Friday, September 08, 2006
5 years ago I was at home with my then 4-year old son. He was in the living room watching his cartoons and I was just going about my morning. The phone rang and it was my husband. It was a shock to hear his voice on the other end because we had been separated for several months and were in the process of a divorce.
"Are you watching television?" It was the most civil he had talked to me in months.
"No, why?" I asked.
He proceeded to tell me what had happened and I watched the news in shock.
"This is bad, really bad," I remember him saying.
After getting off the phone with him I called a couple of friends from work. I worked at a television station in the production department. I was a news geek....there was breaking news and I knew I had to get to work.
I quickly dressed and got my son ready for and dropped him off at day care and was at my station by 10:30 that morning. I usually worked a second shift position. But everyone was there in the control room. I took my seat next to the director and that's basically where I sat for the next 12 hours.
When we weren't on our network we were doing local cut ins. It was a fly-by-the seat of your pants day. This was what news was all about. The adrenaline rush carried me through the day.
At one point I called my husband. I needed to hear his voice. When he returned my call he was short with me and I almost regretted that decision. He asked about when I was going to get on my own health insurance because he had some papers to sign at work. Our country was under attack and THIS is what he has to say to me?
Most people chose to sit and watch the events unfold. I didn't because I was part of making it unfold for people. I couldn't escape it. As I watched one of the network reporters get choked up towards the end of his story I realized how much worse so many people are right now than myself. Here I was in the middle of a divorce with my husband for selfish reasons and there were people out there wondering where their loved ones were.
I remember the images from that horrific day. But mostly I remember how I felt. Scared; confused; like my life was spinning out of control. I had nighmares for a long time after. I called them "end of the world" nightmares. I haven't had any in a long while which is good I suppose.
I worked at least 12 hours that day, not getting home until late. That night, I slept in my bed that my husband and I shared. Neither of us had moved out during the separation and I had been sleeping in my son's room on a mattress on the floor. But I just needed to be near my husband that night; needed to feel him somewhat close; needed to feel safe. I was back in at work by 6 a.m. the next day to direct the morning news and put in another 12 hours at least.
On Sept. 13th my husband and I had our first counseling session. Although there were many more rough spots in the months ahead I eventually called off the divorce; just in time for Christmas. I don't know if I would have been so willing to work on things with him had it not been for September 11th; had my life not been put into perspective for me that day; had I not realized how short life is.
My heart continues to break and weep for those who were affected by this tragedy in a direct way.
If you have a 9/11 story that you would like to share...post it on your blog and go to Rocks in my Dryer and add your name to the Mr. Linky and read what others have written as well.