I had just set a new goal to get up early and exercise. I had found an aerobics show on cable that I liked, and I was working hard at dragging myself out of bed in time for the show.
So this particular morning started out like the rest - sleepy walk into my daughter's room, pull her out of her crib, go into the kitchen to get her bottle, then set her down on the floor as I turn on the TV.
But that's when things changed.
The first thing that greeted me on the TV screen was the twin towers in New York, with smoke billowing from the tops. I remember being very confused, thinking "Are they talking about a new action movie??" But no, this was real and happening right now.
I pulled my daughter up into my lap and just held onto her as my eyes were glued to the screen. Eventually I called my mother, who was sleeping in and couldn't figure out what I was talking about. Then I called my sister. She was also glued to her TV, and we both sat there with the phone to our ears, not saying much, just watching.
I remember the grief I felt that week. I truly felt like someone I knew had died. I was depressed. I couldn't think of anything else. I remember taking my daughter to the playground that afternoon and watching the sky - it was so empty. A few days later I sat on my front step, lit a candle and sang a hymn. My husband sat with me.
Last year for this anniversary, I pulled up the youtube videos and watched them. My children (except for my oldest) had never seen them, and they were as shocked to watch them as I was that first day.