Here's a photo I took ten years ago on Wednesday, September 5th 2001. Joe and I took the kids up to Jersey City to visit the Liberty Science Center that day. Sheridan had just turned 5 that summer and Alex was only a few months old. It was our last "family fun" day trip before Joe was scheduled to leave for South Carolina. Earlier that summer, he had been the unfortunate casualty of downsizing at his work place and full time employment in his field had been impossible to find where we lived in central Jersey. So we decided to take a leap of faith and accept a wonderful position offered to him down south. We were both nervous about this big change in our lives especially with two small children, Alex being a newborn. The day out was our way to ease our nerves and forget about the craziness to come with months of separation and the overwhelming task of moving so far away. Joe was to fly down on Sunday and start his new job that Monday the 10th.
We had a wonderful day and Sheridan particularly enjoyed the hands on activities at the science center. Later, we took a walk along Liberty State Park where we had gorgeous views of the New York City skyline and of course, the World Trade Center Towers. These are a just a couple of photos I have from that beautiful day.
The following week on the morning of September 11th, I had gotten the kids up and ready to make a quick trip to the market. It wasn't until we were just pulling out of the driveway when a friend called me on my cell phone and told me what was happening. I'd only had Barney on briefly before we went out the door. I almost never put on the news in the morning back then. She was trying to reach me because Joe had been trying to do the same without success. He had been frantic when he'd heard "Somerset County" on the radio missing the part where they said "Pennsylvania". At the time, we lived in Somerset County, New Jersey. As for me, like everyone else at the time, I was stunned and especially anxious because here I was, alone with two small children and my husband was very, very far away. I didn't know what to expect with being just about an hour's drive from the city. All those questions you should never have to think about ran through my mind. I casually sent Sheridan to play in her room while I took care of Alex and watched the news. I can't tell you how relieved I was just to hear Joe's voice when he called and was finally able to reach me. I spent most of the morning flipping the channels between Barney and other kid shows and the terrible footage of what had happened in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. I caught bits and pieces throughout the day while trying to make sure that Sheridan stayed unaware. I was relieved to put them to bed that night yet it left me glued to the television worried and anxious without much sleep and the sadness that I felt for all those people, their families and how it felt like the world (our world) had changed.
Since then, we moved back north from South Carolina to the southeastern part of Pennsylvania. We enjoyed our time in the South but we missed the seasons and much more. We love it here. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years. The kids have grown so much, we're happy and life is good...really good. We consider our family very fortunate and are grateful for all that we have. Truly.
But I will never forget that day. Never. I will remember.
"In memory of all those who perished on September 11th 2001, those who died in the fight against terrorism and all the young men and men who continue to give their service to our country to keep us safe and maintain our freedom and their families who wait for them to return. We will never forget."
Today, I will be hanging out with my family. I have a delicious brunch in mind and I'm sure we'll squeeze in a Mario Cart race or two. The kids have become tough competition these days! Joe and I will have to be on our toes to avoid last place...he, he. :) Later, I have some other cards that I'm working on for Operation Write Home. Go check them out....it's a very worthy cause if you enjoy making cards and it's a small way to give back to those who serve our country.