Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago...

September 11, 2001

My son was three weeks old that morning, and I had gotten zero sleep the night before. Every time he fell asleep, I'd try ever so carefully to lay him back down in the bassinet, only to have him wake right up and cry again. By 4am I was completely sleep deprived and finally took him to bed with me. We got four hours of solid sleep...until the phone rang at 8am.

I blearily answered the phone, and it was my best friend, Mark. "Merrie...Merrie...Oh my God, Merrie...can you believe this?!"

Huh? Wha?

I told him I didn't know what he was talking about. "It looks like terrorists have attacked New York. The twin towers have collapsed!" I honestly asked him, what are the twin towers? He explained that was the World Trade Center, and told me planes had crashed into them, and they'd collapsed.

Just hearing about it didn't make it very real to me. After all, I was in newborn first baby bliss, and couldn't really appreciate anything happening outside of my little world. Especially in my tired state. I turned the television on, and saw the mess that was now New York city, but still nothing really sunk in. I had missed all the horrible live footage of people jumping out of windows, and the planes hitting the buildings. For me, it was all about replays and clouds of smoke and debris.

I then called my pediatrician's office to see about postponing my son's first doctor appointment due to my lack of sleep and the long drive, but they wouldn't budge. So I got us moving and made it out the door for the drive, just in time. As we drove, I heard the President address the nation from an "undisclosed location," which did make me emotional for a few minutes. But then I reached the appointment, during which I found out my son was actually under his birth weight at three weeks of age. HUH? WHA? After much shock and a meeting with the lactation consultant at the hospital, I was now fully entrenched in what was now a mission to breastfeed better, and get my baby's weight up!

Back home, I met the installers from DirecTV -- we were finally getting satellite television that day. Ironically, with over 200 channels to choose from, guess what was showing on every single one? Even Nick Jr! Still, being home with my newborn, and now focusing on my failure as a mother, I wasn't feeling the reality of the situation. When a former friend of mine called late in the afternoon, and greeted me with a heavy hearted "hello," I actually asked her what was wrong? She sounded disgusted until I realized the cause of her upset. Oops...apparently I have no compassion.

When I found out one of the planes, United 93, had flown out of New Jersey, the first thing I said was that I wondered if one of my co-workers was on that flight. The company I worked for had our headquarters in CA and another large office in NJ. Sure enough, it was discovered that my co-worker Ed Felt had been among the passengers that took down the plane in Pennsylvania. (Another co-worker was in the WTC.) I saw the movie they made last year, "United 93," and it broke my heart to think of what they all went through. I still can't watch any footage of everything that happened without crying. Apparently I have more compassion when I'm not sleep deprived.

Now you know where I was.

Where were you?


Jormengrund said...

I was driving to work, and remember the panic in the radio announcer's voice as he talked about it.

I remember all of us sitting around the TV in the breakroom, and not even going out onto the sales floor.

I recall my boss keeping the doors locked, and refusing to let us go home until the "all clear" was given.

And lastly, I recall helping clear the rubble as I volunteered with many others in trying to find anything or anyone who could have survived the crushing fall of those brick and steel buildings.

Sue Wilkey said...

I was also a sleep-deprived new mom, so my husband woke me saying "a small plane crashed into the World Trade center - you have to see this". Little did we know the horror that was about to unfold. I remember looking at the clock and saying 8:45 - that's good - nobody's arrived for work yet."

I also remember saying - "people can just go up to the roof and helicopters can get them."

Ali said...

I was at work and heard co-workers talking about it. At first I thought they were joking until I saw it one TV. I remember the reporters on scene barely able to get words out. My first panic attack occurred during the United 93 movie. It was on TV last week and I still can't watch it.

Jamey said...

Same here, sleep deprived. Sarah was 6 months old, and I watched TV all day and cried.

Tenakim said...

I posted about it, too today- Mine is similar to yours, just an everday person- touched by it! Thanks for sharing

Bex said...

Merrie - Nice post. I wrote about 9/11 on my blog today, too. I guess it's on all of our minds.

Anyway, I was home with my little baby, too. My brother called me from Manhattan while walking to the bank where he worked and told me that there had been an accident. I spent the whole day crying, freaking out and trying to get him back on the phone, just for a was probably the worst day of my life.

The Mom Jen said...

Home with an 6-month old My Boy, he was sick and up at the crack of dawn so we turned on the t.v and saw LIVE the second tower being hit, it was UN believeable!

Hugs Merrie, i'm sory about your co-workers!

Cheryl Lage said...

Merrie, what a wonderfully articulated very sorry about your co-workers.

Amazing how thinking about that day seven years ago seems like yesterday.

Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I really like yours.