September 11, 2001, found me getting ready for a day of applying driveway sealer to my dad’s condo driveways. Right before I shut off the TV to leave, Katie Couric came on screen with a special report. In the background, I saw the twin towers. With a sense of pride, I noticed my son Paul’s office building next to one of the towers. Katie was just reporting that an airplane had hit one of the towers; concern crowded into my thoughts, but it sounded as if it was a freak accident caused by pilot failure. I knew Paul was in the building near it, but, thank goodness, it wasn’t his building! In the next moment, I saw in real time another plane hit the second tower! The story suddenly changed with speculations of a terrorist attack and worry that more planes were coming. Concern turned to fear; I needed to call Paul and check on him! Phone service had already been disrupted; I tried to contact him via email since I knew Lehman Brothers had issued him a BlackBerry. I got no response this way either.
Worry was now consuming me, but there was nothing I could do, and I knew it would be a while before I could find out anything. I knew I needed to keep busy so I headed off to take care of that driveway, listening to news reports on the radio all the way. Right before I got out of the car at Menards to pick up the sealer, they announced that the first tower had fallen! Even more worry now consumed me. Paul usually got off the subway at the twin towers. They were reporting that buildings nearby were being evacuated, but was Paul still in the area?
I remained full of worry all the while I applied that driveway sealer, listening to the developing story. Finally, the phone rang and my dad said it was for me. It was Paul! A wave of relief filled me; regardless of whatever else was happening, I knew he was safe for now! I gazed at the beautiful clear blue sky in amazement that on such a horrible day in New York, we had a gorgeous fall day in Minnesota!