For those of you who don't know, my hometown is Ottawa, Ontario. I've never been to New York City. Hell, I get heart palpitations going to downtown Toronto, which is about half the size of NYC. But I can clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I got the news eight years ago about the horrible, unbelievable events happening south of the border. 9/11 really was something that was felt around the world.

I had been laid off from my job as a website quality assurance specialist with a small marketing agency the previous Friday. The dot-com bubble had burst about six months or so before, and the company I worked for was trying to stay afloat while all of its major clients in Silicon Valley North tried to do the same. I recall that over the weekend, there hadn't been any likely jobs in the paper, nor on the Monday, so on the Tuesday, I drove my husband to work, came home, took the phone off the hook and crawled into bed feeling sorry for myself.

I got up a few hours later to find frantic e-mail and voicemail messages from my husband about planes that had crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC. At that time, they had thought 50,000 people had died in the attacks. I turned on the TV and watched the footage of the planes striking the towers over and over again; the realization that people were jumping from the buildings; the horror on everyone's faces as the towers came crashing down.

And I cried.

Suddenly, this small-town Canadian girl who'd never been to NYC, wished she could be there. I wished that I could help, that I could do SOMETHING instead of just watching the news replay those horrible images. But reality is reality. I didn't have the means to get there, or the skills to help, so instead, I prayed.

I'm not a religious person. But that was a day to test anyone's faith.