13 years ago…




Embassy Suites Hotel State Street Downtown Chicago​

I woke up pregnant with my first child, as well as the excitement of what the day had in store for me. Chicago, my new home.
I kissed my husband good-bye, I watched him meld into the crowd of business suits, cell phones, taxis, and bicycles.
I glanced at the hotel bed, it called to me. I thought my Chicago adventure will have to come later, I laid down with the TV on tuned to the news.
I drifted back to sleep only to wake up to the news again, the tone had changed.
I could not believe what I was seeing LIVE on Good Morning America.
I saw the crash (crash 2), the crumble, and the desperation.

Breaking News
“Chicago is under alert,” the local news chimes in. I looked​ out the Hotel window that gave me the view of the city streets, now my view has changed.
The streets are full but people are not walking they are running, they are running fast in their work shoes and briefcases clinched to their chests, some with cellphones pressed tightly to the side of their face.
I don’t know if my husband is amongst the sea of people I see, I just wait.
My optimistic impregnation has subsided. I no longer feel excited about the city, nor the future.
Instead I fear I’ve made a mistake to give my unborn child this life, she doesn’t deserve to see this.
Will she see this?
Will we move on?
What’s going to happen next?
I want to go home.

But we did it. We made it through one of the most difficult times.

We’re resilient especially when we stand strong, together.
When someone messes with us we bridge together, we extend our hands out to one another blind to red & blue and black & white.
Those hard days that followed, showed me that people, strangers, care for each other.

If we can take anything away from 9/11… it should be that we can stand tall together.
We need to stop letting the invisible lines in the sand hold us back, smooth those lines out….

© 2014, Dean @Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. All rights reserved.

35 thoughts on “13 years ago…”

    1. Thanks, Tiffany ♥
      I started the tweet, I had to break it up because 140, but then I had SO much more to say. I had to get these thoughts out of my head. I’m glad I did.

  1. Excellent excellent post! You are so right! That September 11th was a horrible day – one that most Americans will never ever forget. We can, however, gain strength from that day and better improve our attitudes and outlook on life. I am not the least bit happy that September 11th ever happened, but I am, however thankful that good did indeed come out of it.

    1. Thank you Marcia 🙂 Honestly, I wish I didn’t have to post this, but history has been written for us, and we cannot forget. I agree, if we learned anything from that horrific day’s aftermath, it’s our strength and power in numbers & kindness.
      XO ♡

  2. I remember that day all too well. Like you I turned on the news and thought it was a movie playing. At the time I was living on base (my x was military). I remember that I had to show my id and a bill proving I lived on base. It was scary.

    1. Very scary times. My husband had just got out of the ARMY (for the first time), so he had plenty of friends stationed at Fort Hood, he called them when he made it back to the hotel.
      When we returned to the ARMY-life (after 9/11) base was now closed, you HAD to show your ID to get in and out.
      Thanks for stopping in Christy. Wishing you a beautiful week!

  3. Beautiful post.
    I cannot BELIEVE it’s been 13 years. I remember it like yesterday – seeing the burning towers. Calling my boyfriend who worked in the WTC district, but not in the towers.
    I was in college at the time and pretty close to it – physically and emotionally.

    1. Thanks, Tamara ♡
      I cannot believe it has been 13 years either, it still feels fresh. Last night my husband and I talked about it {PG version} with the kids, and I could feel everything, again.
      I cannot imagine how scared you must have been, being that close and having someone near that area, oh my goodness.

  4. I remember feeling the same way. What kind of world was I bringing a child into?

    Everything changed after that day. In many ways we all came together; in many others, the rift became a canyon. I’m patiently waiting for the pendulum to sway and the unity of this nation to resume.

    Beautifully written, my friend <3

    1. That was a scary thought, right? Yet, here we are 13 years later, and all our kids have ever known is war. We’ve been at war their whole entire life! Sad.
      I will patiently wait with you. I would love for our babies to see unity, that would be nice.

      Thanks, Shelly ♡

  5. I was pregnant with Eve with the bombing happened in Boston last year, so close to home, and remember feeling the exact same way. And I remember 9/11 so well…it’s so strange how well these days stick in your head.

    I agree completely with your sentiment at the end. There is such strength in standing together. I saw that here in Boston last year, and saw it from a distance in New York.

    1. Bev-
      It’s hard to come to *that* realization when you are bearing love within, isn’t it?
      I remember hearing about Boston, this too broke my heart and kept me glued to the news. However, with having children I couldn’t get too consumed with news-watching, because I was still trying to shield them from the evil…
      I had that thought 13 years ago at 20 years old, pregnant with baby 1, I have two more babies, and as much as I hate that there is evil, I’m happy I’ve brought love to the world.
      Together we can do so much- Helen Keller ♡
      All the best~

  6. I remember feeling that way too. I was working in NYC across from Grand Central station and I was kind of like frozen in shock. We were forced to stay in our building because of bomb threats across the street and none of our phones were working. It was such a confusing day. I just couldn’t believe what was happening.

