September 11th--Eighteen Years--Seems Like Yesterday
Eighteen years ago. When I type it, eighteen years seems like such a long time, yet it seems like it was just yesterday. I was a Nanny, working just outside of New York City. I lived just a few miles from the World Trade Centre. It was a sunny, beautiful Tuesday morning and I was dressed and ready to start my day with Kamron, the sweet baby I was a Nanny for. He was just a toddler and we had plans that morning for a toddler music class, which was really a bunch of two year olds banging on toy instruments and an assortment of Moms, Dads and caregivers singing along and chatting with each other. Every morning I would head downstairs from my Nanny suite in the attic and pick up Kamron in his parent's bedroom. Usually he was laying on the four poster King sized bed, surrounded by pillows, watching The Wiggles or Barney, while Gerette and Bahman (his parents) were hustling around and getting ready to leave for their jobs in Manhattan.
But that morning was different. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was as though summer was just not quite ready to leave and was giving us yet another perfect day with a perfect warm breeze. I do not remember many specific details of this day, but I remember that Gerette was wearing a flowered, summery dress, one that she must have wanted to get one more wear out of before the chilly autumn weather came around. The irony of this happy dress is not lost on me. A day that started with so much beauty and hope as it turned into one of the darkest days in our lifetime. I walked into the bedroom and the TV was on a live news channel. Bahman looked at me with a look of disbelief and said "A plane flew into the World Trade Centre!" Terrorism was the last thing on my mind in that moment as my first thought was that it was a a fluke accident.
My naive head did not think of this as a terrorist attack. Gerette worked as a Television Executive and Bahman worked as a Television Director at a News Network. Both of their jobs required them to be at work that day, especially Bahman's so that he could cover this story. They left for the city and I took Kamron to his baby music class. The other adults and I were quiet and in disbelief, but still not really sure what was going on. This was before cell phones and internet at our hands was a part of life. We just didn't know what to make of it all. By the time Kamron and I returned home from class, Gerette and Bahman were back at the house. They didn't make it into the city. They had been stuck on the George Washington bridge and Gerette had said to Bahman "We are sitting ducks here on this bridge..." They were scared that it would be a target as well after hearing that the second tower and the Pentagon had been targeted. Thankfully, the bridge was not a target that day and they made it home safely to their baby boy.
9/11 took so many innocent people from the world, from their families and one personal friend of mine who did not make it home to see his baby boy that day. His wife and child said goodbye that morning and didn't know that it would be for the very last time. He was a New York City Firefighter, not scheduled to work on September 11th, but took an overtime shift to help pay for some renovations he was doing to his house. I remember that he wasn't scheduled to work because we had just talked a few days before. Brian worked as a security guard at the Ricki Lake Show and it was during my time there as an intern that we had become friends. When I think of Brian, I think of the funny memories and moments we shared during our short friendship. I think of the time I thought it was absolutely hilarious to offer him half of my chocolate bar, knowing that he couldn't have any because he gave up sweets for Lent. Or I think about the Chinese food I ordered for lunch and not being able to finish it and the joy in his eyes as he dove into the leftovers I offered to him. I remember that naughty grin and bright red face as he was forced to check a Ricki Lake Show guest's luggage only to find a healthy collection of vibrators and sex toys. And I remember him telling me to enjoy every moment of being young and that before I know it I will be old like him (he was thirty!)
Brian was a happy person. A person you couldn't be in a bad mood around. He had a kind heart and a pure soul and quite possibly the best smile in the world. And then I remember just a few days later when the Ricki Lake family was told that our friend, Brian was one of the missing firefighters. I was confused because he wasn't supposed to be working. I thought maybe a mistake was made and tried to get a hold of him. I was heartbroken to lose my friend. I was heartbroken to know that his wife lost the love of her life and that his little boy, not even one year old lost his Daddy. And one thing I always think of when I think of Brian, is that he was one of those heroes running INTO the burning building. Part of me thinks that he knew he wasn't coming out of there and that he was the person to try and help people anyway. I consider myself lucky to have had this friendship with an honest to God HERO. Brian's fire house lost seven firefighters that day. They are called "Seven in Heaven." Six months after Sept. 11, I visited his Firehouse, Ladder 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and was welcomed into the family when they found out I was a friend of Brian's. It was a nice visit, where I got to hear some funny stories about my friend and meet the men that he considered his brothers.
Every year on September 11, my mind is taken back to that day and it is as though I am living it all over again. I remember that pink flowered dress my boss was wearing and that the day started with such hope. A few days later, I was walking around Time Square and experienced something that only those of us in New York City at the time can say they experienced. Time Square was somber and quiet. People were taking care of each other and strangers were offering their shoulders for others to lean on. Candles were lit to honour the dead and missing. It was such a different feel in Time Square that night than the usual hustle and bustle of those sidewalks. The lights and billboards were dimmed and the candle light was giving the brightness. Or at least I noticed the candle light brighter than the neon lights.
Hi to you in Heaven Brian Cannizzaro. You will forever be a cherished friend and hero in my life.
Eighteen years is a lifetime. But every September 11th, I am humbled and reminded of how fragile and beautiful life really is. I am grateful that I have had these eighteen years since September 11th, 2001 and there are 3,408 people that did not get to experience them. I think of them all, but especially Brian.
Classed under Red Lips-Home Decor & Lifestyle
Writing an "About Me" is not easy. How do I pick and choose the pieces of my life that molded me into the person I am or deem the milestones and memories as important enough to tell you about in this little "About Me"...Well, I often joke that I have Read more about me...