9/10/11

9/11 Fate - A New Yorker's Personal Perspective

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An impromptu memorial in New York City's Union Square Park
days after the 9/11 attacks.

Photo by Maria Adcock.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I humbly pondered if I would be holding my daughter today had fate assigned a crueler outcome.

My husband and I met in 2004 in New York City. One day we discussed the topic that inevitably arises between two people who lived in New York on that fateful day, “Where were you on 9/11?”
I informed him how I heard the news of the burning towers while in my Midtown Manhattan office, 4 miles north of Ground Zero. “What about you?” I inquired.

He paused and calmly stated, “I was scheduled to attend a seminar at the World Trade Center that morning.”

Shock. I had no idea.

He continued, “The seminar was moved to Midtown at the last minute.”

At the time, my husband never questioned a seemingly insignificant location change. The Windows on the World restaurant conference center, located in the north tower on the 107th floor, hosted the seminar. No one from the restaurant survived the attack.

Fate is not always kind. On 9/11, it cruelly took my friend’s husband. He took the day off from work, but ended up going into the office at the last minute.

Fate played unfairly with my pregnant friend’s mother-in-law who worked in the towers. The baby arrived two months later with grandma’s airplane tickets left unused.

No matter if we believe in fate, the events on 9/11 require us to contemplate our lives. The small things argued about with our families appear petty in the timeline of life. We must embrace appreciation and gratefulness…and hope.

To this day, my husband does not know why the seminar moved from the World Trade Center. Looking into our daughter’s wide brown eyes, he no longer seeks an answer.

Families posted missing posters to a subway railing in Union Square Park.
Photo by Maria Adcock
 
Note: I originally wrote this piece two years ago, but never published it in Bicultural Mama because this website did not exist back then. I have since made some edits and wanted to share it for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in remembrance and reflection of that tragic day.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. On 9/11 I was holding my 4 month old baby in my arms, watching the news live .. and wondering if I had done the right thing by bringing her into this kind of world ... Now I know I did do the right thing, 10 years and another child later ...

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  2. Wow, what a moving story. Fate or Providence was looking out for him and your future. Your last picture brought back memories I'd forgotten about those notices. I remember seeing them and thinking it was so sad and probably hopeless, yet I would've done the same because, as a loved one, I would've had to do something. That moment 10 years ago is almost upon us as I write this. Lest we forget.

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  3. Wow! I was scheduled to attend a conference for work on 9/13 on the 101st floor. I feel so lucky that it wasn't scheduled for 9/11. At the time I worked a block away from Grand Central Station and remember seeing all those missing person signs too. Seeing them made feel sad.

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  4. Wow. Fate did play a huge part in your family's lives. Thanks for sharing that. It made me think of all the times fate has played a part in my family's life and how I shouldn't waste to continued opportunities awarded by a simple twist of fate.

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  5. Thank you, Maria, for sharing.

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  6. What a lovely reflection and reminder that things can so easily change.

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  7. In my opinion, your husband is dwelling on exactly what he should be - those brown eyes of your lovely daughter.

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  8. Mysterious are the ways of fate. You make an excellent point on not letting the small, petty things in life supersede the important ones.

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  9. What a great story. Funny how things turn out. Thx for sharing.

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  10. thank you for sharing such a touching post.

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  11. It braks my heart having been 1500 miles away--I can't imagine having been there.

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  12. Wow, just wow! For all the tragedy that day, there really are so many things to be thankful for. So many escaped and so many became heroes. Crazy story.

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  13. This brought me to tears...even when I'm not connected and I am on the other side of the world the pain, the grieves are just too big.

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  14. I remember that day like no other. First it was a day of mourning for a long time, but now I have a reason to celebrate. Having a baby on 9/11 changes everything. I'm glad she gives me a reason to smile on that day. It's such horrible time to get through each year. My heart aches for all of the families who lost a loved one that day.

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  15. Oh, wow, fate has been kind to your loved ones in many ways. I didn't even consider your proximity to the location. Memorable, chilling post.

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  16. What a powerful and moving post. I'm sorry that the 9/11 tragedy hit so close to home for you and your friends and loved ones. I'm a bit rattled that your husband was almost in the North Tower that day. But I love how you ended your post with your daughter as the answer to your husband's fate. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  17. I'm slow in reading this week, but I knew I wanted to come back to your post when I didn't have time to read it the other day.

    Wow. Just wow.

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  18. Oh my word. Wow. Hearing stories like this just make me feel ill at how close some people came to being there. I am so glad the meeting was moved!

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