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Brakes, Bread, Babies & Bravery: My 9/11 Story

By Lori Garcia |

September 11, 2001 began like any other Tuesday.

I was 25 years old, married and working for the man.

In an instant the world stood still as we witnessed images more tragic and heartbreaking than we had ever seen in our own backyard.

This was no ordinary Tuesday at all.

On this infamous day I took to my diary, just as I had every night before and made a personal decision that would change everything:


Today was seriously shitty. For the first time ever, life as an American has me fearful and anxious. I still haven’t found a way to absorb the horrible images of crumbling buildings, billowing clouds of smoke and dust and people desperately searching for their loved ones. I am simply sick. NYC looks more like a freaking war zone than a place where dreams come true. Confused, sick and heartbroken.

I woke up this morning worried about needing brakes for my car. I was irritated with my husband for forgetting to pick up milk and bread on his way home last night. I angrily ate my cereal dry. I was pissed that our toilet still wasn’t flushing right. I stuck a dental cleaning appointment reminder in my purse.

I felt the familiar longing for a baby. I had been talking myself out of ridiculous baby fever for over a year now. As I brushed my teeth I wondered just how bad labor hurt. As I applied my mascara I wondered if we had enough money to raise a baby. As I sat pissed in traffic I wondered what a baby would do to my young marriage. As I logged on my computer I wondered if I’d be a good mother.

And then I heard. I saw. I stopped breathing. We all stopped breathing.

Today I feel like a sucker. An idiot. Selfish. Stupid.

How stupid I feel for worrying about brakes, milk, bread, toilets and babies when innocent people unknowingly said final goodbyes to their families as they headed off to work on this beautiful and sunny Tuesday. They never thought for a moment today would be their last as they cursed their alarm clock and ate their cereal dry.

They had family, they had children, they had life – and now it’s gone. In some small way it almost feels like we lost our lives today too. The life we thought we knew; it’s gone.

How tragic, unexpected and beautiful this short life is. If you’re lucky enough to be alive today, it’s time to start living. Yes, I’m talking to you Lori.

OK, I’m going to write these words and just stare at them…


Wow, that looks weird and sort of official written in blue ink like that.

I’m ready to have a baby. There, that looks better – less like I’m yelling.

I’m ready to have a baby! That’s even better, excited punctuation makes me excited and maybe even scared… but more excited than scared.

I’m ready to do this, OK not really but I’m going to do it anyway. As of 10:36 p.m. on 9/11/01 I can say I’m ready. I can spend my whole life waiting for perfect timing or I can create my own version of perfection. Half him, half me; pure joy.

On October 12, 2002 I gave birth to my first son in the midst of an official baby boom that experts attributed to the events of 9/11.

I made a commitment to myself a decade ago to live my beautiful life without fear for as long as I was able.

While the past decade hasn’t always been a fairy tale, my life since 9/11 has been well-lived, well-loved and beautifully worthwhile.

More on Toddler Times:

Never Apologize for the Parent You Are

You Have a Toddler, I Have a Toddler: Let’s Be Freinds

It’s a Toddler’s World

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About Lori Garcia


Lori Garcia

Lori Garcia is a writer and mother of two living and loving in Southern California. When she's not fussing with her bangs, you can find her shaking her groove thing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend where she almost never combines true tales of motherhood and mayhem with her degree in child development. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lori's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Brakes, Bread, Babies & Bravery: My 9/11 Story

  1. Irene says:


  2. JamieAnne says:

    Lovely! Living your life and enjoying your family is the best defense against fear.

  3. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying says:

    What a beautiful outcome of a horrible day.

  4. Ckane says:

    Thanks for sharing Lori. Great post.

  5. Betsy at Zen Mama says:

    Beautiful Lori! I know that I felt the need to write about that day in my journal, too. Thanks for sharing that post.

  6. Optimistic Mom says:

    Very beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

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