories of another terrorist attack that had affected us few years back, the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. Scott and I were working together at the time and the bombing happened the month before we started dating. I was supposed to interview with the Federal Reserve Bank in Downtown OKC that afternoon (April 19, 1995) and I was in the shower when that explosion happened 10 miles North of me. I thought it was thunder. My sister and I didn't even know about it until my dad called to see if we were okay. My ex-boyfriend who was a firefighter first on the scene also called to check on me. They both knew I was scheduled to be downtown that day. It wasn't until later that I remembered it was also my dad's birthday. For 4 years after the bombing he didn't feel like celebrating his b-day until my other sister gave birth to my niece in 1999 on that day.

Beautiful how the birth of a child can heal.


  1. Nolita, this was such a poignant post with your thoughts and memories from both the NYC & OKC tradegies. My Dad's birthday is Sept. 11th.

  2. Wow, Kim. That's a tough b-day. I hope you and your dad still have a joyous celebration anyway. Focus on the good (making it through another year).


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