Thursday, September 11, 2008

How did it change your life?

My friend Celise has this way of inspiring me to write... perhaps it's because she IS a Writer and I aspire to be one... or at least I like to write a lot. :D

Today she wrote "Where Were You..." about 9-11. Something about it caused this to spill out of my fingers...
I first heard about it on the radio, getting ready for work. I'm like "no big deal, it's probably a small plane, one or two people died, sad, but an accident." Then, the more the DJ's talked, I realized I was wrong. I woke my husband and told him about it. When I got to work, we turned on the news and started watching. Soon, the number of employees around the TV in one guys' office was too much, so, he moved the TV to the break room where our software development company pretty much lived for the day. What we watched was UNBELIEVABLE!

I actually went out and bought newspapers and magazines that day... before the headlines changed. I finally sensed that this was a "Big Deal" and wanted to somehow mark the time of my life "before" and "after". I have a stack of publications from anniversaries of the date too.

Just the month before, we'd taken my step-daughter, then seven, on her first plane ride. At that time, she would build whole towers with wooden blocks, then knock them down "for the fun on it". Afterward, she would completely freak out if someone even tried to knock down one of her towers. She progressed to building whole cities all around her towers. If something fell... "the people worked together to rebuild it." She was terribly upset, in large part because she'd had her first plane ride so recently. Her devastation made what I was to do so much harder!

Gratefully, I didn't loose anyone in the September 11 attacks ... but in the days following, when everyone was *renewed* in their commitments to each other, I found myself wishing my husband had been there (not that he'd ever been to NY or DC), but if he had perished in one of these tragedies, life for me would have been so much easier.

Realizing you wish your husband had died in a terrorist attack, when everyone around you is Hugging-and-Kissing-and-Loving on their families, is a hard thing. So, I did what I always did in times like this... went for a "Phoenix Fix" to see my brother. I spent a long weekend with him, and made my Game Plan. I arrived back in Salt Lake on Tuesday. I filed for divorce. Quit my job. Found a Realtor and put my house on the market. While my Mom and Brother drove up and packed my entire house. On Saturday, five days later, I was on my way "back home" to Arizona.

It was an interesting time to be trying to find work. My brother (whom I was staying with) had been working as a Temporary Software Programmer... he was let go because of his "Security Threat"... ie, he was a Temp, not a regular employee. I'd always worked as an Administrative Assistant, but, couldn't find that type of work.

As luck would have it, while trying to "escape" my bad marriage, I'd started working "part-time, for-fun" as a Portrait Photographer with Lifetouch Portrait Studios (Target and JCPenny have in-store locations, and there's also a school division). When I arrived in Phoenix, it was to find a Management Position in a Portrait Studio... suddenly, *everyone* wanted pictures of their loved ones!

Anyway, that's where I was, and also where I went and what a catalyst 9-11 was for me.

Thanks again for your beautifully written memoir.
Instead of asking the same of you, I would ask, what direct impact did 9-11 have on you and your life?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Well, 9-11 did impact me but not because I had a loved one involved. I think it is just frightening to think someone hit the USA in that way.

Ken and I happened to be on our honeymoon in Jackson Hole, WY and same thing. We thought it was an accident, not a big one. Then every channel we turned the tv to had warnings going on so we sat and watched for a while before leaving the room. We really did just sit and think and discuss it. Then later on we saw all of the after math of the whole thing that had started while we were getting showered for the day.
Good, good blog Suzy!