Friday, September 9, 2011

Ask Elnora--Where were you? Lenora Worth

Hello, my dear friends. No pithy comments from Elnora today. Just remembering ten years ago. My mother-in-law had passed away over the Labor Day holiday that year. Ten years before that, my sister Glenda was involved in a car wreck with a drunk driver and she died three weeks later. And recently, I lost a young friend and I will miss her smile dearly. Elnora is beginning to not like September. But my daughter's birthday is at the end of the month, so for that reason and for the cooler weather, I shall keep September. And I will always remember.

But here's the question in my mind over this coming weekend. Where were you that day ten years ago when our lives changed forever? Okay, I'm humming that sad, sweet Alan Jackson song now. "Where were you when the world stopped turning?"

I was home and about to go for my daily walk. But for some reason I decided to stay in and watch "Good Morning America". And what I saw horrified me. I was alone. My daughter was at work in a downtown building. My husband at work in a General Motors factory. My son at school a few miles away. I wanted them all home. I cried all day. I prayed a lot. I was in shock. We writers have talked about that day and the aftermath. We didn't want to write again. We weren't sure we should write again. It seemed so frivolous, so pointless. But Elnora is tough. I knew writing would bring me some relief and hopefully help my readers to heal and laugh again, or maybe finally cry. So I wrote, one word at a time and I kept on writing. And wow, ten years have passed. Where were you? How have you changed since that day?

Let's discuss. And ... would someone please pass the chocolate and tissues. Cheesecake would be even better! We will never forget and let's hope our lives reflect the integrity and dignity shown by our heroes then, now and forever.


  1. Sweetie, I'm passing you cyber chocolates and lots of hugs.

    On 9/11/01 I was home writing and a friend called me to turn on the television. I sat glued to the TV. My mother in law (a German immigrant and survivor of WWII Germany) called and cried, saying her country was at war again. And we talked and watched in horror as the towers fell. My kids were very young and getting them to understand what had happened took a while. Lots of talking. Lots of trying to calm their fears.

  2. It's hard to believe ten years have passed since then...Where was I? I was in my classroom with the TV on and the kids were watching a special program on the History Channel. Little did we know we would soon be watching history being made ~ a horrifying history but a history no one would ever forget.

  3. I can remember every single detail of this day. What I was wearing, the sun shining through the kitchen door, holding my daughter (I was home because she was sick) and the way it hit us around lunch time (due to the time difference).

    I didn't have my tv on and a friend called me saying "Teresa, we need to pray. We need to pray for all these people and for the humankind after such inferno. This is the beggining of the end as America will take revenge" and I was like "what are you talking about?" and he said "have you the news - tv, radio, internet - on?" and I told him no and he asked me to turn the tv on immediately so I went from DD bedroom to the kitchen and turned the tv on - I remember thinking how silent the world was in that precise moment, it looked like birds had stopped singing and dogs barking (it had a Passion Friday feeling) and thinking "God, we live in Paradise" and when I turned the tv it was like Hell broke, the second plane had just hit the towers...

    Never was ever the same, this never ending mourning for a shatered innocence.

    I started crying silently and Mafalda turned in my lap and with her pudgy hands in my face said "mamma sick" and I was and I'm not sure I (we)'ll ever recover from this.

    Sadly my kids still remember those days that new and those images so in a way I feel they were robbed of that innocence much earlier than I was. But they were given something I didn't have until that moment - a huge admiration for your people: God Bless America! And Together We Stand! did took a new meaning that day.

    "Watch therefore,

    and pray always

    that you may be counted worthy to escape

    all these things that will come to pass . . ."

    (Luke 21:36)

  4. Just like Teresa said, I can remember every single detail of that day. I can't say that about any other day really! Not even a happy day like my wedding! My kids were all in school, my husband at work and I was running around the house doing a general "pick up" when my husband called and said, "turn on the TV", so I did and that TV didn't go off for days! That's all our family talked about for days. I do remember being much closer as a family though as my children, my hubby and I talking about everything during that horrible time. The kids wanted to talk about so much, even the high schoolers. Life has never been the same since.

  5. Lenora, I was home watching TV and happened to see it all. I sat there crying, feeling vulnerable...and furious that someone had made me feel that way. Feeling heartbroken for the families involved. Literally sick to my stomach when I thought of those firefighters and police officers going in.

    My kids were at school, and I was so scared I almost went to get them. I just wanted them home with me.

    And all I could think about was how there were people around the world in other countries who lived like that every day, fearing for their safety. Unsure of their future. As I prayed for our country, I prayed for mothers around the globe who had to send their kids to school every day wondering if they'd come home safely.

