Today is a day of reflection. Eleven years ago, I was watching my husband and an electrician, work on my daughter’s playhouse in the back yard. It was the most beautiful day with the sky so azure and crisp that it almost made you cry. The phone rang and I answered it because it was my friend Peggy. She had been partially bed ridden from her battle with mesothelioma. Her story is still too painful to share but maybe one day I will. So when the phone rang, I answered it. She mustered a fairly good bit of strength to tell me to turn on the TV. I did because I always did what Peggy told me to do. She was just that wise. We watched from two different homes , two different rooms, and living two different lives as the second plane hit the World Trade Tower. We were saddened. We hung up the phone in silence.
Later that day, my small daughter was limp and very lifeless. I had never seen her that sick before. For several days we had been treating her cold, aches and pains as the doctor and nurses told us. On the seventh or eighth call to the Doctor during the week, My Princess, uttered the weakest cough I had ever heard. It was a very unpronounced cough, barely even a cough, more like a clearing of the throat. As luck would have it, the nurse on the phone with me said, “Ahhhhhh, now we have a symptom that we can treat. Bring her down to the office right away.” I was so glad. I gathered up and put her in the car. I managed to have my radio and earplugs from the my usual exercise routine. I don’t recall if it as a was an Apple product because I don’t think they were invented yet. Little did I know that those earphones and radio would be the only source of information I would have for several of the most important hours our country has ever endured. Anyway, I rushed to the hospital and waited patiently for the Doctor to examine my sick child. The door to her examination room stayed open and as the Doctor shifted from one room to the next he noticed my limp daughter and gave me the look of horror, a look a Mom never wants to see. I knew she was very sick but I had just kept listening to the nurse all week and she kept telling me that a fever virus was going around and that was what we were dealing with and my daughter would improve shortly. I was trying not to be an over-cautious Mom, so I followed her advice. My daughter just got worse. My worry was mounting, my fears were stifling.
As my daughter waited lifeless and still, I waited for the Doctor to arrive from the room next door. He walked in and we discussed the situation with my daughter, I then asked if he had heard about the World Trade Center. He had not. I gave him my head phones and he listened to the reports over the radio. Now all three of us were still.
After the results of the tests he ordered arrived, he immediately put my sweet daughter in the hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit of the Hospital. I tried to get in touch with my husband to tell him what was going on but he kept missing my calls. I needed his SSN to admit her. I was lost in the middle of a hospital with a sick child and everyone was glued to the TV or news of the events unfolding in the Country. We all were Americans, trying to figure out what was going on. As if a gift from God, our Insurance agent walked out from the admitting office with his two new-born twins, I looked at him and he saw my distress and I told him I couldn’t reach my husband to get his SSN. He stopped on that day which was supposed to be one of the most joyous occasions in his individual life, to call his secretary who looked up my husband’s SSN and we were able to give it to the admitting personnel. What are the chances of that happening? I would guess close to zero. From the moment of complete chaos came the willingness of everyone to work together. We were thousands of miles away from historic horrible events, but in that time and place, something happened and every person was trying to help everyone else.
Miles away, families were searching for their loved ones, making frantic calls to unanswered phones. Tears and fears were waiting their every breath. I could not imagine the suffering those people felt. Fortunately, my small child regained her strength and improved and we were able to take her home, but I remember everyday how some Moms lost there children and children lost their parents in such an evil attack. The victims of 911 were doing nothing but living their lives.
In the darkness of the early morning around 2 AM on 9-12, I stayed awake , watching my sleeping daughter with tubes and oxygen and many of the things to keep life going surrounding her. I paused and looked out of the window. All the lights on the interstate went dark, all the lights on several vehicles were off, all the exits were blocked with police cars, again no lights were flashing. Everything stopped and a caravan of semi-tractor trailer trucks with no markings what so ever moved silently along the interstate. No other traffic was present. I got nervous. I wondered what was happening and what were those vehicles carrying? I never heard one word about it. No one at the hospital said one thing to each other. We all just watched and wondered silently. To this day, I have no idea what was being transported that required complete darkness. I hope I never know.