Then, 4 weeks before our wedding, everything changed.
Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001, I was at work. Without a TV, and only getting second-hand reports from co-workers who had desk radios, it took me a while to find out what was really going on.
As a former New Yorker, I swung into crisis mode, sending off frantic emails, trying to place calls that never went through.
I couldn’t even get through to the building just across the street from me. I was stuck waiting for Jeff to return from his morning deliveries, and either get through to me by phone or come find me.
4 hours later, I finally heard from him; he was coming to get me. Traffic was lined up as far as the eye could see on the two lane road that ran between us. Most everyone was trying to get home to somewhere. It took Jeff 30 minutes to cross the street, and then another 30 minutes for someone to let us out of my office driveway.
7 hours later, we left Ann Arbor, drove straight to the credit union, took out as much cash as allowed. Limit was $200.00, but Jeff made one with drawl,I made another, and we considered ourselves fortunate to have cash.
It was 7:00 pm by the time I was finally able to sit in front of our TV. I was in shock and shaking, so over-whelmed that tears would not come. We shifted from station to station hearing that, for our own good, much had been edited out. Images considered too graphic or too scary had been removed from every broadcast.
In an uneasy way, I felt cheated by that. In an easier way, I now feel blessed by my hours of limited and now filtered information. Our phone rang non-stop. Jeff would hang up with one person, and another would call. Family and friends all checking up on each other.
The internet was still a bit young, growing and nurturing connections and reconnections. The world was searching for answers, and so was I. Message replies began coming in slowly. A few came on the 12th, a few on the 13th. There were some that took over a week to get back to me.
From Japan: “In one sense we feel very grateful to be on a military installation. On the other hand, we feel like a target. As I told the children this morning as we sat in front of the TV, material things don’t matter when you are facing eternity.”
From NYC: “I was en-route to Midtown during the plane crashes and in the office for the rest. I did not see, hear or feel anything. I can’t get over this. My father keeps telling me that my room at home is ready, if I want to return.”
From NYC: “It took me forever to get out of the city, but I made it home. I won’t be going anywhere for a while.”
From Ireland: “I’m stunned. I don’t ever want to lose contact with you, again!”
From Georgia: “I’ve wanted to cry, but the tears just aren’t coming, yet.”
From NJ: “I’m fine. Thank you for checking up on me. I’m fine. My sister who works for the Fed Gov got home ok. God Bless and stay safe.”
From NJ: “I can still see the smoke rising. I’m sorry. I can’t make the trip to Michigan. I just can’t.”
From MA: “I’m still coming to your wedding. I am not afraid, and if the flight goes, I’ll be there!!!”
Those last two messages… our wedding was about to change.
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
How the Internet Broke on 9/11: https://www.washingtonpost.com
Effects on Industry: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/
Cooperation & Stress: http://www.scientificamerican.com/