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I can only imagine how each of you may feel today. We all lost so much on this day in 2001.

That morning, 17 years ago, I was completely at peace reading my devotional, sipping milky coffee with our dogs Freud, Cosmo, Sheba, and Strogh on the bed. Joe had taken Mabel and Flo-Dell to work with him. The house phone rang. I thought about not answering it but I looked at the caller ID and picked it up. It was Joe.

He made me nervous when he spoke an octave higher than his usual deep voice. The last time I had heard that shaky pitch was when he told me my brother had killed himself.

“Honey, turn on the news… something’s goin’ on.” He has said. “Oh, My God! No!”

“What! What are you talkin’ about?”  I demanded. People who know me well know that I raise my voice to a yell I’m scared panic and all I could think of was that someone was dead again and he just didn’t want to tell me himself.

I turned the TV to CBS. It looked like a plane had crashed into a skyscraper. There was smoke coming from inside the towering building in New York City. “That’s crazy….” I said, trying to listen to both Joe and the man on TV.

“They’re sayin’ it may not have been an accident.”

“What do you mean?” I couldn’t process it. My voice loud again.

As we both watched, Joe from his office and me from the bedroom another plane came onto the screen. It was impossible to watch and not shriek in utter disbelief. It was like faith was your friend and it just stabbed you on purpose.

“I’m coming home.” Click.

Today I am sitting here in a different house with our dogs with different names. Strogh, Sheba, Cosmo, and Freud have passed away. I don’t want to move. My heart, as if connected to a time bomb that goes off on this day and this time every year, still can feel the panic, the shock, the despair. I remember I saw a man who was stopped by a photojournalist and asked if he would mind talking on camera for a moment. The man covered with gray ash clutching his briefcase never looked into the camera but gazed somewhere past it as if looking for a goal or direction in which to walk. He politely answered the cameraman “No. I… I….I’ve had a bad day.” He walked away.

Do you have memories you’d like to share?