    I tell you, it shattered something in me. It took away the feeling of security. And it took a long time to get it back. I still don't take it for granted, though.

  6. You've all touched me by what you've said.

  7. About your more personal - and in dire need of September special chocs edition ...

    It would be indiferent if all those events happened within months apart (see, how happening years apart did with September) because inside of us they enter to our "lost and not found" box and it really doesn't matter when it happened.

    I remember growing up listening how my grandfather died on his youngest son birthday and thinking that it that was the worst that could happen to anyone. And this sad story was told and retold every year adding drama to the date.

    When my father died, he didn't "spoil" anyone's date but it didn't hurt less.It hurts on your birthday whenever it is because they're not here to enjoy, it hurts on Christmas, on New Year's Eve and it hurts everyday when we suddenly realise they're not here anymore to share the special days with us.

    So it's not really the date that sucks - here have a heart shaped bombon, Elnora - it's the way that life imposes us this pain.

    At least on Spetember 11th all world cries with you and broads with you. Take Comfort in that and here's this orange peel covered in chocolate.

    Life will always bring sadness but also happiness and friends and chocolates to sooth.

  8. Our TV had an alarm and would turned on. I sat up in bed and watch the first plane go into the tower.

    What a terrible day. I remember how every plane was ordered to land. I flew to Denver that weekend and I knew every person on that plane would fight and not allow anyone to take over the plane.

  9. I was home in Iowa. My mom called and said, "Turn on your TV. A plane just crashed into a bldg in NYC."

    I turned it on and watched in horror the 2nd plane slam into the bldg. Then we all knew it wasn't just a tragic accident.

    I went around with my mind blank for most of that week. Some shocks just take time to absorb.

    I also remember that this was the first BIG NATIONAL crisis my kids had experienced. I told them about the ones I'd already lived through and told them they would too.

  10. I was on my way to the Dr. I could hardly believe what I heard on the radio. I called home to our two sons, we home schooled, and told them to turn tv on. Then while the Dr was removing some growths and sewing me up we watched the second tower fall. I am always surprised he was able to sew with head turned watching the tv.
    A truly sad day.

  11. Well, I think we all have these memories deep inside. Maybe that's why September is so hard. It's the beginning of fall and the air is ripe with possibilities and a nice relief. Even though the trees are losing their leaves, we know there will be rebirth in the spring. But we also know that the "what-ifs" that writers love can become the "what might have beens." And I think that is why we write about heroes who are very human but yet larger than life.

    Okay, have tissues. Have chocolate. Oh, chocolate cheesecake, the best of both worlds. Thanks for the bonbons nnd chocolate orange peels, too. Now I'm wishing I could go back to Junior's in NY where they have the best Chocolate Cheesecake ever. Elnora loves me some cheesecake!!!

    It's good to share thoughts with friends and I promise next week, I'll be my usual perky self! Oh, here's something to make you all smile. I did order a new pair of Uggs and they came yesterday. Blue suede booties. Think Elvis would approve??

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  13. I was home with my 10½ month old daughter and had gotten up and turned on the Today show just minutes before the 2nd tower was hit. I cried and prayed and held my baby close.

    I remember having the TV on almost nonstop for several days...and I stayed up late and watched and got up early and watched, craving news, any news, especially good news. A small part of my heart would rejoice as a spared life was found, but a large part of my heart grieved for the many whose lives were stolen from them and their loved ones.

    I've been blessed and touched by your stories as well, ladies. Let us never forget that even in the midst of tragedy and turmoil, we have a God who loves us, watches over us and will see us through. God bless you all...and God Bless America!

  14. It's true, Ellen, that is hardly seems like ten years have passed since that day. We had moved to Florida just a month before and were still getting settled. My husband was working in our home office, and I had turned on the TV to watch CNBC. I had become very interested in financial news and had tuned in to see the lead-up to the opening of the stock market. When I turned on the TV the first plane had already struck, but no one knew what had happened for sure. I ran upstairs to the office to tell my husband. Then I went back down to watch and listen. Then the second plane struck, and I knew that it was some kind of terrorist attack. As many others here, I was glued to the TV for hours after that. So many emotions floated through my mind and heart. It was hard to believe this was happening.

    This happened before I was published, and a few days later, I received word that I had won a contest and that the judging editor had requested my manuscript. I didn't feel like celebrating because so many people were sad.

    But I also knew that no matter what was happening that God was there.

    Teresa, it is nice to know that people from other countries felt our pain and prayed for us.

    Cyber chocolate for all of us, especially Elnora.

  15. Well, thank you. Thank you very much, as Elvis would say. I might have to bring them with me to ACFW!

    I am loving all the cyber chocolate! Y'all have made my day much better. :)

  16. I don't remember the happening. I think I've blocked it although I remember seeing the images over and over on the television. I remember the afterward, walking around in a daze, thinking "Did this really happen?"

