In 2001, I had arrived a day or so earlier. Planned to leave for home on Friday, 9/14. On 9/11 about 8 AM, my husband called and told Susan to turn on her TV. He told her to call for me to get in her room. He hung up quickly. He was working at the Offutt AFB in the Omaha area, and, shortly after he called, almost all of the workers and officers/base members were being sent out. Not too long later, President Bush was brought into that Base and put in a very safe underground location.
I learned all of that, heard all of that, as Dave called again, later that day.
Watching the TV, from this horrific event, my heart was broken and I was filled with depression.
During the next days, being in an extremely rural area, other than TV, we didn't see or hear much.
On Friday at noon I went to the small town nearby. I had been told that the Lutheran church was having a prayer and focusing-on-the-Lord time. It was a real heart-toucher.
When I returned to Susan's, I began to pack my clothes and load my car. I left in the late afternoon. The drive usually takes about 9 hours, so I'd be home by Saturday, 2 AM.
Driving home was one of the most heart-breaking, heart-aching times. At first, just driving was no big deal. It is nearly 100 miles on the side roads to the Interstate. And then, arriving on the Interstate -- I-29 -- about 40 miles north of Fargo, ND, my present-day world changed.
What I saw over and over again, were signs by the highway. The ones that grabbed me the most were connected to highway repairing companies. One their trucks, parked on the side, had large national flags and large words of "God Bless America" with lots of lights aimed to focus on them.
Seeing those over and over for 450 miles, getting home was a huge heart-acher. The fact that Dave was at the Base on a regular time and saw and heard much, and he shared the information, it was also poured into me, shortly after I reached home.
So, today, I am in the same house, with the same person, seeing the same trees, same birds, and, considering what others would be saying, seeing, or doing in our nation, I rarely even see or hear.
Yes, it is different now that all these years have reacted. But I'm thinking of it today strongly, because I'm here.
I won't be going home until the 19th, though. If it was the 14th again, I think my heart would be grabbed again... just