There are those moments in history in which you will never forget the details of your surroundings, with images burned into your mind, the thoughts and feelings you had. It almost becomes an out-of-body experience, where you are off to the side watching yourself react, versus just reacting. Eight years ago today, I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. She was due in 11 days. I had stopped working, and was spending my days alternating between wasting time sleeping, and nesting, fiddling with things around the house. We only had one car at the time. I had driven Nick to work that morning, and was back at home. I was laying on the couch downstairs at our Fox Chase home in Maryland, dozing in and out of consciousness, watching the news - I believe I heard it first from Katie Couric, well, I think my subconscious heard about the attacks before I really realized what was going on. I saw the second plane go into the building on TV, and I remember being horrified when newscasters theorized that these were no accidental plane crashes. This was a coordinated, calculated attack on the U.S. I remember Nick calling, making sure I'd heard what was going on. I remember different family members calling to make sure we were okay... as it was unclear to where the third plane had crashed, "somewhere near Camp David" - and people unsure exactly where we lived, were fearing for our safety. I remember the surreal, slow-motion way in which everything unfolded that day. I remember being asked to keep off the phone, as emergency workers were being called to DC and all the lines were jammed. I remember being worried about friends in our ward, who worked in DC, and wondering if they were okay. I remember being glued to the television screen, watching the videos over, and over again. I remember all the airports being shut down, and all the planes in the country being grounded. I remember most of the businesses in our town being closed that day. I remember going to my checkup that afternoon, surprised that my doctor's office was still functioning as normal... knowing that life as we knew it in this country had drastically, horribly, changed that morning. I remember foolishly fearing my baby would come that day, and that something would go wrong with all of the stress. I hoped and prayed that her birthday would not coincide with the date of this tragedy. The abstract word "terrorist" was suddenly very, very real, and for the first time in my life, seemed dangerous. Later, when I heard how close some of our friends were to the attacks, I remember being amazed, thankful for their survival, and humbled by their stories. It's now a different world that my 8-year-old is growing up in... all because of that day.
Where were you?