If I had known . . .

Date Submitted: 07/17/2002
Author Info: Stacy (Stafford, VA - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

It started out as a pretty normal day, except that I had a funny feeling in my stomach like something strange was going to happen.

I got in to work, went through my e-mail and got started with the work for the day. Shortly after 9:00 a.m. my mother called me and asked if I was watching t.v. I told her I had not and she told me about the Trade Center, I was so shocked. We discussed it at length, both of us saying “what did these people do to deserve this?”. Her voice sounded tight so I tried to distract her with our plans for the weekend. We talked about those for a few minutes and she continued to tell me the news as she was watching it. Suddenly she said I have to go and hung up the phone. I thought it was strange at the time but figured she must be busy.

I went downstairs for a few minutes but came back up and tried to call her back, I felt like something was wrong. No one answered the phone, this was strange too. Just after I put the phone down one of my co-workers came running around the corner screaming for us to get out of the building. We exited the building and as I looked to my right I could see billows of smoke in the sky and smell something burning. I asked a co-worker what that was and she said the Pentagon had been hit. My legs gave out in the middle of the walkway, I screamed for my mother. To calm me she said that everyone had gotten out and were okay. Later, as everyone was standing in the street there was a great roar and the streets shook in Crystal City, people were terrified and running toward the center of town away from the buildings.

I got my cell phone out and continued to try to call my mother but couldn’t reach her. It took several hours and different methods to get back to my car at the Metro. I went and got my daughter and thought my parents would be home by now. No such luck. After a few more hours my stepfather came home, no Mom. He was reluctant to tell us that her office was right in the path of the plane, he could see into her window and the flames were shooting out of it.

I hoped, despaired, prayed that she found a way out. We went in to give DNA samples, anything we could think of because at this point we knew she was gone but we had to have something to bury, anything.

Three weeks after 9/11 we got official notification that her remains had been found and identified, two days later we were able to have her funeral and say goodbye.

Of course this is a much abbreviated version of those terrible days of not knowing and the sorrow of not having my little Momma anymore.

Like so many others, that day changed my life forever and left me with a hole that nothing seems to fill. My heart and prayers go to everyone who suffered a loss that day, some who may not have lost a friend or relative, but their innocence and belief that nothing like that could ever happen in America.


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