Journal Entry: Sept. 10, 2001 - Monday - Sunny nice day, but not too hot.
I'm on cloud nine. I feel such hope, such a rainbow of opportunity. God has put something that churns inside of me...I want more than the regular "American Dream." My business is great; our home is beautiful; the kids are happy, but there has got to be more to life than this money grind version.
The last few weeks, I've been feeling odd. Deep down, I know something is really wrong. My body is not cooperating as it should; I've been to doctor after doctor and it seems nothing can be found but a salt deficiency and chronic low blood pressure. Maybe this is how I am supposed to feel after 30. I have no idea. But, I'm pushing all of that aside today. Today is beautiful. Today is amazing. I feel such a huge burst of hope. For some reason, His spirit of renewal is upon me, and I'm thankful. Darkness has shrouded me for so long; I'm stepping into the light and feeling its warm, welcoming glow. It is awesome.
Journal Entry: Sept. 11, 2001 - Tuesday - The darkest day I've ever known.
My joy from yesterday is now replaced with agony, despair, shock, disgust and a sorrow as deep as can be. America, our beloved country and my fellow Americans along with international innocents were attacked today by terrorists. Cowards. Terrorists are the definition of "Coward." Killing innocent people; bystanders; mothers with their children and old people who are just trying to live out their years in peace...it's stomach churning.
This day began normal enough...I was driving my youngest, Stefie, to the elementary school with the news radio playing on the car radio. Lately, I've been too sick to drive, but I felt so healthy yesterday. Lately, feeling good is such a rare experience, so I decided to use this burst of energy to drive the four or five blocks to personally drop my baby off at school. What a great morning we thought it would be for us.
We buckled up and were making the short drive to the school while listening to the radio and the reporter said something like, "The World Trading Center in Manhattan has had one of its towers accidentally struck by an airplane." My ears picked up the report, but sometimes we are so accustomed to foul news reports that we remain detached - we have to, for survival. However, this news report would soon turn so foul and heart-wrenching because it involved all of us - Americans and beyond.
I rounded the corner and our car was now in the drop off line in front of the school. My daughter was excited about her day. Then, the reporter said they had an eyewitness caller, for everyone to pay attention. The caller had a sickening sound to his voice and a sense of urgency that could not be ignored. I turned up the volume. His voice filled the confines of the car as he said, "Oh my God, I saw the entire thing from the window of my apartment here in Manhattan. My place faces the towers and all of my windows have been blown out." The caller was breathless and had panic in his voice, but he attempted at some restraint, "I'm seeing horrific things I can't even fully describe; there are flames, smoke and the Trade Center is burning...it's burning."
A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach began to gather. We pulled the car up a tad further; I kissed my sweet daughter and she got out of the car to walk with her little friends from the walkway into the elementary building. But, she looked back with a worried expression. I waved and tried to put on a good smile. As she was disappearing, I turned the radio up very loud and the caller began screaming, "Oh my God, Oh my God! The other tower just blew up too! Oh my God! It's an explosion, and I can feel the heat from the inferno - it's coming through my windows! Oh my God!" Then, there were sounds as if things were being knocked around and him yelling about all his windows being gone. He was screaming that he had to get out of there; the phone was no longer up to his mouth. It was probably in his hand as he ran screaming. We all listened.
Immediately, I was in shock. I had no visual for this scene, it was all by radio, but I could only imagine the horror taking place because of the caller's obvious devastation and terror. I began to shake. Suddenly, the short drive home didn't seem so short. I just needed to get back home.
I paid extra attention to driving these short blocks. It seemed as if every passing car knew something was wrong. Everyone drove extra slow. The shaken radio announcer came back on in an attempt to give some kind of calm, professional explanation, he somewhat stuttered, "Clearly, there has been a double tragedy. Apparently, another plane has hit the other tower. This has been a horrible double accident." The Southern girl in me was already shouting outloud inside my car, by myself, "What? An accident? This isn't an 'accident,' this is a flat-out, chicken-shit Terrorist attack!"
Immediately, after the caller had gone into public agony after the second plane hit the second building; it was clear that this wasn't an accident. No, it was an evil, destructive plan. I drove the rest of the way home with tears streaming down my cheeks and anger spreading throughout my body. Too many emotions were churning. I began to feel light-headed and nauseated, but I figured everyone else in the world who was decent, kind and compassionate was feeling the same exact thing.
Back to Today...
I will finish this particular old journal entry later, probably later today. For now, it's still difficult to sift through all the events of that horrible day which we collectively know as 9/11. I'm sure some of you have friends, family, co-workers, etc., that were directly involved in this tragedy. Take comfort in knowing that so many hearts throughout the world were connected to yours on this day...and still the connection remains.
As for my Addison's disease, due to my many doctor visits being useless, I did not yet know that I even had this rare disease. Later, I would discover that I had been unknowingly living in a prolonged state of an Addisonian Crisis, but this event helped to put me over the top. Within days, I'd be in the hospital coding as the rest of the world mourned a national, yet world-wide tragedy.