We had made the decision to move from Florida to the Washington DC area so he could advance his career with the restaurant group. I was to stay in Florida and continue working until January when I would be vested, and then the Company would try to find me a position in Maryland or Northern Virginia. Things were looking up for us financially and professionally!
Hubby was starting his new job today! He had a very early flight into Washington in order to be at Pentagon City for a restaurant opening and was to land in DC at around 8:45a.m. I had a winery rep in town and we had plans to tour accounts and had a few meetings at our distributor. I brought the baby to the nanny at 8:15 am, and went to get my nails done.
Sitting at the nail salon, they had the Today Show on the television as they do every day. Sipping coffee, laughing and chatting. It all started out like any other day. Katie Couric says, "an airplane has just hit the World Trade Center" Was it an accident? Oh, those poor people. We sat there - in utter horror - not knowing if it was real or not. The first plane hits the tower at around 8:50. The vision is still burned in my brain. While we are all aghast at the imagery - the second hits. This was no accident. The t.v reruns the images over and over again. I can't call hubby- he's on a plane...we hear the broadcaster's announce that a 3rd and 4th plane have been hijacked and are heading to D.C. My head is spinning - I call the nanny to check on the baby, my parents, my sister - everyone is okay.
When they said the Pentagon and the White House were the apparent targets ...I thought it was the end of life as we had known it. And- Hubby's restaurant was right next door to the Pentagon. That realization sent me off the edge. When the Pentagon was hit - it was all I could do keep it together. Cell phone lines were jammed up...was he still on the plane? Was he on THAT plane? Would there be more and more and more? At that point - nobody knew anything. We all just sat there - crying, praying, worrying....I was literally on the floor- sobbing and frantically dialing and redialing that damned cell phone. Pick up the phone ! Answer the damned phone! Please!
I finally reached Hubby and knew he was safe. He had landed, and didn't know what was going on until he was off the plane. He managed to get one of the last rental cars out of the airport. Luckily, we had friends in nearby Rockville, MD - I told him to call them and go there. If it were the end of the world (which at that point - I thought it was) I just didn't want him to be alone.
I was not calm, cool and collected - I was a mess. My friend at the salon called my parents to come and pick me up which they did. We all sat at their house and watched the next few hours unfold. The collapse of the builings. The rubble and utter carnage of it all. People literally covered in building debris. Walking aimlessly - where the hell could they go? The news footage was unbelievable. How could something like this happen to our country? How can you plan for something like this? What happened was so far removed from anything we , as Americans, could ever imagine - there was no disaster training in place to handle this kind of disaster.
As it turned out - I knew so many people that day who were on planes that morning en route to NY, Boston or D.C - and thank god none were involved on those 4 fateful flights. I also know people who worked in the Towers, and made it out.
Hubby was safe and at our friend's house, I was with my parents and when I could finally drive - I went home and picked up the baby. I sat on the couch watching Emily play - unaware of what was going on. Calling everyone and anyone who wanted to talk to me. I wasn't alone- but felt eerily lonely at that point. It took me a few days to shake the disbelief and fear - although I have to say it has never really left me.
For me- September 11th, 2001 will be the day that lives in infamy.
It was indeed not a day like any other.