Another September 11th.
Like everyone else over the age of 25, I will never forget that day. It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in September. The sky in Indianapolis was as clear and blue as it was in NYC. I had just dropped my youngest two children at a babysitter’s house for the day and my oldest two children at their elementary school for “dance club”. I was going to have a day to myself… maybe meet a friend for coffee and get my nails done.
As I was driving home, my phone rang and my mom was on the other end of the line. She was calling to ask me if I had seen the news. This was an unspoken game my mom, my sister, and I have played for years. “Have you seen the news today?” “Did you see who died?” “Did you hear what happened?” I don’t know why, but it is always satisfying to be the first one to inform another about tragedy.
That morning, mom was in the know. She told me that a plane had crashed into a skyscraper in NYC. As a lifelong news junkie, I rushed home and turned on the news. My husband had already been on the phone with a client who told him something was happening in New York… and completely out of character for my husband on a work day, he joined me on the couch.
We were talking about how tragic this was... and then I saw another airplane. I wondered aloud to Marcus,
"That's weird, do you think that airplane is carrying water to help put the fire out?"
He said, "I don't know, maybe it’s..."
And then we watched as an airplane crashed into Tower One. Live on television. We watched an airplane aim for, and crash into, a building in the middle of New York City. We sat there, and in real time, we watched all those people die.
Marcus stood up and said, "What the %&$# just happened?!!" *
I was in shock. All I could say was, “DID YOU SEE THAT!?!" Of course he saw that... he was now standing up and cursing.
From that point, I sat there and watched as unbelievable thing, after unbelievable thing happened. People were jumping to their death, to avoid being burned to death. Both towers collapsed, the Pentagon was attacked, a plane crashed in Pennsylvania. It was like I had been inserted into one of the disaster movies I so enjoy watching. It was surreal.
That day was the first day I ever experienced mass panic. I went to the bank to make a regular business deposit and the line was insanely long. Across the street from the bank was a gas station and the line for gasoline was 20 cars deep. I stopped inside the grocery to pick up formula for the baby and people were buying eggs, milk, and bread... just like they do when a large snow storm threatened the forecast.
I called Marcus to tell him what I was seeing. I asked him if there was something I should be doing... his answer set the tone for the rest of the day. He said, "Nah. Baby, people are panicking. We don't panic. What's for dinner?" My husband is awesome that way.