I can't believe it was 7 years ago today that the Towers fell and so many of our lives were changed forever. When I look back on that day, I prefer to concentrate on all the good that happened; how New York and the Tri-State area really gathered together and people showed how kind and giving the human race can be. And they say New Yorkers are mean - deep down, it's just not so.
If you weren't there, you really can't understand the depth of that day and the weeks and months afterward. Living on the West Coast now, the closest I can equate it to for Northern Californians is the 1989 earthquake (which I also experienced, and was very fortunate in that circumstance as well). But it's really not the same. Because an earthquake is something you have no control over. It's Mother Nature. Not mankind. There is still a lot to deal with and process, but it's different.
I was scheduled to fly out to San Francisco Thursday, Sept. 13 - and this is how I will always remember that September 11th was on a Tuesday. You see, my sister was pregnant (with my nephew, who ended up coming early) and I had planned to come out to see the baby. When I was scheduling my flight, the best times were the middle of the week. Andrew said he had a meeting Wed., so Tues. or Thurs. would be best. I picked Thursday's flight - United, from Newark to San Francisco, direct flight, leaving in the morning. And what some of you may have put together already is that if I had picked Tuesday instead of Thursday, I would have been on that infamous Flight #93 that went down in Pennsylvania. And I'm not going to go into religion or spiritual beliefs here, but I will say that I know Someone Up There was looking out for me, those weeks in advance, whispering, "Pick Thursday".
Well, obviously I never flew out that Thursday because Newark was closed. But I was one of the first sets of flights that went out right after the airport re-opened (and isn't it nice they renumbered our flight to be 94 instead of 93?). Everyone asks if I was nervous to fly, and I just have to say that it was probably the safest flight I've ever been on. Also probably the quietest; where everyone was very aware of each other, but also helping each other out with overhead bins, plastic knives, and such. The pilot also came on before takeoff, and instead of the normal blah blah blah, stated that he believed all pilots should be allowed to carry a gun with them. That could have added to the silence on the plane - the whole 5 1/2 hours. I have never been on a flight where almost no one is talking. So whenever anyone mentions being scared to fly, I figure that if I was supposed to die in a plane crash, it would have already happened. I also feel like Someone was telling me I needed to do something else with my life, and it was more incentive to hop off the normal work path and go back to school for what I really wanted to do. I'm still not sure how it's all going to turn out, but this feels a hell of a lot more right than what I was doing before.
Everyone who was in that area at the time of the attacks has a story. I have to say, for the ones I've heard, the positive far outweigh the negative. And that's what I try to focus on when this day rolls around every year. I don't turn on the TV, I probably will never be able to watch the movie "Flight 93", but I will never forget. This is only part of Andrew's and my story for that day, but it's more than enough to process for now.