I was working the graveyard/night shift at our local hospital as a CNA on the medical/surgical unit. It had been busy most of the night. We only had a few patients on our floor, but for some reason everyone was unsettled. The patients were having a hard time sleeping and my paperwork had been piling up.
Finally, sometime after 2am, everyone on the floor had finally fallen asleep for the remainder of the evening. The nurse and I decided to sit back and relax. We were playing a game of rummy and just chatting for a bit. We drank our coffee and flipped through magazines not knowing what was about to happen. I didn’t know that while I was laughing at the newest photos of celebrity hairstyles and fashion disasters that a true disaster was beginning to emerge in the morning.
The nurse looked over at me around 5am and said that she felt a little off. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she felt like there was something wrong. We went and checked on each of the patients and nothing was wrong with any of them. She figured it was just side effects of the 12 hour shift we were on that had been weird from the get go.
While we had just finished up our final morning rounds and were preparing to give the shift change report a final look over, the girls for the next shift started to arrive. One of them asked if we had watched any of the morning news yet or seen the paper? We told her that we hadn’t done either and that we had been feeling a little off all evening and early morning. She quickly turned the nurses station TV onto the news and told us to watch.
As we sat there watching the World Trade Centers under attack, we couldn’t believe our eyes. This doesn’t happen to America! We are suppose to be safe! I was in shock at what was happening before my eyes on our small TV. Even though none of us knew anyone personally in New York or on those planes, we all sat there and cried. Our shift report was forgotten and we all sat and said a small prayer for everyone involved.
I was tired, but I couldn’t bring myself to go to sleep when I got home. Thankfully, I was off that evening and was able to stay up and watch the rest of the terror unfold on the television. I cried for most of the day and my heart broke for each of the lives that I knew were never going to be able to go home to their family again.
When my children came home from school that day, I hugged them and never wanted to let them go. They were young and didn’t know what was really going on. Now that they have grown older, they understand and they say a prayer of their own for those lives that were lost.
9/11/2001 is a day that I will never forget what I was doing or the emotions that were going through my heart. It is a day that America will never forget as well. I remind my children everyday and especially on 9/11 that I love them. We watch the remembrance shows on TV and we will NEVER forget what we have learned. Life is precious and can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
Hold your family safe, and remember those who are not with us today because of this horrible tragedy.