That night is imprinted on my memory.
Cal and I had been arguing (just for something different), but I have no idea what about. I was working in the Banking and Finance Industry back then, and had to be up at about 4:30am. We were hosting a Briefing for Financial Advisers and other members of the industry the next morning, and I had to be at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne by 6am, so I really should have gone to bed early. But I was being stubborn.
I remember lying on one of the recliners and started dozing off. He was watching "3 Kings" on DVD, and I had no interest. I was being stubborn.
I finally got up and decided it was time to go to bed.
Not long later, I must have just dozed off, he came in and told me to turn the TV on. I was still pretty much asleep, but still turned the TV on. Then I got angry, as I thought that he had woken me to show me a rerun of "Die Hard". Seriously.
Then he told me, "This is happening RIGHT NOW. In New York. Terrorists have taken control of planes and playing them into buildings." I couldn't believe that those words were coming out of his mouth. What the fuck was going on?!?!?!?!?
We started wracking our brains to work out if we had any friends or family over there.......no, none. Well none that we could think of at that moment. Then I realised that we had a couple of our executives over there. Where were they? What was their itinerary??? I couldn't remember. So I called my direct boss at about 2am and we worked out that they should be out of harm's way.
But what about the thousands of people in this world who had those same thoughts, but answered....yes. What about them???? Those poor people. Around the world. So sad.
I couldn't get to sleep. I sat up glued to the television. I watched the second tower get hit. The people on the floors above the crash sites jumping. The loss. The buildings crumbling. The devastation. The desperation on people's faces. The tears.
Oh the tears.
I shed so many tears that night, and I shed a near equal amount now as I relive it.
I have deliberately stayed away from any coverage on TV, as I just don't want to see the images. Ten years of the images is enough for me.
I didn't want to go to sleep. I was scared at what would face me when I woke up. Would I even wake up???? What other atrocities would I see?
The next day was a haze. My colleague had gone to bed early, hadn't turned on a radio, and didn't know anything about it. Half of our guests didn't turn up. Financial markets were in turmoil. The world was in turmoil.
Our office was a buzz. Phones and emails madly flying everywhere. Everyone checking on friends and colleagues who work in the financial industry, who were visiting New York.......people just contacting their loved ones to tell them that they love them.
I don't remember much else from the day. The images from the night were imprinted to deeply on my brain that there was no room for any new information.
It was a terrible day. It was so sad. I cried.
To all who lost their lives on that terrible day, RIP. You didn't deserve to die like that.
To all of those who did their best to help, you are heroes.
I don't know what else to say.
Just love your families. Hug your children. Embrace your community. Tell those you love that you love them.
Live every day as if it's your last.