can’t imagine

Date Submitted: 09/11/2008
Author Info: Daughn (New York - USA) 
Occupation: Administrative
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

We lived in the Caribbean at the time. My son was six days from his third birthday. I was getting ready to go back to work on October 1st after being a stay-home mom for his pre pre-school years. We finished breakfast and his sitter arrived. I had some birthday party shopping to do. The Good Morning was on in the livingroom. I walked from the kitchen and glimpsed a shot of New York skyline with burning buildings. I thought “Why must they film these stupid movies that depicts buildings, beautiful buildings blowing up?” Here was some stupid movie trailer of a beautiful blue sky day in NY with burning buildings. My New York skyline, the Manhattan I watched from the train as we rolled across the bridge. The skyline that EVERYONE in the world seemed to know or want to know. So I paused to think of the good of NYC, of my aunt who works right there in the World Trade… I was thinking how great she was, but then my gut wrenched. The television was saying the building was on fire. It wasn’t a movie trailer it was the news! It was real! My stomach dropped. I watched the smoke billowing out. They were saying North tower was hit. My mind raced which tower was my aunt in? North no she transferred over to the South or was it the other way around. Morgan Stanley had tons of offices there. Which was she in! Think she was up high in 1993… and they moved down? No some offices moved down. I grabbed the phone and the phone book and found her number. It was a direct line so she would pick up. It didn’t ring. As I was on the phone the South tower was hit. My knees buckled. I screamed and the sitter came to the livingroom. I was babbling about my aunt being in there. I was praying to God to spare her. Spare all of them. Spare all of us. Spare the world if this is the end. I watched the live coverage. 5000 miles away. I watched the towers burn. I cried. I called her. The lines were giving busy messages. I didn’t know what to do. I watched in horror for an hour and a half as the towers burned and fell like special effects. I became hysterical. They killed my aunt. But i didn’t feel that she was dead. I would feel it. She loved you true and imprinted on your heart in a way that you were sure to feel if she were gone. She often called me the daughter she didn’t have. She had boys. MY COUSINS! I reached for the phone and called the eldest. He was on his way out his office door and jumping into his car. He was driving to NYC from toronto to find her. FIND HER?! No she wasn’t lost or dead or anything. She couldn’t be. He didn’t feel she was dead either. We kept in touch as he drove the 345 miles in just under 4 hours (porsche 911 going against the tide of people fleeing NYC) We finally located her husband. He had a call from her outside the South tower. That’s where she was standing after the first tower was hit. But they were told it was nothing and they could return to the office as the emergency crew had things under control. Then as she entered the building the North tower was hit and a wall of fire engulfed the lobby from the elevator. He left work to go to her. He KNEW she couldn’t be dead. He would have felt it. He felt she was alive. We were right. He found her walking across the Brooklyn bridge. She was a mess. She was helping collegues who were injured. She made people leave the bodies of the collegues who jumped and lay crumpled on the sidewalks. She held it together until he reached her and held her then she broke apart. But he held her. That night when I spoke to her she sounded so different. She sounded broken. I had never heard her sound so afraid. The images of her friends and co-workers haunt her to this day. Her voice as it cried “They jumped Shelly (my childhood name)! They were so scared that they jumped! I knew that day the earth had shifted on it axis a bit because the collective horror of this day had moved the whole world.


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