Photo: Jake Rajs
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was the wedding coordinator at my church and only worked in the office on Tuesdays.
We gathered for staff devotions at 8:30. Pastor Scott was running a few minutes late, so one of the other staff pastors encouraged us to find a place to pray.
On the prayer list that day was an urgent request. The husband of Tammy Trent was missing. Trent and Tammy grew up at our church but lived in Tennessee. They were in Jamaica where Trent went scuba diving the day before. He never came up.
We each found a place, and with heavy hearts began to pray for Trent and Tammy and the family.
When Pastor Scott came in he asked for our attention and told us the news about the planes hitting the Twin Towers.
We prayed for New York, we prayed for Trent and Tammy, then Pastor Scott allowed us to watch some news footage before returning to work.
I don’t remember if I saw it live - I think so - we watched as one of the towers fell.
Our hearts fell along with it.
I was fortunate in my position as an independent contractor that I was able to go home.
As I drove home everyone seemed to be so quiet. No speeders, nobody peeling out, just somber drivers.
I sat on my couch the rest of the day watching news coverage. Watching another tower fall. Watching people covered with dust walking through the streets of New York in shock.
I remember Ashleigh Banfield interviewing a fireman and asking someone to bring him water. I can still see the fireman’s face and hear the urgency in her voice.
And all I could say over and over was, “Unbelievable.”
While talking with my friend a couple of weeks ago, we discussed how we feel like we need to bring so many items with us when we travel. I mentioned to her that 9/11 changed the way I leave my house - every day. I always want to have snacks, a bottle of water and all of my devices and important things with me. I feel like I always need to be ready for a disaster because you just never know.
Irrational, I know.
This 9/11 anniversary reminds me to hug my family, friends and loved ones who mean the most to me a little tighter. I want to celebrate life - dance to the music, laugh until it hurts, say encouraging things to strangers, chase my dreams and live without regrets.
How about you? What is your story? What do you remember from September 11, 2001? How did it change you? Share in the comments below or via Twitter or Facebook. And thank you for doing life with me. I love having you in my little community!