Once a Year We Are All New Yorkers


    Today I am remembering 9-11-01, like I’m sure many of you are. We all have our story, of where we were when the planes went into the towers. Mine was especially personal because my sister was living and working in Manhattan (she still is), and was a temp at the time working in the downtown area, which is where the Twin Towers stood.

    I woke up to the phone ringing around 7am (I was a new mom with a kid up 3-4 times a night so don’t judge me for not being up already!). It was my husband and the background noise was loud. He was in the King5 control room because back then he produced the morning news show (KING is the NBC television affiliate here in Seattle). He said: “I don’t have time to talk but call your sister right now and make sure she’s safe. Turn on the TV and don’t call your mom until you talk to your sister.” Then he basically hung up.

    I called Erin and simultaneously turned on the TV. I got through to her and she said she was home from work that morning waiting for Comcast to install her cable, so she was fine and what was up? I said that apparently her and I both needed to turn on the TV because stuff was going down in NYC. I called my mom immediately and woke her up to tell her Erin was safe before she even knew what had happened. Throughout the day from that point forward, nobody in my family was able to reach Erin by phone. If I hadn’t called her immediately like Ben suggested, we would have had a very stressful day indeed.

    Instead, like many of you, I watched the horror unfold on TV in front of me, clutching my 9 month old son Michael (who is now 14). I remember getting phone calls from people asking if our committee meeting was still happening? Was work in fact happening that day or were we supposed to stay home? Nobody knew what to do. I chose to stay home, scrap my schedule and cry at the horror with my son in my arms. Ben finally came home around noon, exhausted and explained what life was like in the newsroom. It could
    have been 2-3pm when he arrived home, I can’t remember. He had been there since 11pm the night before.

    The reason I wanted to send this note to you on this day is that after experiencing that horror on 9-11, I decided to quit my job and go into real estate, the career I had always dreamed about. I view 9-11 as a catastrophic day, and also one that helped me embrace life and live it to it’s fullest. It made me realize how fleeting life can be, and how precious it is.

    I am also so thankful for those of you who have served our country, or do so now. I am forever indebted to you and think about your sacrifices often. I teach my kids about what you do, why you do it, and how noble you are: those of you currently or retired in the armed forces.

    Enjoy a beautiful and sunny Seattle day today, and I hope you are living your dreams. If a new house, or selling your current house would make that happen for you, of course we want to help. Our contact information is on this email.

    God Bless!

    -Vija & The Vija Group

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