So Simple?

Date Submitted: 01/06/2002
Author Info: Gaby (Orlando, FL - USA) 
Occupation: Graphic Design
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

Tuesday morning and business as usual. With that came my morning email check, and my morning glass of water that quenches like no other in the day.

I started walking towards the water cooler when I heard news of the first plane plunging into the side of one of the towers. I remember thinking, “Wow. What a horrible, freak accident. I mean, the towers are pretty tall… maybe the pilot lost contact with the control tower and somehow veered off course?”

So I made my way back to the water cooler for that glass of water I was so craving.

Then the news of the second plane caught everyone off guard.

There was a chain reaction of unnerving gasps and “oh my god’s” from all of my coworkers. Myself included. “This was no accident!” I thought. “This is blatant… but who and why would anyone be doing this?”

It was all very surreal; like a scene from a Schwarzenegger film. Both towers up in flames and black smoke billowing overhead. People running and screaming in mass hysteria and sirens wailing in the distance. The only difference was this scene had no happy ending.

And then we learned news of the Pentagon…

“Oh my god… we’re being attacked! We are actually being ATTACKED.” That’s the only thought that registered at that moment. As a few coworkers and myself watched the news from a nearby pizza place, I was numb with disbelief. What a helpless and vulnerable moment as a nation, to be living this nightmare. An act so horrific to happen to such a strong country, and sadly enough, it was this same act of terror that brought a nation together. There was mass chaos on the streets of New York and unsuspecting people frantically scattered from the burning Pentagon in DC. People everywhere were frightened. Very frightened.

I know I was.

What a reality check for me. So many things raced through my mind that day: thoughts of family, loved ones, friends, old friends, the spirituality I wished I had more of, things I had been neglecting to begin, bad habits I had wanted to break, new ones I was putting off starting, life in general and the fact that I still had my life to dissect and redirect if I desired.

I called my family just to let them know I loved them. And I called a very dear friend I hadn’t been speaking to in a little while, just to let him know how much I still care. Life is just too short to have done otherwise.

As I began to take a sip from my glass of water, I counted my blessings. Never take anything in this life for granted, not even something as simple and as pure as the water you drink. You never know when you won’t have that luxury ever again.


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