Hmmmmmm! Life! It is very important and short, yet we do take it for granted sometimes.
Reflecting on my life, I honestly know I am undeserving of His mercies, and looking back on this date – September 11, some years back, I really can’t help but say ALL thanks to YOU Father!
I love life! I love to live, but above all, I thank God for the wonderful opportunity to live a very happy and fulfilled life, with so much love flowing around me that sometimes I feel choked 🙂
I am thankful to God for the gift of life, love, family, friends and wonderful opportunities each day.
Yes, I am blessed! – My favourite response after the events of 9/11/2001.
I know that I am a covenant child, and I tell you; until my mission in this world to the glory of God is accomplished; I am going NO WHERE! I sure believe HIS report 🙂
I began my career as a flight attendant with American’ in February of 2001. I was having the fun of my life, spending between 22 to 36 paid lay-over hours weekly in exotic resorts in Islands such as Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, meeting celebrities as well as many who have impacted my life in positive ways. I was young, single, no kids, which of course meant absolutely no worries in the world.
I remember walking through airports with a carefree attitude (not anymore!) We were more concerned about people trying to slip contrabands into suitcases, not some lunatic(s) wearing explosives! I am sure many remember the days without the stressful screening. Those were the days when it was really fun to fly. Thanks to Bin Laden, or whatever his name is, all that ended! Even now, in some airports, the only benefit a flight crew gets, is skipping the queue. When you get to the front, girl, those shoes gotta come off!
I returned from a 3-days pleasure trip to the UK on the 9th of September, 2001. I had gone to spend some needed time with my siblings whom I had not seen in five years. Little did I know what would await me getting back to the States.
Being a rookie flight attendant, I did not have much control over my schedule. I flew (for work) out of Boston to Virginia on the 10th of September, 2001. On landing in Virginia, I received a phone call from a Crew Scheduler that on getting back to Boston, I should head on to the hotel because I had been scheduled to fly out of Boston on AA flight 11 as a “dead-header” to Los Angeles the next morning (9/11); to work a flight out of the Los Angeles Airport on the 12th of September. I calculated the time on the ground in Los Angeles. I would have almost 24 hours of free time. Yippeee!!! Fashion District here I come! If you know me very well, I am glued to my phone! I quickly made calls to friends in San Diego, to let us meet up in Los Angeles. I was quick to let them know we had free hotel. We had plans, not knowing God had other plans for us. Everyone was excited – of course, we were in our mid-twenties and we loved to shop! One person that always knew my schedule was my good friend, Olubukunola O. She was in the Dallas area, so, I called to update her on my schedule, and that I would see her when next I was off!
Well, on getting to Boston and checking my schedule as required of my job, plans had changed! I had been rescheduled to “dead-head” on the last flight out of Boston airport to Dallas on the 10th of September; because I had been scheduled to “work” a flight out of Dallas the next morning (9/11)!
Pissed, was an understatement of how I felt, and you bet that I did not hold my tongue in letting the Crew Scheduler know my feelings! Well, I was a “reserve” flight attendant, which literally meant that I HAD NO LIFE……… the airline owned me!!!. Hmmm! Those were the days! 🙂
On the fateful morning of September 11, 2001, I was on my scheduled flight from Dallas to Waco, when the cockpit crew called to notify me there had been hijacks around the country, and we had to return to Dallas! He informed me we had to put the cabin on a “lock-down!” Yes, I was trained on all the procedures, but I was told it was one of those trainings you just had to learn but would probably NOT use! Here was I, in less than a year, experiencing it first hand! My captain made the announcement and with due diligence, I quickly put all away, while scanning for what I could use as a weapon just in case! You should have seen me sitting on my jump seat, telling God to just have pity on my parents and let there be no hijackers on my aircraft. It sure was not a funny feeling, and even slipping into a reminiscence as I type, gives me goose pimples! To the glory of God, we landed safely in the DFW Airport in Dallas, and passengers deplaned with no incidents. Ha! My mama’s head followed me go work that day!
On walking into the terminal, the first television screen I saw showed the second aircraft crashing into the WTC.
People were gathered, watching a movie they thought! Me, I was in a haste to get out of the airport. Who knew if a big airport like DFW was the next target?
My family and friends that knew I was to go from Boston to Los Angeles on 9/11 had the worst thoughts. Of course, no one could get through to me…….. phone lines were jammed. I was busy trying to get across to my parents in Nigeria, because I knew my old dad stayed glued to BBC or VOA…….. later found out that on that faithful day, he did not even listen to the news! Thank God, I thought; because that would probably have sent him to an early grave.
Bukky was in her office in Dallas, going out of her mind because she thought I was on one of the flights that had crashed into the World Trade Center when she could not get through to me! Her calls to me went straight to the voice mail. I could not reach her either. I can remember her mixed feelings of rage and relief when she finally got to speak with me. It was too late for me to call and inform her the previous night that I had been removed from AA flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles! “Sisi, find another job”, she had said. Of course, I heard that from many more loved ones.
Some family and friends refused to talk to me for months after that because I would not quit the job. One person that it took me a long time to convince was my brother and confidant, Seun O. He just would not hear it! But hey! Waking up in the morning is a risk don’t you agree? Those in the Pentagon and World Trade Center were not flight crews, were they? Those walking on the streets minding their own business were not flight crews either. May God help us, and may He not let us encounter such an evil experience again is my prayer.
If I had made the flight, God knows how people would just have concluded that I was an ’emere’ or ‘obanje’ who knew she was going to die, hence visiting the UK for three days to bid farewell to my siblings and loved ones! Actually, a friend of my brothers’ told me I was 🙂 🙂 My senior brother “D Guv” was a mess I was later told, till he was able to speak with me. He was another person that was updated on my schedule and adventures of those years. Hmmmm! Bless him always for me Father, and let NO evil befall him. Amen 🙂
Lost a close colleague on that flight. God understands, but I still do not!
I still can’t come to terms with how any SANE person can do what is in the video below. America changed on that day, the world changed, my life definitely changed! It is well.
No, I stopped flying as a flight attendant years ago, and have no affiliation to the Airlines again (to those still wondering), of course except as a passenger, which I love, and not sure I am ready to give up! My immediate older brother is probably shaking his head as he reads this last paragraph! Bless him Father, and change his mind towards flying! Amen! 🙂 🙂 Bless my sisters “C.D” and “Ashikie” as well Father, for I love them loads 🙂
No, I did not stop being a flight attendant because of 9/11; God just took me in a different direction which I am loving 🙂 🙂
To those of you that have been in my life all these years, watched me go through it all, and yet steadfast, I want to say ‘thank you’.
To those I have met along the way, I appreciate the opportunity.
To all MY family, I LOVE U ALL.
To my special ONE, thanks darling.
To my babies, I will trade you NOT! Thanks for always making me proud.
My clown – AbbaModupe, thank you for ALWAYS bringing my dimples out son 🙂
To my mum, thanks for ALWAYS being my ROCK.
To my daddy (R.I.P); you were the true definition of a daddy, and you justified the saying: ‘Any man can be a father, it takes a REAL man to be a DADDY!’ I love you Sango 🙂
May the souls of all the faithful departed, especially the flight crews who fought to avoid the crashes on 9/11, rest in perfect peace. AMEN.