Thursday, September 11, 2008


"I think you'd better go down and turn on the TV."

I didn't like the sound of his voice, there was an unfamiliar thread in it - something was happening. Something big. Something I wasn't sure I wanted to know.

"Why?" I adjusted the flannel on my shoulder, and reached for the baby. He was two weeks old, sleeping in his carseat on the coffee table. I held him a lot in those days - usually only because I felt like I was supposed to do more than just watch him sleep. In this moment, though, I held him because I needed to.

"Just...just take the phone and go."

I went.

In the darkness of the rec room, just after 10 am in the morning, I stared incomprehendingly at a lot of smoke and the back end of a plane, sticking out of the side of the WTC.

"Oh, my God. Someone crashed." What an incredibly horrible accident.

"Yeah." He was talking, I don't remember what he said.

I shifted the phone and moved toward the sofa when suddenly the camera panned sideways. My postnatal brain took a long moment to understand...this was another plane. A second plane, and it was going to hit the other building. Only that couldn't be.

And then it happened. Right on the screen, in front of me, between one breath and the next, the whole world changed.

After we hung up I sat there in the dark holding my son, tears streaming down my face. I cried for the people who were already dead. I cried for the ones who were dying, for their helplessness and their fear, and for their families. I cried for my son, and my newly minted understanding that I couldn't protect him, not really.

I didn't know then what the outcome would be, and I'm not sure I fully know it now. I don't want to talk about that.

I just wanted to say that I remember.


Susan Adrian said...


I was 3 months pregnant at the time.

Lindsay York Levack said...

That's exactly how it happened for me, with my husband calling, and watching the second plane live, but with a two year old boy in my arms.

Yes. That was it exactly.