On September 11, 2001 shortly before 9 am I was sitting on the edge of my bed in my bathrobe looking at the half-packed suitcase on the floor in front of me.
My husband Tom would be home from work within the hour to drive me to the airport for my flight to San Francisco where I was to meet up with my sister, my mother and my aunt for a "girls' week" in San Francisco.
I really needed to get up, get dressed, and get packing, but my heart wasn't in it. I'd been looking forward to this vacation when it was weeks away - though my mother was 81 at the time she was still the life of the party and my 76-year-old Aunt Mary could also still hold her own and regale us with her Aunt Maryisms (see posts from 5/30/2014, 6/2/2014, and 6/3/2014) - but when the trip was days away I started feeling differently: a week suddenly seemed too long to be away from my family.
For all my traveling nowadays, I never did any traveling back then. In fact in September of 2001, after 22 years of parenting, I'd never been away from home for longer than two or three get-away weekends (in town) with Tom during which we spent most of our time shopping for gifts to bring back for the kids, and a long weekend in Boston the previous summer with daughter Theresa to visit daughter Maria, who'd had a summer internship at the Harvard Arboretum.
So it wasn't that I was desperately needed at home - two of my children were away at college, one was in high school and one in 8th grade. It was that I was homesick before I even had my bag packed. The longer I sat on the bed in my bathrobe the less I felt like flying to San Francisco and the more I was wishing I didn't have to.
I was still sitting on the bed when the phone on my bedside table rang. It was Tom, he was frantic.
I didn't finish packing my bag, after all.
Rest In Peace.