When Everything Changed

I was in Ephrata, Pennsylvania when it happened. Eating breakfast at a truck stop with a friend, crying because the night before, I had discovered that my boyfriend was cheating on me. I felt like my entire world had fallen to pieces.

A small television, tuned to a morning talk show, sat on a shelf above the cash register. When we went to pay for our meals, we saw the image of the first jet airplane flying into a tower. What did it mean? How could something like that happen? It must have been a terrible accident.

I said goodbye to my friend, walked outside and got in my car. I started the engine, turned on the radio, and headed for home. Moments later, a reporter announced that a second plane had flown into a second tower.

That’s when I knew it wasn’t an accident.

Instead of going home, I drove toward Lancaster City, where my 20 year old son was working at a clothing store. Our eyes met when I walked into the store. He told his boss that he was going to take a short break. Then we went outside and sat on the edge of the sidewalk, watching the traffic going by and listening to birds singing in the trees. After several minutes of silence, my son said: “Mom, if we go to war, I’m joining the military.”

“I know,” I whispered. “That’s why I’m here.”

We soon learned that a third airplane had flown into the Pentagon, and a fourth hijacked plane had crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania. The World Trade Center in New York was approximately 150 miles north and east of where my family and I lived at that time. The Pentagon was 125 miles south of us, and the Pennsylvania field was 160 miles west. Our country was under attack and we were surrounded.

My boyfriend problem didn’t seem so important anymore.

21 thoughts on “When Everything Changed

  1. Renee🌻 September 11, 2020 / 2:51 am

    I am so sorry you were done that way! I pray that the years already gone by have given you healing! 🙏🏼

    This was a sad time for us all on that day! My hubby and I had actually gotten to visit the site where the plane went down in that field. My FIL was from Somerset, PA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee September 11, 2020 / 7:36 am

      Wow, that must have been extra scary for you and your husband, with his family coming from Somerset. Yes, it was a sad time for us all.

      Thank you so much for your compassionate words about my cheating boyfriend. Although my heart was broken at the time, in the end it turned out to be for the best. In 2003 I checked myself into the Meier New Life Clinic in Richardson, Texas. That was where my PTSD was diagnosed, by Dr. Paul Meier himself. Thanks to the help I got there, I healed enough from my childhood trauma, to the point where I was able to stop getting involved with people who are just like my childhood abusers. Then I moved to New Mexico and met the man who is now my best friend and my husband. We celebrated 16 years of marriage this year. ❤❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Shelly September 11, 2020 / 5:44 am

    That was a life changing day for sure. May we always remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dettinger47 September 11, 2020 / 6:58 am

    Powerful account, Linda. Good for your son! And regarding the closing line, I imagine at that time millions of us suddenly considered the problems of our lives not “so important anymore.”

    Thanks for the excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lesley September 11, 2020 / 11:17 am

    I was shopping in Durham City, here in the u.k. People were crowding round the window of a television shop, watching the scene as it unfolded on the display models. Travelling back home on the bus, I could hear people saying ‘this could start a war’. I didn’t know what was going on until my husband and I watched the news. It was horrendous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee September 11, 2020 / 3:32 pm

      Thank you for sharing that, Leslie. I have wondered how that terrible day looked to people in other countries.


      • Lesley September 11, 2020 / 3:49 pm

        Speaking as a member of the u.k., it shook us up every bit as much as the tragedy of the burning down of the Grenfell Tower in London. A horrific time! I can hardly believe it happened 19 years ago! It seems like yesterday.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. seekingdivineperspective September 11, 2020 / 9:39 pm

    I like the way you recognize the reordering of your priorities. Sometimes when I’m not content I imagine scenarios when I might look back on these times and think, “I complained then, but I’d love to be there now.” So I try to appreciate the blessings, however small, of every ordinary day. And realize that tomorrow is another day, and it belongs to Him. (and I do, too. ❤ )
    Blessings, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna Waldherr September 13, 2020 / 10:38 am

    I grew up in NYC, so had friends and family there on 9/11. I will never forget that day. One more idea for your son occurred to me while I was in church, Linda. He might actually try selling his home. The exodus from the cities is driving suburban home values up. There is surprising demand. Just a thought. Love, A. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. successbmine September 15, 2020 / 9:28 pm

    I’m a little late getting in on this conversation, but have been trying to catch up on e-mail after a few days off the computer again. I used to have a booth at a flea/farmers’ market. One of the vendor’s had a radio on while I was setting up, and that when we heard the news. Later I found out that my cousin had died that day from cancer, so I will never forget the date of her death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee September 16, 2020 / 5:46 pm

      Oh, how sad that you lost your cousin that day, too. It was a very hard day.


  8. Paul Martin September 21, 2020 / 7:10 am

    Just saw this! Sorry .. been kinda off of WordPress lately. I live in northern Delaware, about 30 miles from where you used to live! Small world!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LaRonda Bourn December 28, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    The awareness of what was happening was gradual for me, too. The first plane, I assumed was another unfortunate airplane accident-like so many others. But when I learned there was a second one, THAT was when I became aware of a possibility that wasn’t on my list of possibilities. I was scheduled to have my second child delivered on the 20th, and here I was coming to terms with the fact that nothing was certain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote December 28, 2020 / 9:08 pm

      Wow. I can’t even imagine how stressful that must have been for you, having a baby during that crazy time.


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