I had recently returned to morning radio, leaving my nearly 9-month old baby boy at home and sending my daughter off to full days of First Grade. I went for coffee then walked back in the studio to find everyone staring at the TV because a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. I assumed it was pilot error because I just couldn’t imagine anything else.
And while I continued to watch and a second plane plowed into the other tower I was proved totally wrong. After that, when it became obvious what had occurred, all I wanted to do was go home, get my daughter and my baby, and hide in my house. I got home and sat on the family room floor with the TV going and my son crawling around me. The schools were on lockdown and, while I knew my daughter was safe, it took all my willpower not to show up at the school and demand to take her home with me.
I watched the news reports of stores filling up with people stocking up on supplies and wondered if I should be doing the same. I called my husband and begged him to come early from work because his office was near the America Center in Southfield and no one was sure if there were more targets.
Leaving my family and heading to work at 5 a.m. the next morning goes down as one of the more difficult mornings of my life. Explaining to my 6-year old daughter what had happened was nearly impossible. What if she saw the footage of people choosing to jump from the building? How do I tell her about the children whose parents wouldn’t be coming home? I had to have answers. I didn’t set her down and explain what happened, but casually asked a few days later if she’d heard about it (she had) and what she thought about it (she was sad).
I think the hardest thing to see were the photos filling up every available space on fences and walls in New York of missing loved ones. Layers and layers of faces. I watched distraught parents, husbands, wives and other family members begging for any kind of hope that their missing family member had been spotted or was lost or in the hospital and couldn’t help but put myself in their shoes. I couldn’t imagine the frustration, the feeling of powerlessness.
My heart still grieves for the families of those affected. I hope there is no one left with unanswered questions about that day.