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I am a Catholic wife and mother living in western New York State.

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  • DoorMan - Husband and Dad, extremely talented garage door guy
  • B - budding new media evangelist, avid reader, soccer lover, boy age 14
  • B - karate white belt and lover of Legos, boy age 8
  • MAB - me: wife, mom, homemaker, and more


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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Was I When....?

I have seen around the blogosphere today people's remembrances of where they were on the morning of 9/11/01.

I was doing payroll. And I had to finish it before I could leave, or the company wouldn't have had any paychecks on Friday.

I was the part-time controller for a small contractor, where my husband was a technician. My three-year-old son came to work with me every day.

Just about nine, the phone rang. It was the just receptionist and myself in the office that morning. Everyone else was out on jobs or sales calls. The phone rang. It was the owner's friend, calling to see if he'd heard the news. We got out the tiny old black-and-white TV our boss used to use for tailgating, which for some reason he kept in his office. We found an outlet and turned it on. It only got ABC. We tuned in just in time to see the second plane hit the second building.

I called my husband, who was over an hour away in a rural county working on the construction of a grain facility. Then I called my mom. I had one uncle and one cousin in the vicinity of the Twin Towers, though neither one had their offices in the WTC at that time. My uncle had been in the building for the first Twin Towers bombing in 1993.

The rest of the morning is a blur of phone calls and a tiny black-and-white TV screen. We watched as the towers fell one by one. I didn't finish payroll until after ten. I faxed it out and gathered up my son to leave. It was then that the first reports came about a plane crash in Pennsylvania.

The rest of the day was spent in front of the TV and on the phone, crying mostly. I am from New York City. We used to drive past the Twin Towers on our way to our grandmother's house in Brooklyn. We would argue over who got to sit on the side of the car passing closest, because you could look up, up, up out your window at the tall South Tower just before you plunged into the darkness of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

When my husband was coming home late that night on the Thruway, eastbound from near the Pennsylvania line, some 400 miles west of New York City, the overhead message boards in the rural darkness said simply, "NYC Closed."

It would not be until the next day that I learned that all of my family was safe. Phone lines were jammed, and my uncle didn't actually get home until after midnight.

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