Another glimpse of my reality...  

SweetDarlinAngel 41F
2088 posts
9/11/2005 2:30 pm

Last Read:
10/20/2011 9:10 am

Another glimpse of my reality...


It's 7:45am on September 11th 2001, my husband jumps out of bed and shakes me awake. "Baby get up! We forgot to set the alarm!" So, we fly around our apartment at 200 miles an hour, grabbing clothes from our closet, skipping the morning shower (thank god we took one after we had sex last night!) He litterally throws me my shoes as I am handing him his toothbrush on a fly by pass off toward the kitchen. I am walking into my shoes, brushing my teeth and trying to find something we can eat and walk to the subway with at the same time. My cell phone starts to ring, it's the office. Shit! I'm dressed, he's dressed, I grab the phone, my purse, he grabs his bike we run out of the apartment and I answer the phone as calmly as possible as we run down the stairs trying to catch the 85 train to Manhattan.

"You're late" my boss says to me. "I know, I'm on my way, I'll be there in 20 minutes I've got everything in my bag, the presentation is ready to go, I am ready nothing to worry about. We've got this under control. I'll be there Janine. Relax." She sighs, there's a long pause and I am running to the station as my husband is fumbling for our subway passes in his wallet. The train is pulling up, we've barely made it. "Just get here okay" she tells me. "I haven't let you down yet, and that's why you love me" I laugh. She laughs back and says "If I don't see your big pregnant ass in here by 8:45, I'm going to kill you and keep those twin babies for myself!" I laughed and hung up the phone. She loves me and I know it.

I breath deeply as I waddle myself onto the train, everyone stares at me panting because they know a woman in my condition shouldn't be running to catch a train let alone running down stairs while on the phone in heels and skirt in my condition. But hey, I'm never one to follow protocol for normal people. Two men stand to give up thier seat simultaneuosly and offer to let me sit down. I graciously accept the offer and relax for the ride to work. I work on the 42nd floor of Trade Tower 2. I am a financial analyst for Merryl Lynch. And I have a meeting with 3 of our brokers regarding new investment portfolios at 9am. Oh, and in case you didn't realize it, I'm running late today. I'm supposed to be in the office, happily making my boss feel warm and fuzzy at 8am each morning. It is now 8:20. My cell phone rings again just as we cross the bridge to Manhattan. The entire train goes dark for a second, then shakes, then stops. What is going on? I answer the phone.

"Where are you!?!" someone screams in my ear through the phone. "Mom?" I ask. "Have you left for work yet? You can't go in today. There has been a plane crash in Manhattan. It's all over the news. It is terrible. At the Trade Center. You need to stay home!" She is going on a hundred miles an hour, I interrupt her. "Mom, relax, this New York. I'm sure it's not as bad as it looks. Calm down. I am 2 stops from the Trade center. If there was anything that serious I would have known about it before you. I'm sure it was just a commuter plane or something. Everything will be fine. Mom, you need to calm down, I can't understand you, you're breaking up. I am in the tunnels right now. I'll call you from my desk at the office. Mom . . .? Are you there? " I hung up the phone. I knew I'd lost her because of the tunnel and I'd have to call her the moment I got to my desk or the woman would be in a panic for the rest of the day. She always blew things out of proportion.

Then the overhead intercom comes on for the train. "Due to an emergency situation, this train will need to be evacuated. Please remain seated and calm. Emergency personnel will escort you from the train cars to a safe location. Do not attempt to open the car doors." I look at my husband, he is moving toward me. The entire train stands up. Remain calm? Yeah right! Every person in our car, which is jam packed with people is now trying to figure out where these emergency people are and what is going on and how the hell the car doors open manually. My husband gets to me and tells me to just sit. So I sit. What else could I do? Then the train jerks, and starts to move.