    1. OH MY GOODNESS KAREN! I cannot even imagine how much more terrifying things were for you. It *was* quite a confusing day, my husband & I were talking about it with the kids last night. My husband told the kids how he didn’t even know what had happened, he was just told go home. When he hit the Chicago streets and saw all the people, some in tears he knew something was really wrong, and sprinted to our hotel. He couldn’t call me because he didn’t know the hotel number and at that time we were two broke kids, we couldn’t afford a cell phone 😀 (he had a work cell)
      I still cannot believe it happened. Such a devastating day…
      XOXO ♥

  7. Oh how I remember the day! I was a sophomore in high school, in first period when I heard and saw what happened. School had just started 20 minutes before. At 15 you can’t really conceptualize the gravity of such an event, but I knew it was something big…big and scary and life-changing! It was a lot!

    1. It was most certainly a lot to take in…
      There I was *trying* to be a grownup, but all I wanted is to be back home with my family along with my husband.
      Most certainly one of our darkest days.


  8. Beautifully written! I really enjoyed it and the comments, so interesting to read the stories that are a lot different to how I remember the day here across the pond in Ireland. I was ten at the time, we were saying our end of the day prayers in school and an announcement was made that there was an accident involving a plane. By the time we got home it was all over our local news stations and we stayed glued to the TV for the rest of the night, hearing what really happened and seeing it, gosh it was hard to believe. So shocking as a ten year old, couldn’t quite get my head around it but I saw the world around me stop still.

    1. I cannot even imagine taking it all in at 10, I was 20, and it was too much. It’s still so hard to believe.
      It did feel as though the world was at a stand still. I remember looking out the hotel window the following days, and the city was slow, most certainly NOT busy. My husband worked in Chicago, and he’s office was closed for a few days. For a moment in time we were all paralyzed.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story ❤

  9. I was only a teenager when 9/11 happened, but I still vividly remember it. I cry every 9/11 and hold my babies a little longer and closer. Can you believe how much our lives have changed since then? I remember walking my dad to the airplane when he went on business trips and now… I pray it never happens again. xo

    1. It is hard not to cry on that day, especially if you lived through it. Thinking of the kids of 9/11 makes my heart ache, the kids that never saw their parents again or never met them.
      After 9/11 I hated getting on planes, the airport is an unpleasant place to be, and I rather not. Except for that time I picked my husband up for R&R, that was one of the best post 9/11 airport memories.

  10. It must have been so scary to be in a big city when it happened. I was in Mexico that day. I’ll never forget how chilling it was to hear people cheer. To feel hostility instead of compassion from neighbors we share a border with really frightened me.

    1. Being in a big city was frightening especially because this was my second day there. My family was already afraid and sad about my move and this happened. It was hard.
      I cannot imagine people would cheer, that’s just heartless! I apologize you had to endure that, Lizzie.

    1. It was one of the scariest times…. the feeling of what’s next was too much at times.
      This was my initiation into city life, and I wasn’t happy. I had only been in Chicago for two days, when 9/11 happened. I had flown two days prior from Texas to Illinois to start my new life, and our world was rocked.
      I hope this NEVER EVER happens again.

    1. I agree that day has shaped us. For a moment in our history we were one, united, and committed to rebuilding us. Now, those days of unity are forgotten. If we could all just bring ourselves back to those days and remember how it felt to really stand strong together.
      I’m heading over to read your post now, thanks for sharing!

  11. Sept 11th is a day I will never forgot. Lost a co-worker and another co-worker ran down 101 flights of stairs to save her life. Everyone thought I was in the WTC because I used to work there but I wasn’t. My credit union was there and I thought about going that morning to handle a financial transaction. Thank God I didn’t. I made it into the city and saw a scene out of Independence Day. Herds of people stormed down Sixth Avenue running for their lives. Unforgettable!

    1. Oh goodness, Yvonne! I’m SO glad you weren’t there. I’m sorry you lost your co-worker. I cannot even imagine how it felt to actually be there in the middle of it all. Being in Chicago, and seeing the scared faces running, was frightening but seeing NYC on the news from the comfort of my hotel was devastating. I’m sure what I felt didn’t even touch what you and everyone in NYC was feeling. I’m sorry you had to go through that.
      Thank you for sharing your story, Yvonne. I don’t think we will ever forget, but I think we need to share these stories, for future generations.

  12. My memory of 9/11 is so vivid. It’s one of those days that stand out, but not in a good way. Your post reads like poetry. I cant imagine how scared I would’ve been if I was newly pregnant, it was such a scary time in America.

    1. You got through, my blog has been sticking real people in spam lately… boo!

      Well, that was such a sweet comment; how much do I owe you? Honestly, coming from you my word-wizard-friend that comment means a lot 🙂

      That day was tough day for everyone, that sinking feeling… I do not believe the memory of that will ever go away.


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