DJ (my husband) and I had been dating for about 3 months when the attack happened. I had just graduated from college and moved back to the Northwest and I was working/living at an apartment complex in Salmon Creek. I went to a Christian liberal arts college just outside of Boston, and had just taken that cross country flight a few months back out of Logan airport. I was so happy then, seemed like everything was going my way. We were getting up early that day so that DJ could sign loan papers for the house he just bought. We didn't listen to the radio on the way to the mortgage office.
So we get there, and everyone seems so somber, lots of people shaking their heads, some crying. I thought maybe someone in the office had died. Our mortgage broker is the one who told us what was happening. He pulled up CNN on his laptop to show us pictures. I just about threw up. Talk about emotional whip lash. We went from being so happy, on cloud 9, to mourning, in just a few seconds.
After signing the paperwork we went back to DJ's apartment and turned on the TV. And then I started making phone calls. First I called my mom, and just sobbed, so upset I ended up laying on the kitchen floor, I couldn't even stand up I was so shaken. Then I called my college roomate Karin, she was a special ed. teacher for a high school in the suburbs outside of Boston. We both cried, I was so relieved she was ok. And over the next few days I was able to get a hold of all my college buddies and every time I'd talk to one it would be more crying, and many prayers said over the phone... it was horrible.
Finally the following day DJ thought he needed to get me away from all the media and such, I was really a total wreck. So we drove to the beach, but it really didn't matter where we went the sorrow from everyone that we came in contact with was so evident that there were constant reminders everywhere. We came back to Portland, realizing that we couldn't escape it.
Throughout this I don't think DJ really 'got' it. I don't think he really realized the magnitude of what was happening, maybe it was shock, or distance from NY, I don't know. But a day or two afterwords it hit him like a ton of bricks. One day he came to me and literally tackled me to the ground and just sobbed. And he kept saying, "You could have been on one of those jets." over and over again. And yeah, I could have. All those planes were cross country flights, and that's exactly the 'commute' I took every time I came home from school to visit family. I know I wasn't nearly as close to what was happening as some people, but that's the thought that kept playing through my head for a long time after the fact, it could have been me. I'm sure there are thousands who kept thinking the same thing.