As I got ready to go to court (actually hurrying), my roommate was standing in front of the television not responding to my inquiry about my misplaced keys. “Dude, help me find my keys. I am gonna be late if I get caught in that freaking traffic!” He turned up the volume and that is when I heard the news! I couldn’t believe my eyes. This cannot be happening! What the hell!
As I watched the burning building, it was as time just stopped. I could believe what I was seeing. Then it hit me, there are people I know in that building! OMG! I have to call them to see if they are home. The phone lines are busy. How do I get to them?Tears begin to swell in my eyes. I can’t fight them. My roommate hugs me in the attempt to calm me or the attempt to hide his tears. He lived in New York for many years and has never told me if he had anyone working the Towers. Yet, I knew the fear he had as New York was under attack! Our families, our friends! I began to pray for everyone and anyone…just calling out for Him to protect those we love; for Him to be with those we didn’t even know; for Him to just stop the madness, this act of hatred.
My roommate whispers. “You have to go. You’ll be late. Your keys are probably in the frig…that was the first place you headed to when you came home last night.” Sure enough it was in the plastic bag that had the grapes in them. I told him to call me if he heard from his family. As I entered my car, I surfed for a radio station to keep me up-to-date with the news.
As I drove to the courthouse, the 15 minute drive just doubled! This was not the best of driving conditions and my mind was not in any condition as I thought: ‘Traffic is horrible! Why should I even bother?’ Then, I remembered the reason! ‘Yes, I have to do this! Is there a number I can call to let them know I am going to be late? Oh great, what did I do with the court notice? Think, where is it. My mind is so out of it. Let me see if I can get someone in New York. God! Why are we going through this? Just let me know what I can do.’ I began to pray again. Asking Him to guide me through the traffic; asking Him to be with our loved ones; asking Him for strength to those in New York; asking Him to show them ways through the rubble…
I reached the courthouse. As I entered the elevator, someone mentions the courthouse may be on alert. They overheard security saying something about it. As I got of the elevator, I noticed the added security guards. Lord, what did I walk into? Every where I turned, it was as if there was a high profile case in the building. Finally, I got into the courtroom and sat down. A phone rings. As it continues, I get tapped on the shoulder by someone behind me, “Excuse me, the phone needs to be turned off or silenced.” I looked into my purse and see that it was an unknown number. I got up just as the bailiff approaches me. As I answer the phone, I hear ‘hello’ …the call drops.
I don’t recognize the number, who could that have been? I go back into the courtroom, the bailiff was waiting for me. “Ms. You must have the phone turned off.” I explained as tears rolled profusely down my face. The bailiff takes me into an adjourning room and then leaves the room only to return with a box of tissues. I was permitted to keep the phone on vibrate after being explained that I could use the room whenever necessary to receive the calls. I was reassured that when my named was called, I would be summons back into the courtroom.
There were several people ahead of me, one by one, the Judge heard their cases and seemed a bit annoyed by the dropping of the charges from them. Finally, it was my turn. With a stern voice, the question was pose to me, “Are you going to drop the charges as well?” My reply, “No, your Honor.” He heard my case and was in favor with me. Just then my purse vibrated, I looked at the Bailiff and headed out the room hearing the excuse on my behalf be told to the staff member getting the paperwork ready for me. Just as I retrieve the phone, the call stopped…it was another unknown number…the call went to voice mail. As I listened to the message, I heard just silence. The Bailiff brings me the paperwork and wishes me the best under both circumstances…the reason for my court visit and for my concerns in New York. As the door closes behind the Bailiff, I drop to my needs and pray for whoever is on the other end of that call.
11 years later, I wake up knowing there is a wedding anniversary being celebrated by a co-worker and his wife; there is a birthday being celebrated of my ex’s wife and all those beautiful children born on this memorable day! This is the 11th Anniversary of one of the most horrific times that has touched American soil. Many of us have been affected in more than one way of another by this moment in life.
For those who have lost love ones and friends, its the memories of them who live on in our hearts! However, for me, there is an added memory with my loss. I cannot forget the phone calls that I received on that day. Not knowing who was on the other end will always live with me. As eerie as it was for then, the memory is just as eerie to me now. Yet, this is the first time I have ever spoke about those calls. I still pray for the person who made them because I don’t know what the circumstances were for the caller. I don’t even know if it the call even came from the New York area. Even though I am not a practicing Christian, I pray from time to time. On this day, I pray an extra prayer for that one person.
What were you doing then? What are you doing now?