I wasn't able to make time to do this on Thurs, but that day I was reminded of the events in my life of that week in the fall of 2001 and realized that I don't think I've written them down anywhere and they should be.
My sister was in North Carolina that weekend prior helping a Pakistani friend of hers who was going through a divorce from her very abusive husband. They had come to the states because of the persecution they suffered as Christians in Pakistan. How that husband could claim to be a Christian after how he treated his wife and turned her children against her I don't know. My sister was staying in the house with her and somehow the husband ended up being there and getting in the house. The situation was volatile and my sister knew he had kept a gun in the house. Even after being on the phone with the police she ended up calling her husband from a closet of the house afraid for her safety. My dad and I heard this side of the story when her husband showed up at our door ( I was living with my parents at the time) late that night and asked us to kneel in prayer with him for the safety of my sister. He felt totally helpless and that was all he knew he could do. At that point I seriously can't remember how that situation resolved, but it did. She was scheduled to fly home on Tues the 11th, but got an overwhelming feeling that she should change her flight to Mon, which she did.
When my brother-in-law came over for the prayer, my dad and I had just gotten home from the hospital where my mother had just had a cancerous kidney removed. She'd had a more invasive surgery two years before to remove a tumor from her lung. She came home the next day, but on that Tues morning we were having trouble controlling the pain. I was supposed to be at a photo shoot for work, but didn't feel like I could leave. It wasn't usual for the tv to be on in the morning, but I think Mom had been up in the night and it on as a distraction. That's when we saw the first reports on the first building and that's when we saw the second plane as it hit the second tower. It wasn't long after that that my sister walked in the door. I'll never forget the overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude I had for her and to God as I threw my arms around her. I'd never feared for someone's safety like that before and with Mom the way she was it was like danger was all around us. We were able to get on the phone with a pharmacist and I finally got to my photo shoot at about noon. Everything seemed so surreal. It was a photo shoot for some pens and desk accessories. The whole thing seemed so incredibly stupid in comparison to the other events of the day. They had the radio on at the photo studio to keep up with what was going on. I remember just so wanting to go home and starting to get that feeling that nothing would be the same again.
Two years later, in another September, my mother passed away. Even with all I knew of the gospel and the plan of salvation and all, I felt like the bottom dropped out of my life. I remember telling a friend that I sincerely hoped that, after all we'd been through and all she'd suffered, I would be changed somehow. Five years out from that now I think I can say that I'm not the same person. That through my own "crucible of experience" I've changed for the better—that because of my mother's life she lived and the death she died nothing will be the same for me. The beauty of it is that hopefully everyone who lost someone on 9/11 or who ever lost someone can say the same about them and that hopefully the same will be said of me by someone when my time comes.