Tag Archives: plane crash

How I spent my morning 11 years ago. And you?

It was 6:40 in the morning. We should have been up already. Dave had to get to work. Fortunately, he was usually pretty fast at getting himself together and out of the door. My nearly two-year-old son was mercifully still asleep in his crib when I stirred, realizing I had to pee.

I lay on the bed lazily an extra ten minutes before I remembered the test. I was supposed to take a test this morning! And, with that, I jumped out of bed next to a still unconscious Dave and bolted to the bathroom. I’d left the box on the counter the night before to remind myself in the morning. I had to pee pretty badly by this point so I was very glad that I was no longer a novice to these tricky little packages. Far from it actually. At that point in time, I’d probably broken the seal, fruitlessly, on at least four dozen of them. So I tore into it and got to work, careful (I think) not to pee on my own hands. When I was done, I set the life-altering plastic stick on a square of tissue on the back of the toilet. And then I left the room.

Over the years, I learned that it was not a good idea for me to linger in the bathroom, staring at my fate. It was painful to see the all-too-familiar single line spreading across the window. I was better off back in my bed with my eyes closed, preparing myself for the probable disappointment that I’d come to know so well. So I returned to my bed and fished the old stopwatch out of my night stand and clicked the button. I decided to wait five minutes this time, instead of my usual three, just so I could be really sure. I hated trying to interpret whether or not a fuzzy line was actually there. It was just cruel. I closed my eyes but found them fluttering open to check the clicking of the numbers on the LCD screen about every thirty seconds.

4:57 … 4:58 … 4:59 …. 5:00.

I stood to return to the bathroom, braced for the usual negative result. I didn’t even bother to wake Dave up for these things anymore. What was the point really? He could spend that time sleeping, instead of consoling a monthly basket case. I walked into the bathroom and approached the back of the toilet. The room was still a little dim in the early morning light so I opened the window shade. And, blinking my sleepy eyes, it was so obvious. There was no interpretation needed. It was like someone had taken a Sharpie and scratched in that second line.

“Holy crap,” I remember whispering audibly.

Then, as an uncontrolled smile pealed across my cheeks, I grabbed the urine-soaked stick from the back of the toilet, ran back in the bedroom and flung it at a still-sleeping Dave. (In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the most hygienic decision I’ve ever made.) He woke immediately and thankfully was able to, through his sleepy fog, put everything together.

And he shared my joy, which made it all the better. It was clear he’d be late for work that day but he didn’t even seem to mind. He hugged me and we lay there, talking quietly about our big news. Telling our little boy, our families, our friends. Calculating the arrival date. And fantasizing. It was a wonderful little moment in our lives.

Until he reached for the remote to turn on the morning news around 7:50. After that, we decided to wait a while to share our news. It was such a strange time in the world.

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Oh, but I love my girl so much. And I’ll never forget the morning I learned she was coming.

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That’s how I spent MY morning on September 11, 2001.

What about YOU?