Five years ago today, my husband's car would not start. It was halfway in the driveway, blocking the sidewalk -- and a lot of people walk in our neighborhood. Hubby picked up the phone to call his dad, to see if we could use his AAA to get it towed. The kids were watching TV in their jammies, and not so anxious to start their schoolwork.
School never started.
Hubby's dad told us to turn on the TV. We did -- just in time to see the second plane plunging into the tower. We knew instantaneously that life as we knew it had ended, that those moments would burn forever in our memories. That a part of everyone's soul died that day.
My friend at work had been at the WTC ten days before, and recounted her memories. At work, we answered calls for a call center in Manhattan, who couldn't function because their people couldn't get to work. DD's piano teacher was in the WTC the night before -- and was in the airport when the attacks happened. Her story of coming home was surreal -- piles of luggage just thrown on the airport floor, being grabbed up frantically by passengers trying to get out of the airport, but not knowing where to go. Grabbing one of the few available cabs with her friend and a young girl who, terrified, went with them. They didn't realize until hours later that they didn't even know her name. Calling her sons in Indianapolis, who were already driving to New York, with no idea where to find her. Standing in a Walgreens parking lot in Jersey and breathing a sigh of relief when she saw their truck come over the hill. The nameless girl, who was from Denver, riding as far as Indianapolis with them, where she got a rental car and drove home.
On that day, I was glad that my children were homeschooled, when all of the schools went into lockdown. I remember calling the Y to tell them that DD wouldn't be at soccer, and the lady saying "honey, NO ONE is coming today," then having to explain that no, she really wasn't coming at ALL, because she had broken her toe, and wasn't going to be able to play for six weeks. It was probably the one light moment of the day.
I remember the realization, about ten minutes before it happened, that the towers were going to fall. But the one memory hold closest is my husband. As the first tower fell, he fell down on his knees, then went facedown on the carpet, totally engulfed with grief. It was heart wrenching to watch, and still difficult to remember.
I know that I am not the only one who looks up now, whenever a plane passes over, and remembers the events of that day.
May we never forget.