We end up getting to our stop. The Trade Center. There are all these men in masks and helmets, firemen, policemen. They're everywhere. There's smoke everywhere too. I still don't understand what is happening, I just keep remembering my mom telling me there's been a plane crash. I can't get up off of the train bench because all of these people are pushing and falling over one another to get out of the train. My husband tells me just wait. It's safer to just wait. Finally there's a break in the mob and we stand up, one of the firemen grab me by the arm and then he looks down at my belly then right into my eyes. He says "you need to be careful getting out of here". He turns to my husband and says to him "Take it slow". We are flagged up the stairs through the hallways to the main lobby. There is so much smoke. So many people. I can see the street. There is stuff falling everywhere. We can hear this loud sound like something screaming. It's the building. Someone grabs me by the arm and says we can't go out yet. We have to wait. There's been another plane crash.

Everything seems so distant. It can't be real. I feel like any minute my alarm is going to go off and I will wake up to my normal routine. But it isn't happening. A fireman comes over to the group we were standing with and tells us that we are going to be evacuated through the east exit. We need to stay close to him, keep our bodies crouched down and try not to look up. There is a lot of debris falling. He warned us that there were people falling from the upper floors of the building and that we should keep our eyes averted. Walk quickly straight through the doors directly ahead. Do not attempt to come back to the building they are evacuating everyone as quickly as possible. So, as one large mass the group began to move. We went out the door and headed down the street. I turned to my husband and said the only thing I could think of. I said "I want to go to Starbucks and I need to call my mom". So we headed down the street toward the nearest Starbucks for a sense of normalcy in the middle of seemed to be Armaggedon. Before we had walked two blocks the ground began to shake. My husband turned around and saw people running toward us. Then a wall of dust and debris came straight at us down the street. There was no where to go.

Whether it was instinct or survival, my husband pushed me to the sidewalk, covered me with his own body and clothes as the 1st tower collapsed. The rocks and stones hit his back and arms. Fell all around us. The ash and and dust covered us head to toe. I couldn't breathe. I thought after everything, I was going to die from suffocation on the dust and ash of that wall of nothingness that came after us like some sort of death dealer. After what seemed like forever, the air started to clear enough that we could see each other only inches apart. My husband gathered me up in his arms and held me there on the side of the street and we watched as people walked past with blood streaming from thier heads. It was like a war movie that came to life right in front of me. Like a scene from the opening of Saving private Ryan where people wander around in shock not realizing how hurt they were. Blood dripping, walking in a daze calling out for people that may or may not even be there. We cried. My husband and I as we sat there and watched the scene before us. Covered with ash. Scared. We thought of my son (then only 3 yrs old) who was in AZ and probably watching all of this unfold on television. He was in AZ without his parents. He had no idea if we were okay. But we were both so happy to know that he was safe. Thank god he wasn't with us.

When we were both strong enough and brave enough to stand we did. We walked to the steps of the hosptial which was only 15 blocks away. We sat there and watched as people were treated on the steps and the lawn. As triage was set up on the street and abulances were sent away because there wasn't room left. My body was so sore and bruised but I felt lucky that I wasn't hurt like the people before me was hurt. We watched from a distance as the second tower fell. My husband held me as I cried. We wondered if our friends made it out in time. We wondered if God had planned for us to be late that morning. So many "what if's". My belly was so sore. I went inside of the hospital and looked at my pregnant, swollen stomach. It was black and blue. Sore and misshapen. It didn't look right. I hoped my twins were okay. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my twins. One boy and one girl. I was excited and scared. We sat on those steps for hours. I fianlly could sit any more, so we walked. Walked to the Brooklyn bridge where there we so many other people. People who wanted to know when we could get back to Brooklyn. That was where they lived, that was where we lived too. at 3:40pm the bridge was opened. My husband and I walked across that bridge to Brooklyn. I was the longest hardest walk I made that day. Once across the bridge the trains were running and we went home. There were papers falling in Brooklyn from the towers across the river. We went home and even though we didn't have a view of the Manahattan skyline, our apartment window felt different. Everything felt different.

