|in memory |
September 11, 2021
The morning was cool, the fog clinging to the corn stalks, low to the ground, most of the haze was gone, yet the sun was doing its best to clear the last of the mist away. It was going to be a nice day.
I had dropped off the junior high and high school kids and checked the bus to prepare to pick up the littles. When I was less than a mile away from the first stop when the music on the radio was interrupted. I listened as the local DJ tried to explain what had happened. I couldn't believe it. I stopped in the middle of the road, right before the overpass on 100th Street. I listened hard.
My thoughts were whirling about in my head. Oh no! Really? This can't be! Here, in America? Shit! Someone was behind me honking for me to move it, so they could pass me after the bridge. Since I didn't have much detail, I decided to turn off the radio and carry on as if everything were fine.
Elementary school kids are pretty damn perceptive, so I told them the radio wasn't working. As I picked up the kids, I smiled at them, said hello, business as usual. "Keep your head in the game" I kept telling myself. "They'll be safer at school, just get them there, after all, it is a tornado shelter."
No one seemed to know anything at the school. With the hustle-bustle of getting hundreds of kids off busses and into the building, it didn't really surprise me. But, once I was unloaded and safely back on the road, I turned the radio back on to see if I could get more detail. In the forty or so minutes it took me to pick up the little kids, the second plane had hit the South Tower at 8:03 AM CDT. It took about 12 minutes to get back to the garage.
Everyone was standing everywhere, and the phone rang and rang...we had the TV on; a rarity except in the deep winter months. I didn't know what to do or say. My own kids were at their schools 18 miles away. What did their drivers do or say? My own phone rang. It was the rummate. She asked what I had heard; she heard the same. We assured each other we were okay. Comforting each other that the kids were at school.
I remember going through the rest of the day like an automaton. I know I took kids home. I remember the rides being really quiet, but the rest is as hazy as the foggy cornfields that morning.
In remembrance of all we lost that day-