Thursday, September 11, 2008


It's a rainy day, very dark and gloomy in Oklahoma.  It seems fitting.  Although I lived almost in the shadow of the World Trade Center when it went down (it could be seen from the beach of our Connecticut town), I happened to be in Oklahoma on 9/11/01.  We were there on one of our many trips down to oversee work on the house we were building there and to make preparations for our move.  We had just purchased Afton Station and on the morning of 9/11, instead of going to the building site with my husband, I headed straight from the motel to the print shop to get some Afton Station papers photocopied.  When I walked in smiling, the distressed-looking guy behind the counter asked "Don't you know what just happened?"  I hadn't heard any news that morning, so I had no idea what he meant.  "Seems that a plane has flown into the World Trade Center in New York", he said, and then he invited me to come to the back office where there was a TV tuned to the news.  Like every other person in our nation, I was paralyzed by shock at the picture on the screen.  The rest is history. 

So much has happened in my life since 9/11/01.   I now live in Oklahoma.  I am divorced. I have my beloved Afton Station.  I have wonderful new friends and a new life, but I still have so many old and dear friends.  I own my own home.  My daughter got married.  I had a major illness and am now on kidney dialysis.  And although some of those things sound very bad, when you compare them to the last 7 years in the lives of the loved ones of those who died on 9/11, I can only consider my own life a miracle.  I have never thought of myself as a survivor, but now I think maybe I am.  And my heart goes out to those whose loss was so sudden, so unexplainable, so needless on that terrible September day in 2001.   I pray that they have been able to find their inner survival skills, too. 



Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Laurel. I never thought of it before, but we're all kind of survivors of that day, aren't we? It affected us as a nation, as a people, and I think we've all been affected on a personal level.

Hugs, Beth

Anonymous said...

A very touching tribute my friend. We are all survivors in one form or another. 9/11 reminds us just how precious life truly is. (Hugs)Indigo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your entry and memories.

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget that day. It was supposed to have been a very fun week for me. I had just come off the Route 66 Missouri Motor Tour and had the whole week off. After the tour, I was heading west on 66 until around Thursday, anticipating getting somewhere in Arizona before returing home to Indiana. I had just spent the night at the Big Texan Motel in Amarillo and was having breakfast with fellow 66er Becky Ransom at the Big Texan when our waitress stopped by and told us what was going on in NYC. We watched in dismay at the TV they had by the bar. I went back to my motel and continued to watch. When the first tower fell, I knew there was no way I could continue this trip. My stomach was in knots and I knew I had to go home.

Not knowing what was next, I decided to head back towards Indiana. Again, not knowing what to expect, I stayed away from I-40 and took US 60 out of Amarillo, with my thinking that there weren't any large towns on 60 and the chance of me running into any trouble would be diminished. I left Amarillo around noon that day and began my solemn journey east. I can't remember when I finally got in touch with you & David that day, but I'm glad I did. It was an incredibly lonely feeling driving that I never felt and have never felt since. When I got to Grove that evening where you were staying and saw you two, I felt....."safer". Just seeing someone I knew that day had an incredible calming effect for me.

One of these years, I'll finish that trip out to Arizona....under better circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I remember it well, Pat!  And I also remember how happy we were to be with you during that bad time.  It's always good to be with friends when you feel like the world is crashing down around you.  A lot has happened in both of our lives since then.    Laurel