Tuesday Morning

It was a warm Tuesday in early September, 2001.

Z was off to school, having started seventh grade a few weeks ago.  I got up with him in the mornings, mostly just to see him off to school; by now he made his own breakfast and packed his own lunches.  I enjoyed these quiet mornings with him, often before R and Melinda were up themselves.  We talked about what was coming up in school that day, that week.  He was playing trombone now in the school band, playing soccer on the weekends and busy with several clubs after school.

I was in the “good” part of my pregnancy.  I now knew that I was carrying another boy, and that I was due in late January.  I was relieved to be past the tiredness and the nausea and able to keep up with my toddler, my twelve year old, and the insanity I discovered every time I opened up my laptop.

I had eaten my breakfast after dispatching Z off to the bus, sent R on his way to work and turned on the Today show on my way to my desk to see what new and exciting dramas had erupted overnight in “Rick World”.   There was buzz going around about Ticketmaster listing a November tour date in Columbus, Ohio.   Normally I would have information posted to my website before things hit Ticketmaster, so I immediately started sending queries to Vivian, who would in turn ask Rick’s management to verify the listing for us.  While I was waiting for an answer, emails from several of my local fan friends popped up, all talking about us traveling to the show together.  One of the group was from New York City, but she thought maybe she could swing the date around some work related things in the area.

Behind me, on the television, I heard an urgency in the normally casual sounds of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric’s late morning banter.  I glanced at the clock; 8:51 am.  Melinda usually woke around 9 in the morning, she would be up soon.  I looked back to my emails and continued typing out a response to one of the questions regarding upcoming tour dates.

“We have a breaking news story,” Katie Couric said behind me from the television.  “Apparently a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center.  ” I stopped typing for a moment and looked over my shoulder at the TV.   There they were, the two towers I remembered well from my trip to New York several years ago.  One of them had a black gash near the top of it; smoke was billowing out into the wind.

I got up from my desk and walked closer to the television.

Confusion colored the eyewitness account from a bystander looking at the burning building.  As Matt and Katie peppered her with questions trying to learn more about the story unfolding before them, different camera angles captured the scene.  No one knew what had happened; was it a small plane that had hit the building?  Did a bomb explode on one of the floors near the top of the Tower?   As she continued to describe what she could see, smell and hear, the camera edged in closer.  Flames were now easily visible on my television screen.

“Oh my God,” I whispered in disbelief as I watched the scene unfold.

“The World Trade Center is one of the busiest office buildings here in New York with hundreds, if not thousands, of workers…” trailed off Katie.  Her colleagues started naming the companies, people they knew, who had offices in the World Trade Center.

But now Matt was saying that it was likely a “small, commuter plane” that had hit the buildings.  That sounded not so serious, despite the images flashing all over the screen.  I returned to my computer and sent out a few emails, asking if anyone had any more information about what was going on.  With my back to the television screen, I started talking myself out of the horror that seemed obvious when I was looking at the screen; started telling myself the things the eyewitness said had to be wrong.  I busied myself trying to tackle a few more things because I was sure that any minute, any second now, that my daughter would be waking.

Suddenly I heard a woman cry, “Oh, another one just hit!” from the TV.

I looked over my shoulder again at the coverage, and watched in horror as a huge fireball emerged from the second tower of the World Trade Center.

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  1. […] Top Posts Tuesday Morning […]

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