Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I've been thinking about this post for a few days now. I want to talk about my experience on 9/11 but I'm not really sure I will do a good job. I can't believe it has already been 4 years. I can look back to that day like it was yesturday (as I'm sure many people can). I know that day changed many peoples lives way more than mine. I know that many people suffered that day far more than I. This is just what happened to me that day.

I'll start with the day before.

I was in California visiting my friend Sardi. Mac and CBW came up from Red Bluff to meet us. We spent a wonderful day at Disneyland. We were even in the parade at the end of the day. I thought it would be a day I'd remember for a long time. I DO still remember it well but I can't remember it without remembering the next day.

My flight was scheduled for 11am (or somewhere around that time) the next day. I remember saying many times 'I wish I don't have to go home'. 'I wish something would happen so I could stay a while longer'. Never have I regreted words like I regreted those.

The next morning someones phone rang and half woke me up. Then I could hear the tv. Sardi got out of bed and left the room. I lay there half asleep trying to make sense of what they were saying in the next room. I think I drifted off though. Sardi came in and woke me up. She said 'you aren't going home today. Planes aren't flying.' I thought it was a joke. I think I said something like oh good and rolled over to fall back to sleep.

She shook my foot again and told me she was serious and that I needed to come see the tv. Something in her voice made me realize that she probably WAS being serious. So still half thinking its a joke I got up and made my way to the living room where Mac and CBW were staring at the tv. The way their faces looked told me something serious was up.

I sat down and watched the tv. I saw the towers. I saw the plane. I couldn't make sense of it. I heard what they were saying but was very confused. All I could think was that they had put in a movie. It MUST be a movie since something like that doesn't/can't happen in real life. Slowly it sunk in that this was real.

I was stunned. I couldn't comprehend that it could be real. I just kept watching and thinking no way this can not be happening. Why would it happen. Then it was said to be on purpose. The second tower was hit by then and they showed that too. Over and over. The people jumping. Over and over.

I just kept thinking but I'm supposed to be going home. I can't go home? Why? Why would someone do that?

I know we talked about it. We all had stunned and hushed voices. I have no idea what we said. I remember Mac and CBW wanted to leave right away. They wanted to get back home to their loved ones. So we all said our goodbyes and they left. I called my fiance (at the time we were still engaged) and asked him if he was watching. He said he was and that he was glad I wasn't on the plane yet. I called work. They all knew and understood that I wouldn't be in the next day.. or even when I'd be in.

We watched the news more. We then went out to a job fair. It seemed unreal that it would still be going on with everything happening. After the job fair we went to the library. We wanted to let online friends know that I hadn't boarded the plane and was safe with Sardi.

The next part is one I remember most vividly. We left the library and were heading to a store. The president was on the radio. It was a completely surreal moment. I looked around at the other people driving and everyone seemed so still. It felt like it was right out of a movie. When the president gives a speech and everyone is frozen in spot.

I now can't listen to the Sarah Mclachlen (sp) song I will remember without immediately thinking about that day. When that came on after the presidents speech EVERYONE was crying.

The next couple of days are a blur of watching the news.. watching the clean up and all the people gathered.. and watching old episodes of Buffy. Both of us had come down with a cold so the only time we left her apartment was to get food.

I remember on one of the last days there watching tv (or talking) and suddenly hearing a plane. We both froze. We looked at eachother and I remember thinking she looks as freaked as I feel. We ran to the window to look for the plane. She turned on the news and found a number for the airport. She called and found out that there were military planes taking off near her place. I'll never forget the feeling of fear at the sound of the plane.

6 days later I finally got to go home. I had a short lay over in Denver and found the smoking lounge. Strangely people were a lot more friendly. I've been at that same lounge more than once now and never have I met so many people. Everyone sharing their experiences. The flights were very subdued. People didn't seem afraid.. just a little apprehensive.

For years after that and even sometimes still I get a nervous feeling when I see or hear a plane.


Blogger Callie said...

Hey sweetie.

I remember that so well. Trying to log into the board and finding out if everyone was okay. I knew you were in LA, but wasn't sure when you were supposed to board the plane. I remember trying to reach Kelly in NJ, and trying to figure out who lived where, and who was in the most danger. It was surreal.

I had a training class that day. We didn't do much training, obviously. We found out at noon that all the state workers were released to go home, so we left. Actually, I didn't really leave. I called my daughter's school to see if they were releasing them early (they weren't), so I ended up just grabbing a bite to eat and doing some grocery shopping downtown until Kidlet got out of school. I kept thinking people should be talking more. But they weren't. They just had their heads down and were trying to go on about their business as usual.

9:47 AM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

I remember being worried for some of the others too. Also logging into the boards was very difficult.

11:41 AM, September 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my sister called me at work...i called home & i got online & posted on the board to see if everyone was ok. i remember poor Dani was stuck in the states for dayyyys & funds dwindling & can't make it home... can't believe that was 4yrs ago. things certainly isn't the same anymore...i'm a lot more apprehensive now than ever.


7:27 PM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Carrie said...

wow...i'm in utter awe at that story.....that's just too weird.

10:35 PM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Yeah I got more in debt with that trip. The ex (I found out later) complained to a friend about how much money I spent on that trip. I was stuck there for 6 extra days.

The very next time I flew somewhere was the big power outage. I had just grabbed my bags and was heading to their car when all the power went out. I began to think I shouldn't travel anymore.

10:02 AM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous sardi said...

It was a very odd and surreal day. I remeber everything the way dani does exactly. I would wake up early every morning and call the airport to see if they were allowing any flights out that day and felt bad for dani when they said no. Here she was stuck in a foreign country with her money running out. I was however greatfull that she was here during the whole experience.

I also remember what it was like when I took her to the airport to leave. When I had picked her up, I was hiding and another friend of ours was standing there waiting for her. (this was at the gate) When I took her back, I couldn't go more than 4 steps in the airport with her.

Its definitely a day no one will forget no matter where you live.

12:26 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

I'm glad I was there for you and you weren't alone!!

3:09 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Chris Nystrom said...

I was working at a Motorola and the whole factory just stopped working and everyone just gathered around the TVs to watch the news in shock.

1:51 AM, September 30, 2005  

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