I wasn't able to call my mom for 3 days. Remember September 11th was a Tuesday morning, so my mom didn't hear from until Friday afternoon. She cried, I called her office and got no answer. So I called the front office and spoke to the operator. Told the operator I was trying to reach Helen in HR, she asked who I was. I said "This is her daughter, in NY". The operator started to cry, forgot to place me on hold while she paged my mother overhead, still crying "Helen! You daughter's alive! She's on the phone! Quick get in here! She's on the phone!" Next thing I know there is all this commotion on the other end of the line. My mother finally picks up the phone sobbing. I can't understand a word she is saying but I can tell she is relieved. She's my mother. I wasn't able to call anyone again after that the phone lines were taken over for emergency purposes.

September 20th 2001, 9 days after my world was so vividly changed, there was a loud banging on my door at 2am in the morning (I guess that would technically make it Sept 21st). My husband flies out of bed to see who the hell is banging at our door. He answers to this woman he doesn't know that is hysterical. She is screaming at him, pounding his chest, "I want my daughter, you bring her home to me! I want my daughter home now! Do you hear me! Damn you. I want my daughter! Can't I just see her?" My husband steps back and tries to calm this woman, tells her "Ma'am I'm sorry but I don't know who your daughter is. Would you like me to call someone?" The woman begins to wail "I just want my daughter home where she is safe damn it! Just bring her home where she is safe!" At this outburst I wake up to the sound of my mother's voice. "Mom?" I say groggily, confused, half-asleep. "What are you doing here? In Brooklyn? Where is Tres Nathan? How did you get here? Oh my god mom! What the hell happened to you? You look like shit! Oh baby, this is my mother, mom this my husband Moustapha." (they'd never met you see). After my mother's story of catching the first flight to NY to bring her daughter home to AZ. My husband gave up his side of the bed to my mother and spent the rest of the night on the couch. The next day, we quit our jobs, rented a van and packed everything we could fit into the van and moved to AZ without anymore than the notice we got from my mom at 2am in the morning. By 6pm on Sept 21st, we had left NY behind us and headed for a new life in AZ.

To make this story finally come to an end. I lost one of my twins in the 9-11 attacks. The stress from the day caused the umbilical cord to the baby girl to close fully and she starved to death over the next two months of gestation. Because she was the baby farthest from the openening of the cervix, the doctors couldn't take her without severe risk to my son who was still very healthy. At his birth, my son was quite ill because of spending so much time with the decaying fetus of his sister. He has lost his twin and it is still hard on him. He is the one referred to in my other blog as "Forest". He is actually very intelligent he just has a mind of his own and I think that he sometime escapes to his "twin world" there is just no one there to share it with him. He was very sick after birth, for about the first month, but is now a very happy and heathly bouncing boy.

Thanks for stopping by on a day that is hard for me. Each year has gotten easier. Sometimes I wonder if I have done everything I should have done with this time that was granted to me. So many people lost thier lives that day, I don't find myself any more worthy of life than they were and yet I am here and they are not. I only hope to live up to whatever plan God had for me.

~Angel


rm_Network_Minx 49F
542 posts
9/12/2005 2:03 am

I know the living can't help but wonder. Why me? Why was I lucky? Just remember to love and never hate.
Good Post.


vengeur 42M  
837 posts
9/14/2005 3:38 pm

I got to meet nine people who later perished in Tower Two on that day. They all worked with my brother in the financial field just like you. My brother had them over for one of the housewarming parties he had a few months before to the attacks. While these nine had all decided sometime in the spring of 2001 to accept job transfer offers that relocated them to the WTC, my brother declined and went to a new job in Philadelphia instead. His reluctance to relocate or make the commute ultimately saved his life, since he was never one to be in the habit of getting to work late, in fact, he typically gets in early.

My brother does not really talk much at all about the whole "what if" thing regarding that sad day, but I still think it bothers him inside.


digdug41 50M

9/15/2005 10:17 am

hey angel I read this last night and I couldnt help but wonder did your boss perish in the attacks and I also wanted to say that god keeps us here for a reason so if you've ever felt during that time you should've been dead the answer is no because if god wanted you believe me he'd of come and got you too! take care luv a very touching post

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