Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10, 2001

I dropped my husband at McCarran thirty minutes before he was to take to the Friendly Skies. It was a Monday night and he only had one carry-on, so getting through security would be quick. Plenty of time.

I hurried home.  My two sons and I were off to a middle grade school football game.  The stadium was packed, but we found our way through the crowd, me toting my backpack full of goodies and my video camera, and found a place to sit.  I don't remember who won, I guess it didn't matter. 

It was dark when we left the game and I'm sure I looked up at the steady stream of airplanes flying into Vegas.  Most people don't notice, but since my husband worked for one of the major airlines, I knew as long as they were in their standard path everything was fine.  It rarely deviated.  I couldn't imagine the night sky without the lights of the planes carrying thousands of visitors from all over the world to visit our city. We take comfort in strange things, this was one of mine.

The boys and I talked about school during dinner.  "D" was excited about his upcoming competition that involved building a city of the future. "T" was into sports and although he had signed up for soccer for the fall season, he was already talking about basketball in the Spring. 

After the boys were in bed, I watched the news.  Bermuda was expecting a storm.  Suicide bombers in Israel and Afghanistan.  All so very far away.  My husband called to say he had arrived safely in San Francisco so I got ready for bed.  The doors were locked, my dog on guard duty. We were safe. 
 
In bed, I thought about how the next several years would directly influence the rest of my sons lives.  Everything at school, everything at home, everything that happened around the world.  What kind of men would they become? In ten years, what would be important to them?   I could imagine "D"  an engineer and "T" in a more physical profession.  A fireman.  Yes. I liked that idea.

As I shut my eyes, I thought about the next day. Tuesday.  Nothing special.  Just another day.  I was okay with that.

How quickly things change.

19 comments:

Erica Lucke Dean said...

I love how you brought the day before 9/11 into importance. How innocent everything was that day, and how nothing would ever be the same. There have been so many historically significant moments through the years, but 9/11 happened in our lifetime. On our watch. In our backyard. What a different a day makes.

1meremortal said...

Enjoyed your post...so much has changed indeed.

Loree Huebner said...

Great post. You gave me the goose bumps.

Funny what we remember about that day...or the day before.

That morning was beautiful! The sun was shining, the temperature was just right, the sky was an awesome blue with no clouds. Right before it happened...about 8 am, we got a call from a good friend telling us that his wife just gave birth to a precious baby girl. We were so happy!

We had no idea how life would change just an hour later.

CEKernel said...

Awesome Writing ! The calm before the storm ! Who would ever imagine how surreal the next day would be ! It has imprinted me for life.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I thought as I wrote this, how truly this event influenced the lives of the kids in our country, of course those who lost family, but even the rest, mine included. As I said above, my oldest was the studious, 'engineery' type. My youngest, the physical one. 911 brought a lot to the dinner table each night. My oldest ended up getting a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies and is now working on a PhD in Political Science. The youngest has joined the Air Force, and hopes to make serving his country his career. I'm not sure these would have been their life choices had it not happened.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It was Wednesday in Australia by the time September 11 happened. I don't remember where I was on the Tuesday. University, probably. I had classes. The actual events happened while I was sleeping.

Even from Australia, as far away as we are, this was an event that touched everyone who witnessed it. It was on the news when my radio woke me up on Wednesday, but I turned the alarm off and got up to go to class. I got the impression it was a light aircraft, an accident.

During my morning class, I had no access to news. No one in that class seemed to have heard anything meaningful. Maybe the true horror hadn't yet been reported. But by my afternoon class, it was all everyone was talking about. I don't remember what class that was. We didn't hear a thing the lecturer said, I'm sure.

When I got home, Dad had the TV on. It was still on when Mum got home from work. We didn't understand what had happened, simply couldn't comprehend the sheer horror. As far away as it was, it changed everything. For everyone.

Karen said...

What a wonderful post. I often think the same thing when I look up in the sky and watch the planes slowly creep by.

I think I enjoyed your comment the most. It's amazing what a decade can do to a family. In 2001 I was pregnant with my second and my oldest was two. Now I have 4 kids, my youngest is two.

Thank you for sharing. :)

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I remember when I was little my parents always remembered exactly what they were doing when Kennedy was shot. Now here we are, a new generation,from all over the world,remembering exactly where we were/what we were doing on 911.

regectedriter said...

So beautiful. So poignant. My heart aches with the normalcy of that day...when we were so certain of life. The moments before we go over the rollercoaster are often the hardest to recount. Thank you for doing such a beautiful and haunting job.

Jeffery Rowan said...

Beautifully written I'm certain you were touched by many more memories than you put on paper. In contrast to your viewing the planes in there flight paths I remember Sept 12th. Driving from my apartment North of Richmond to visit with some friends in the Tidewater area. I95 parallels Richmond International airport. I traveled that Interstate hundreds of times. There were always planes in holding patterns, on final approach and taking-off. The sky was never so empty, so quiet, or so eerie as it was that day.

Amberr Meadows said...

Wow, deep and chilling. I absolutely love the "voice" of your writing. Can't believe it took me so long to subscribe!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thank you, AG-my heart aches with the normalcy of that day--perfect. Jeffery, there are many more memories, but this is what came to me this year. Hello, Amberr! Welcome to my window!

Raine Thomas said...

This is a terrific post, Kelly! There was a lot of content about 9/11 out there yesterday, and your decision to focus on the day before was brilliant. The fact that you can remember what occurred on a "normal" day is impressive. I was a newlywed who had just returned home from her honeymoon a couple weeks before, and I'm hard pressed to know what my Monday was like. Of course, I'll never forget that Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Very poignant, Kellinator. I was working nights, heard the first report and thought "commuter plane" ... didn't think about how clear the skies were. Got home and turned on the tv and immediately called my wife (she works in lower Manhattan) a few minutes after the 2nd plane hit. Told her get out. She made the last ferry but it didn't leave until the south tower collapsed. True horror.

Something tells me your boys will fine, kiddo.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Charlie, I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in NY that day. Scary as hell, I'm sure. Raine, the truth is, I was a very active freelance writer at that time, and kept a daily journal. The fact that my husband had flown out on one of those airlines the night before is hard to forget, too.

Thanks for your comments!

jenifer badamo said...

Simply beautiful, Kelly. Enough said. xoxo

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

Thanks, Jen.

Joan Raymond said...

I love your post. Thanks for sharing your day before the day with us.

Carrie Kernel said...

On 9/11 It was a beautiful day in Kansas. I just drove in Baxter Springs to stop at one of the local convenience stores to pick up some items. This particular C-Store, had a TV on and the clerk was watching it. I glanced up and laughed as I thought she was watching some weird program. I seen airplanes flying in to the Twin Towers, and said "Wow", and thought now here is some real fiction. The Clerk said " Its not Funny! " I said "OK!" Wow, How serious does she have to be over a TV Show ?? !! To My aghast, I could literally feel the blood leaving my face, and was in total shock as I finally come to the conclusion that it was actually happening. I will NEVER forget ! "WE" Will never Forget.
Thanks Kelly for your fine Writing and Thoughts ! Sometimes we forget about the good things in Life and take them for granted :(