I was teaching middle school, and set to leave the next day to meet the two girls who would become my daughters. I was watching the news and combing my hair when they showed the first plane hit the tower, and I remember thinking how stupid the pilot was - it honestly did not occur to me for a few minutes that it was intentional. Then the second plane hit, and I realized I needed to get to work, like, now.
I will forever be thankful that I was at school that day, and not a sub. We live in a military town, so a good percentage of my students had parents in the military. One boy's father was TDY at the Pentagon, and the office delivered a message from his mother that his father had called, and he was safe. When I gave this tough and cool, nothing-phases-me, young boy the message, I could see it hit him that his father might NOT have been okay, and he just started shaking with silent tears. I'm crying again just remembering that.
The next day, I went ahead and drove to the airport my flight was booked out of, knowing what I would probably find. Sure enough, all flights cancelled, so I just continued on the interstate and drove all day, to where my girls were living. I missed those first few days of news craziness because I was hanging out at a hotel pool, shopping, and seeing the sights with two beautiful young girls. We all knew everything was changing for us, but in ways that had nothing to do with terrorists. I didn't realize then what an incredible gift of timing that was for all three of us.