I am kind of newish to the blogging universe and still pretty unsure of my exact lane. I began this as a summer project the year I went to Alaska to work for the summer. I thought it would be a good way to let family and friends know what I was doing with my time there and introduce some of them to the joy of travel, the joy of new experiences and the beauty we call Alaska. It didn’t, they don’t read it.
I did not expect to find my joy in story telling and writing on a regular basis again. I was lucky enough to meet some incredible people in Alaska who are still part of my life. I also found again a resilience in myself that had taken a back seat to life.
So what brings me to today and this blog, 9/11 20 years ago and my reflection. I want very much to call a few of my co-workers from back then and ask their experience. We all worked for an airline that was deeply impacted and involved.
I watched my computer screen block out information to me that had been visible earlier. My boss called and said stop responding to our customers and working remotely is now canceled. I was answering customer comments at that time and was amazed at the truly ugly things some people choose to say. I was also amazed by a person on the other side of the world who offered comfort and prayers.
No mater what level of position you had with an airline you were greatly impacted that day. The profound level of loss I experienced that day sometimes still brings me to my knees. I lost my job 3 separate times with the same airline and had an incredible time finding another one, they all assumed once the air travel resumed I would be called back, that did not happen. I saw what should have been my retirement funds and the shares I purchased as an employee greatly diminish. I lost who I was. I also like many of you lost people I knew aboard the aircraft.
In my mind as I was getting closer to retirement age I had found “my” company and job. In my mind, I would work there for the rest of my working days and felt a loyalty that doesn’t exist in most jobs today. Today I feel that same sense of sorrow but feel a level of loneliness that must be survivor guilt with a touch of PTSD tossed in.
I expect nothing anymore after having been told by many people that I should have been compensated for all the financial loss. By who? the terrorists? my company? the government? Many told me that if I only lived closer to New York I would have been part of one of the many class action law suites. Ha. It to some extent it still feels like an island because there is no organized way to connect with others who may have been in my situation.
Many of my colleagues were quite a bit younger than I was and were able to rebuild their retirement funds. Some went on to completely new career choices and thrived in other industries. I think this incident was so much larger than any single company could handle and perhaps a unified front to offer counseling and advice on all levels at how to pull your life back together. I think the companies impacted were so busy at simply trying to keep the doors open and planes in the air. I still think that to this day I could benefit from some professional advice, unlike the physician I went to who said simply “Your alive so get over it.”
I have no ending to these rambling thoughts, just hope that tomorrow will be better and after we come out on the good side of this pandemic I am sure there will be many like me who will feel adrift and alone.