  17. I left church about 9:30 that morning, and a few folks were outside talking, but I didn't know what had happened at that point. My aunt was in a nearby nursing home, and when I stopped in for a visit, she had her television on.

    Seeing the World Trade Center on fire and then learning of the attack on the Pentagon...well, nothing made sense.

    Everything was surreal. How could this be happening, I kept asking myself!

    Anytime I see a rerun of a 9/11 newscast my stomach roils and I'm transported back in time to that fateful, terrible day.

  18. I'll pass on the food but any I have here you can have as I spend last night really sick and feel not great today.

    Sept 11 2001 I was at home it was night around 9.30pm I was watching The West Wing (ironic right) and chatting online with friends on a forum I had joined recently. I had only had internet at home for a month or so. On posted a plane hit the world trade centre. I didn't realise it was bad just thought it was a little one then the info was on the tv. Then watched and listened for a few hours and again in the morning.
    I know a day later or I got in trouble with an online friend when I said I felt sorry for all the families of the overseas people who were killed or missing. She went off at me about how could I feel sorry for the terrorists etc. I then said dont you realise people from other countries such as Australia lost people in the attack as did many other countries and she then said Oh I though only Americans died. It saddened me what she said. But its an event that affects people all over the globe.

  19. Ausjenny, that is so true. It did effect people all over the world.

    I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Drink some Sprite. That always helps me.

    Thanks to everyone for talking withe us today. It's difficult to relive but hard to forget. I just watched Diane Sawyer with the 911 babies. They are all around ten now. She had followed them all of their lives. It was so sweet.

  20. Thanks Lenora not sure I want to drink at all yet. will take it easy today but then its saturday. I just feel sore and tired.

    my friends daughter is in NYC at present on a vacation.

  21. Ausjenny,
    Sorry you've been sick. Hope you feel better soon!


  22. I was teaching school (first grade) and had just stepped into the teachers' workroom. There was a mounted television on the wall (it stayed on so we'd know if bad weather was due) and I was absolutely stunned as I saw what was happening. Within minutes, there were parents at our school taking their children home (thankfully my son was right down the hall from me in his 3rd grade class) and everyone was upset. I remember I couldn't wait to get home so I could hang out my big American flag that day. ~ Sept. 11 was also my precious Mother's birthday--so we still had a family dinner for her that evening--but we all kept running back and forth to the television to see what was going on. ~ May we never forget....

  23. I had gone to a park to walk with my infant son and, on the drive home, heard the radio announcement of the first plane hitting the tower. At that point, they assumed it was an accident. I turned the tv on as soon as I got home. I'll never forget seeing that first tower fall and the way the announcer hesitated. It took several moments for everyone to process what had happened and then to realize the horrible loss of life.

  24. Sending hugs, Ausjenny. I love NYC. I was thrilled when we attended the RWA conference there this summer. It's a big place but I believe it has a big heart. Everyone there was so nice to me, especially the EMTs who came to my rescue after my fall. I do know that on that day ten years ago NYC became everyone's city. And Washington became even more dear to me. Love that town, too. Lots of heroes that day. My heart holds a special place for each of them.

  25. I was getting ready to go to my Tuesday morning Preschool Moms Bible Study. My oldest son was 2 years old and was eating breakfast. I was newly pregnant with my youngest. I was reading and had Good Morning America on in the background but was not really watching it. My husband came in and asked what was going on--all we saw was the tower burning. They were still speculating it was a horrible accident, and then we saw the second plane fly into the other tower!! I will never forget the feeling of numbness I felt all day as I held my little boy closer.

    BTW, I love that Alan Jackson song!

  26. Totally just saw this post, but gonna comment anyway.

    It was my freshman year at A&M. It was an 8 a.m. class and for some reason unknown to us she let us out 15 min into the lecture. I went to the Pavilion to see people glued to the tv. As I came closer I watched in horror as they showed a replay of the first plane hitting. Then several min later well all watched as the second plane hit. I will never forget that moment. I remember crying as I watched people jump from 60-70 stories to their death. Later that week A&M held a fundraiser to red, white and blue out Kyle field. In less than a week they got 86,000 people to buy shirts for each deck and the money went to NY victims. Pretty amazing pictures of the stadium that day too.

  27. I was changing my son's diaper(5months) and my husband was in the shower. I'd turned on the T.V. At first I thought it was a show or movie and turned it. Then I realized something was wrong when every channel had the same thing on and that's when I saw the 2nd plane hit. Life took on a more precious meaning to me.


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