Today is Simple Sunday. On Sundays, I want to strip away all the complexities we've been feeling about scrapbooking - the things that are getting in the way of the simple act of us telling our stories. We make it much more complicated than it needs to be!
One of the best ways to simplify your scrapbooking is to start with a sketch. If you struggle with design, it gives you a leg up. If you love design, you can create a library of sketches that delight you to have on-hand when you want to scrapbook. Today, use the sketch provided to begin your page.
In my mind, sketches are suggestions, just like recipes. Don't like onions? Leave 'em out. Want more mushrooms? Toss in another handful. It's your recipe, your page, your scrapbook. Adjust it at will!
This is my memory of the events as they occurred for me 10 years ago today, on September 11, 2001. I admit that some of the timeline could be wrong as I was extremely distressed, but this is how I remember it.
I had just moved back from Florida and was living back at home with my parents and my brother. I was working at WWJ Newsradio 950 and a couple of days ago my brother left on vacation for a self-drive baseball stadium tour, with stops in New York City, Pittsburgh and a few other cities.
September 10, 2001, sometime in the evening after dinner.
My brother, Scott, called us from his vacation in New York City. He had a great day. Did some sightseeing and was headed to Times Square and then back to his hotel near JFK airport. His plans for tomorrow included waking up early to head to the World Trade Center observation floor and then a Yankees game.
September 11, 2001, approximately 7:30am
I am at a doctor’s appointment hoping to get done quickly so that I can get to work. It’s going to be a busy day at and I don’t want to be too late.
8:46am: Unbeknownst to me, since I am in the car, on my way to work and listening to a CD instead of the radio, a Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
8:55ish am: I arrive at work still oblivious to what is going on. I get to my desk and a co-worker asks if I know what happen. I don’t. She leads me into the news room where all the televisions are on just in time for me to see…
9:03am: …Flight 175 crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
From this moment things just became a blur. My little brother was there. He was at the World Trade Center. He told us last night that he was going to the World Trade Center.
I fell onto a sofa in the newsroom and just sat there for several minutes. I didn’t know what to do. I was frozen. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t think. I just sat there.
Finally I snapped out of it and I ran to my desk and picked up the phone. I dialed Scott’s cell phone number…nothing. I tried again and again with the same results. I was afraid to call my mom because I knew she would be beside herself with worry but I knew I had to call her. She was frantic. She had been trying to get a hold of him to no avail. She tried his cell, she tried the hotel and there was nothing. I hang up the phone with her and start calling his cell and the hotel. I keep calling both numbers for about 10 minutes. I take a break from the phone to run back to the newsroom to see what is happening. All I see are the images of the planes crashing into the buildings and the smoke billowing out. I also see people jumping out of the burning buildings and all I can think about is my brother. Is he there? Did he get out? Is he dead?
9:37am: as I sit and watch the footage, Flight 77 crashes into the side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
I watch for a few minutes and head back to my desk to start making calls again. At this point I decided to call an old friend who lives in New York to see if he may be able to help me find my brother. I figure that since he is in New York that maybe phone reception or whatever would be better. I get him on the phone and he is fine. I tell him about my brother and give him all of the phone numbers. He says he will help however he can.
I call my mother again and there is still no word and no contact from my brother. We keep trying.
9:59am: The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
I honestly, do not remember much after this except that I went into mild shock. I wanted to go home. I wanted to me with my parents but I knew that I had access to more information and resources at work. I return to my desk, robot-like, and start to pick up the phone to start calling again, when the phone rings. It is my mom, she is crying, she just spoke with my brother! He slept in. He was still in the hotel. He was okay.
I have never in my life felt such a sense of relief. I still could not cry, I was still in shock that this was all happening and he was okay. I had to go back to work. They needed help in the news room.
10:03am: Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA killing everyone on board and saving who knows how many others.
10:28am: The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
We talk to my brother a few more times throughout the day. It is difficult to get through the phone lines. He is essentially stranded in New York City. He stays one more night and is able to get out of the city the next day and heads to Atlantic City, New Jersey, shortly before the roads are closed.
As the days pass and we wait for him to get home we check in with him often. My mom at one point remarks, “I’m so glad he’s a lazy butt. Kelly, if you had still lived there and were with him, I would have lost you both.” She knows how punctual I am and how anal I am about keeping to a schedule. We laugh about it, but secretly we both know it is true.
A few days later sometime in the night, around bed time, he walked through the back door. I am so relieved to see him. Mom, dad and I rush to him and give him hugs and in true Scott fashion he is calm, cool and collected. “No big deal”, he seems to say, but I think this is more for my parents’ sake than anything.
We all retire to our bedrooms to try to get some sleep. I start to cry. I can’t stop crying. It is the first time I have cried since the attacks and I can’t stop. I don’t know how long I cry for but I know if feels good to let it out. I think I needed to see him, to talk to him and to hug him before I could accept it. My brother is home. He is safe.
That day our lives changed, our world changed and we must never, ever forget.