On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was at a charming bed & breakfast in Vermont, learning how to be an innkeeper. Odd, I know, as that particular occupation had never been part of some long-held vision for myself, but was, rather, a more recent detour. My then-partner and I had what I’d thought to be the ideal relationship, and had recently adopted a newborn infant son, just the year before. And while we’d always talked of the possibility of moving to New England, suddenly, with reasons of which I was not yet aware, it became a priority to him, and owning an inn didn’t seem like such a bad way to do it.
But as I sat shock-still in front of the TV with my fellow classmates, watching in horror as the second plane hit, I had no idea that the towers were not the only structures in my world that were crumbling.
I tried repeatedly to get in touch with my partner and our son on the West coast, but got no answer.
How is it possible, I wondered, that they would not be home so early in the morning? Where could he possibly have taken Mason?
All I knew during those first few frightful hours is that I wanted to be — had to be — home with my family. That was all that mattered. Family came first. (more…)