Another 9/11 Anniversary

Where were you?


What were you doing that morning?


What was your life like before that day, because I promise you, even if you may not know it, your life was changed.


Our kids had gone off to school.


My husband had promised to be home early.


I had taken the day off to pack for our first cruise (with tickets to Miami the next morning) and was getting ready to go to an Amish wedding. I am not kidding.


I had turned a morning talk/news show on in the kitchen.






Are they kidding?




Are they filming a movie in real time?




Am I seeing this? What’s with that plane flying so low?


“We interupt your programming to bring you breaking local news. There is an unresponsive plane flying over Cleveland. Authorites do not know if this is related to incoming reports of an air attack in New York.”


What the fuck is going on?…. the kids.




“Get home. They’ve locked down the school. I’m sneaking up through the woods. What? I’m going. Jesus, get home.”




“I’m calling for Cheryl Nicholl. May I speak to her please?’


“Who is this?”


“This is Tampa General Hospital. Your father has had a severe heart attack. He won’t let us stabilize him until he speaks with you.”



“Your father….”


“Put him on.”


“Hi honey!”


“Are you fucking kidding me Dad? Do you know what’s going on? A heart attack? Let them do whatever they need to do. For the love of God! What is your problem?”


“I was just thinking maybe you and your sister could come down for a visit…don’t touch me with that fucking thing until I’m done taking with my daughter…”


“Dad. You’ve had a heart attack but there are planes in the sky that are flying into buildings. One’s over my head. I have no idea what’s happening right now. Let them do what they have to do and I’ll talk with you later, for Christ’s sake. “


“Okay sweetheart. Call your sister and I’ll expect you both tomorrow.”


“Dad. You’re killing me. Put the nurse back on.”


So, I could not get the kids out of school, we did not go to the Amish wedding, the cruise was cancelled, the tickets were transferred to what was the first commercial flight out of Cleveland to Tampa (three days later?), with all of 6 passengers (my sister included) and an Air Marshall who walked up and down the aisle with his hand on a revolver the entire flight, Dad had his triple by-pass, my sister and I cleaned and reorganized his apartment, we arranged for a home care service to attend to him upon his return, my knee swelled up to the size of a grapefruit (why?), I was told by an ophthalmologist doing a a rotation through the ER that I probably had bone cancer (not), during which my father’s cleaning lady/girlfriend/grifter ransacked his apartment, and my sister went to retrieve my father’s car out of the impound lot because we knew he had a loaded gun under his seat (otherwise we wouldn’t have cared).


One week later, on September 18, we returned to our normal lives- except none of us did- did we.



 Let Us Not ForgetPINIMAGE

Let Us Not Forget

  • Cary - I was a trainer for a phone relay service for the deaf when I learned about 9/11. All of a sudden, our relay calls escalated. All of our operators were relaying calls for the deaf one right after the other. It was against regulation to talk about their calls, but the operators were talking about something terrible happening in New York. I ran to the break room to watch it on the news while all operators had to continue to relay calls about this tragedy without becoming emotionally involved. A business decision was made to shut down the center that afternoon. Remembering this still feels like I had dreamed it all.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Everyone has a story. Sorta like where you were when Kennedy was shot (if your old enough- not you). This is fascinating. They shut down the service for the afternoon? That doesn’t seem right. Was it because the service couldn’t handle the load?ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - I was supposed to be travelling that day by road. One of the relatives called, told us to turn on the news, and there was the first tower burning. From there it just got worse.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks for sharing William. Everyone has their story. It was a scary day. I knew someone was going to get their ass kicked. Look where we are now.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin - As a South African I feel like a voyeur while reading these posts across the web today. I remember that I was 10, watching the news and asking my Dad is WW3 was about to happen. My heart goes out to everyone who suffered because of this day.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - From the entire country- Thank you. I also wondered what would happen next? What would be our response here and I knew someone’s ass was going to get kicked. Now look at the world. Has anything changed? What a sad state of affairs. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it Caitlin.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - The world changed on that day. Well, it was always this way, but we just didn’t know it. We changed.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Our false sense of security was taken away. As well as so many other things.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Cook Bonifant - Never forgot the feeling that “we are not safe anymore”. ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes. That’s it. Me too. OMG are we being invaded? Who’s here? What do they have planned? How can we protect our country when it’s so ‘free’ and ‘open’? All questions we are still grappling with.ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - You have so many personal/additional reasons to remember that day. My most distinctive memory is walking past the local kebab shop, run by people of Asian origin, and muttering obscenities & threats to them under my breath – so irrational, I know, but it was an exceptionally confusing day. ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I can understand that. One of our kid’s favorite locals was/is a family that runs a sub-shop in town from Morocco. Interestingly, that was where we all ended up having a bite to eat that day- outside without a plane in the sky (so quite). He was so apologetic and wanted us to know that not all Muslims were extremists. I felt so bad for him, but the town rallied round and he has gone on to owning two shops and his oldest girl was Homecoming Queen last year!ReplyCancel

  • Marcia Shaw Wyatt - That was a day that did in fact change the world around me. I felt fear that day – real true raw fear … and I’ll never forget it. Experiencing that day and living through it, taught me to better appreciate the people in my life and also the peace and lack of fear that I normally live with. It taught me to be happier. September 11th was a horrible day that forever changed my world and woke me up. I am not the least bit thankful that September 11th happened, but I am, however, glad that some good could come out of it.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I feel the same way. Awful but awe-inspiring. I guess good things can be the result of pure evil.ReplyCancel

  • Sue Pekarek - Thank you for sharing your story, we all have our stories from that day. I also remember anguishing for so long on how the victims were killed; being crushed, burned, jumping out the windows and knowing they were going to crash in a plane!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Awful day. Later we in Cleveland found out the plane that had circled over the city was the one that crashed in PA. Omg I saw themReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - You had far more stress than I did. I turned on the TV just as the first plane struck (three hour time difference). I knew we were under attack and it would be bad. I called my daughter and told her to get to the base (Marine). She beat her director because of the early warning. It didn’t change my world or rather my way of thinking, but it definitely changed that of many people.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Do you fly? Have you been to an airport? I remember the days of being able to wear shoes and not having to get frisked. They are long gone.ReplyCancel

  • Mark R Hunter - Well, your story certainly beats mine. Mine didn’t involve surgery, for instance! But it was sure a long day for all of us.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s a day that just keeps on giving. The world is on fire because of it.ReplyCancel

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