My Mom was on the phone with my brother
when Daddy passed.
My brother immediately made arrangements to fly home.
On September 11, 2001
My brother lives on the east coast of the USA.
That morning, The Sister phoned and Mom answered. They chatted for a minute and my sister asked to speak to me.
She asked, "Do you have the TV on?"
I replied, "No."
She said, "Turn it on now, but don't let Mom see."
I asked, "Why?"
She said, "A plane has hit the World Trade Center. They think it is a passenger plane from Boston. Tom (her fiance) and I are on our way there."
My response? "Oh My God!"
I tell The Husband, "Turn on the TV."
He turns on the bedroom TV and we watch in awe of the unfolding events.
Mom, bless her heart, was focused on getting Daddy's clothes together to take to the funeral home.
The Sister and Tom arrive and the TV in the living room was turned on.
Mom finally became aware of the situation.
She told us she was sure our brother was flying from a New Hampshire airport and not Boston. But she did not have his flight information.
As you can imagine, we were extremely worried.
The Sister and I both started phoning airlines,
but they could not give us any information.
The airline personnel were so nice and really wanted to help us. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by regulations, even though they knew of the unfolding tragedy.
We understood, but were distressed.
As I hung up from an airline call, and as The Husband and Tom watched television,
the phone rang.
the phone rang.
It was our brother.
His first words to me,
"What's going on?"
His flight had been grounded in Atlanta. He knew nothing, other than the pilot saying they were being grounded because of an incident in NYC at the World Trade Center. The pilot mentioned his brother worked in the towers and he hoped everything was alright.
My first words to him,
"Oh my god, I'm so happy to hear your voice!"
In the background,
I hear The Husband and Tom yelling,
"It's falling! It's falling!"
I turned around, looked at the television and said to my brother:
"The World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon have been hit by passenger airplanes. One of the World Trade Center buildings has just collapsed. Other airplanes are missing. The United States is under attack. I am so glad to hear your voice!"
Long story short:
The Brother was able to get a rental car out of Atlanta and drive to Tulsa.
Daddy's funeral was delayed a day or two, I can't remember. Perhaps it was two days.
In the midst of the immediate, personal grief of our family, we also experienced the grief and fear of a nation.
I will never forget that day.
What happened to you on September 11, 2001?