10 Years Later

September 7th, 2011 // 5:16 am @ eileenwebb

My sister called me to tell me to turn on the television.  As you probably did, I watched the planes fly into the twin towers and watched the towers fall. I saw it over and over and followed the other events of the day.  At some point I just couldn’t watch anymore.  I knew that I couldn’t do anything to help the people in New York, but I lived about 15 minutes from DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) airport in Texas.  With US airspace shut down, I knew that there would be people stranded. So I pulled myself together, called nearby hotels to find rooms and drove out to the airport.  The airport was pretty empty when I got there, but I gave two women a ride to a hotel and had lunch with one of them.

I had been laid off a few months before and remember thinking – I may be unemployed, but I don’t have any real problems.  Ironically, I had an interview coming up later that week in New York City near the Trade Center Complex.  I was planning to firm up the schedule and make my flight arrangements on September 11.  Fortunately, none of them were hurt although almost everyone had a friend or relative who was.  One of their servers was in the Trade Center Complex and they had some challenges dealing with that.

I had already been focusing most of my job search efforts in Northern California and Nevada – near my twin sister, but now I knew where I wanted to go.  I never did go on that job interview in New York City.

I was on a flight to the west coast during one of the first few days that air travel resumed – I’d scheduled some appointments in my job search and time with family.  Check-in lines were long and slow, but no one complained.  My head knew that air travel was actually safer than before the crashes, but I was afraid in my heart.  But I was determined not to let fear keep me from living life.  I called my parents and sister while I was sitting in the airplane waiting for take-off to tell them that I loved them.

I found a job and moved to the Reno/Lake Tahoe area in December.  My sister was close enough to drive – closer than we’d been since our college days. And I was near skiing; something else I love.

So now what?

We all know that the world is neither as safe as we thought it was on September 10, nor as dangerous as we thought it was on September 11.

I’ve had almost a decade of living close to my sister.  And we actually get together often, like the Labor Day holiday weekend and make new memories.  As a bonus, our father moved out from Georgia and we had him nearby for more than 5 years.  And I’ve lived here long enough to have cultivated some close friends as well as a larger circle of friends.

Although I haven’t become a free taxi service, I’m still compelled to make a difference in people’s lives.  My business is about helping people make their work lives better.  Fortunately, I can get paid to do something I love, because it makes and saves so much money along the way.  I share my joy of skiing with others by teaching.  I help with engineering college accreditation to give back to my profession.  I volunteer in economic development to create good jobs and a better community.

I have peace and joy in my heart, share laughter with people I care about, and take the opportunity to make a difference in the world.   Life doesn’t get much better than this.


Category : Blog

2 Comments → “10 Years Later”


  1. Toby O'Brien

    7 years ago

    An interesting perspective on where you are since 9/11. Perhaps I will make an introspective review as well. While the families directly affected by the terrorist acts are certainly still dealing with the outcome, as we live our lives, we should be grateful for our blessings and thankful that we continue to have challenges to meet.

    Reply

  2. June Reeves-Weir

    7 years ago

    Eileen,

    This is a powerful reflection on life and what we often overlook–our blessings. You followed your instincts and your heart and you have traveled a journey that has brought you much happiness.

    I am very proud of you!

    June

    Reply

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