September 11, 2013

12 years ago


12 years ago Bubba was 5.

He was an adorable precocious 5. My husband and I had split.

Bubba was quietly suffering the loss of his brother as there were no set custody arrangements yet.

He was beginning school as a big boy on a lovely campus on Des Plaines Street here in Chicago.

In Chicago, Des Plaines is not far from Canal Street.

I was listening to AM Radio as I dropped him off. 

I NEVER listen to AM Radio.

The announcers kept repeating "There is some sort of incidence on Canal!" The tone was anxious. As I pulled off from the "drop-off" line, I kept looking up toward the Sears Tower. It looked fine. I didn't hear any sirens or loud noises, what were they talking about. As I continued my way to work, it all became clearer.

Canal Street. New York City. World Trade. Terror.

We were being attacked.

AM RADIO had connected with NYC radio and was broadcasting live as events unfolded.

I worked 30 minutes away from my children. What to do? Were we next? What? Why?

What had we ever done to anyone that made them want to hurt innocent people?

The Police Station where I work was frenzied. We went into immediate lock-down.

How would I get my child? When you are a single parent there is no one but you to do everything.

Around 11 a.m., as it became apparent that was the extent of the attacks and the towers were burning ... crumbling... people dying, leaping, incinerating, they allowed anyone who wanted to leave my station to go.

The streets of Chicago were a parking lot as everyone was trying to flee the Loop, I was trying to get back in. In to get, and to hold tight, the only thing that mattered to me, my children.


No one was honking though, and there was an eerie silence in the sky as all air traffic had been stopped.

There were no thugs on the corners. No crack sales impeding my way. Every one was trying to get to their loved ones, to get home and stay.

I didn't care what happened as long as I had my boys if and when it did happen.

I phoned the school to have them send my baby out. On the ride home we scooped up brother. We went home, sealed the windows with saran wrap, got candles and a little stock pile of food and water placed in the basement - just in case.

I held my boys tight. We sat on the stairway and waited ... inside I was crying.

I will #neverforget.

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