Friday, September 11, 2009

It was a beautiful day

It was a beautiful day in NYC, blue sky with a few wisps of clouds.

I took the train into the city as per usual, but I was by myself. Dad had to go to a funeral and would be on a later train.

Instead of heading to my office , I went to my doctor's office.
It was there that I heard whispers "Planes….World Trade Center"
It was in my doctor's office when he came in and told me what happened.

I had to head to mid-town, the subways were empty as they passed by, finally one stopped
I headed to Herald Square and walked towards 5th
My cell phone did not work

It was on 34th and 5th that I saw tower 1 fall
It was there that traffic stopped…the world stopped
It was there that I heard silence and screams in a matter of seconds
It was there that the woman standing next to me fell on her knees and the man next to me started to cry
All in front of the Empire State Building…the tallest building on that island.

I ran across the street that was motionless to my office a few doors down

I walked in and all my co-workers were on the phone and watching the TV.
We had only 5 working lines
I had 7 messages on my phone
My friend could not find her husband, an NYPD officer
My co-worker could not get in touch with her friends that worked downtown
My other co-worker remembered that his cousin was in the building

It was there when I called my mom and finally got her
I was in the office when I heard her say "Your father went in to the office after the first plane hit, he has to check on his staff"
A few moments later "Tower two fell
My dad worked in tower two.

My VP walked out and told us that he was leaving the city and we all could go
My boss and I went to Grand Central to find it closed with police all around
"Harlem", I said," we have to make it to Harlem"

We took a bus to Harlem
It was packed, people wanted out of the city
People were crying
People in private cars, pulled over and let pedestrians into their cars
Strangers were crying and hugging each other on the streets
People just stopped to stare

There was the train at Harlem to take me home
It was standing room only
People in the vestibule were listening to the radio
We heard….Pentagon…plane down in Pennsylvania….terror….World Trade Center
I got home at around 2:13 in the afternoon
We had 21 messages on our answering machine.

The phone rang within minutes of me getting home
My aunt began to cry when she heard my voice

I turned on the TV and paced
I was in shock
I called my friends who I knew had family and loved ones in that area
I took messages for my mom
I had no idea where my dad was

A half hour later, he walked through the door, slightly covered in some dust

For 100 days there was dust, smoke and a smell that you can't ever get out of your skin and to this day, the memory burns my nose
Sirens were a constant but when it reached a certain pitch, I began to shake still

It was like a dream, a bad dream
The stories came pouring out with the tears, some of luck others of misfortune
My friend's sister was ok
My friends husband was at fashion week in Bryant Park so he was not patrolling downtown
My other co-worker lost 5 friends and spend days looking for her former fiancĂ©e in all the area hospitals… she found him a few days later with short term memory loss
My co-worker's cousin was found alive and was the last one of the survivors to leave the hospital

But there were people who lost their spouse, partner, friend, child, parent
Pets lost their mom and dads

I have not worn the beige blazer that I had on that day ever again.

But that is all I remember.

Note-I have been meaning to write this for many years but this is the first time that I put it all in writing. I still mourn for my city, it was never the same.

6 comments:

Amber said...

Wow... that was powerful and heartbreaking to read, Christina.

I cannot begin to imagine the horror of the NYC natives there that day.

All I know are the ripple effects it created across the USA.

My heart goes out to the victim's families of 9/11 -- but also to the survivors; those who were there, who seen, who experienced.

Thank God that you are one of the blessed who didn't lose family/friends in the attacks. But you are still a survivor.

Thank you for sharing your story.

crankylitprof said...

You and yours will be in my prayers from this day forward.

kilax said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. This is not something that should be forgotten. We should all still talk about how we felt on that day.

Diana said...

I sit here with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I read this.

On that day I was miles away in an office in the northern suburbs of Chicago thinking "it was probably a prop plane", until we found a television, turned it on and minutes later the 2nd plane hit.

As long as I live, I'll never forget that day, but it pales in comparison to the locals and what they experienced first hand.

Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for your friendship. You came along at a very lonely time in my life and I feel immensly blessed and fortunate to call you my friend.

You're an amazing woman. Truly amazing.

Christina said...

Amber-It is a blessing but, I can't fathom how it would have been if things were different. My heart still breaks for those where lost their loved ones.

Crankylitprof-Thank you, it means a lot

Kilax-It is hard sometimes to put it all into words. Thanks for your comment.

Diana-Thanks love, it is a pleasure to be your friend.

comebacknikki said...

Wow, girl -- although I knew you lived in NY back then, I never really thought about you being there back then. {{{Christina}}}