I Never Forget

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As part of my son’s homework assignment last night, he was to ask me a series of questions regarding September 11, 2001.


I don’t care how many years it has been, I recall it all like it was yesterday and still think about it all of the time.

I often think about September 10, 2001 before it all happened. When life was innocent.

When I went to Roosevelt Field mall during my lunch break looking for a birthday gift for my mother since her birthday was the next day, September 11th. Happy Birthday mom!

When going to the mall and going through life was a bit more carefree.

When you didn’t really look around you in the mall, consider where the emergency exits were, when you didn’t think about terrorists or taking your shoes off in the airport or worry that your peanut butter would somehow count for a liquid on an airplane.

It was the year of my engagement, two months before my wedding day and just a few weeks before the invitations would be sent out and my bridal shower would occur.

I remember driving to work the morning of September 11th in the gorgeous morning sunshine with the sunroof open and taking note of the bright blue sky and crisp morning Autumn-like air.

I remember being at my desk before 9:00 am (I was always early) and a coworker of mine running in asking if anyone else had heard that a plane had crashed into the World Trader Center.

I remember calling my fiancé (funny to use that term now but that’s what my now ex-husband was) on his cell phone while he was driving to work and he answered shouting about what he was witnessing from the Long Island Expressway just outside of Manhattan.

My coworkers and I gathered around the office to listen to the radio and watch news coverage on one small television.

We were sent home for the day before 11:00 am.

I remember eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple for lunch as I watched the horrific news coverage in the den at my parents house where I still lived at the time while talking to my best friend Heather on the phone since she was also sent home for the day from work down in the Florida. Her uncle worked in the Pentagon but he was okay.

I remember trying to call friends and family in the city to see that they were okay.

I think back now to the difference in technology. We didn’t have text or cameras built into our phones, the internet didn’t serve us as it does now nor did we have a thing called social media to keep us informed and connected.

I had a Startac phone with no caller id, nothing smart about it other than dialing and offering me call waiting.

I remember baking chocolate chip cookies and subbing the oil with applesauce and eating the batter raw with my cousin Amy, who was stranded at my house because the bridges and tunnels were shut down and she couldn’t get home to the city.

I remember going to get my mother a birthday cake that night from TCBY, the only store opened in the area.

I remember barely sleeping at night for days if not weeks because of the news coverage of people looking for their missing loved ones.

I remember being afraid to leave the house in the dark, especially in the morning before work when I would normally go to the gym.

Instead of going to the gym each morning, I spent my time on the treadmill (running so much slower than I do now even though I was only 23 and now I am 36!) in my parent’s basement where I felt safe.

I remember hearing about friends of mine who lost their parents, relatives and close friends as well as those close to me who survived.

I remember canceling my lavish honeymoon and changing the destination completely because we were afraid to fly and be too far from home not sure of what the heck would be going on in the world.

I never forget how afraid I was to go to my aunt’s house in the city a week after the tragedy for the Jewish Holidays. I was afraid to go over the bridge and afraid to get out of the car.

I remember the smell of lower Manhattan a month after September 11th when I had no choice but to head there for a meeting. The burning smell which lingered on for so long was so strong still at that point and it was a reminder of what we were living through.

I recall the one year anniversary of September 11th being almost as upsetting somehow as the actual day.

One of my co-workers brought in munchkins (not to celebrate but more as an emotional eating session) where we sat for a while and lots of us cried.

As the years keep passing, I don’t forget.

On September 11, 2003, I was nine months pregnant and picking up the keys to our first house which we closed on days earlier. I recall watching the 9/11 news coverage all morning while I continued to pack before going to meet my realtor.

On September 11, 2006, I watched the news coverage as I tried to get my son ready for his first day of preschool. Which was a total disaster of a day – he cried the entire four hours of school and I cried listening to him cry as I sat in the preschool office unable to leave the building. Neither of us were too good at separation back then.

And, as I type this, I realize that two years ago today I left my job in event planning to go off on my own to explore a career for myself by going back to school to further explore a new direction in health, fitness and freelance writing.

It really couldn’t have been a happier time and major turning point in my life yet at the same time, I didn’t forget and will never forget.

september 11

No questions today but thoughts are always welcome.

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  1. says

    I’m not the first person to say this, by any means, but I think of 9/11 as my generation’s assassination of JFK. One of those times when everything just stopped, and for so many reasons. my family had relatives (my first cousins, actually) living in both NYC as well as working in the Pentagon, and both were unable to call home for along time. My brother was playing Everquest (an online game) at the time, and had friends playing in NYC/NJ that would update him as things happened, before we knew it. It was all just so surreal.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Best of Buzzfeed. And Bacon Jam. Thinking out LoudMy Profile

  2. says

    I remember everything about that day, too. I was driving to school in my mom’s Toyota Camry, listening to the radio in disbelief, hoping it was all some huge joke. I got to school and all the TVs were on, with people just standing around and watching in silence. It was surreal… And that’s with being so far removed from the actual physical place that it occurred… I can’t even imagine how much worse it must have been down in NY 🙁 Gah. Misty eyes.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #95 .My Profile

  3. says

    It really does feel like it was just yesterday and each time another year passes I can still remember so many details. I grew up on Long Island and started college in Maryland like a week before 9/11. My family was still in NY and my dad was working in the city. I think it brought those of who were freshman in college closer very quickly…already feeling uncomfortable with a huge life transition but then also feeling unsafe and uncertain of anything. I will always remember the first time I went home and driving towards the city and not being able to see the twin towers. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #17My Profile

  4. says

    I agree – I will never forget that day and the events/happenings around it.
    There have been 9/11s in the past that we have had different ways to remember and today I’m excited because I’m running a race – The Patriot Run – which is dedicated to those who serve now and those who lost their lives.
    Kim recently posted…Trying to Put an End to the Self DoubtMy Profile

  5. says

    I remember the day thoroughly even though I was still pretty young. Here on the west coast, it was still very early in the morning so nobody was at work or school yet. We watched the news stunned, and then went to school where nobody was allowed to say a word. I remember being very confused and terrified.
    Shannon recently posted…Thinking Out LoudMy Profile

    • says

      That sounds really scary to deal with as a kid. It was hard enough as an adult, I can’t imagine being a child in school living through it. I recall the first World Trade Center bombing when I was in ninth grade though and having kids in my class worrying about their parents being there.