A Memory of a Memory

I wrote this on 9/11/2013 but don’t think I have shared it here before…

Anniversaries. Most are meant to remind us happy days, but some some will always remind us of sad days. I wish the sad anniversaries didn’t have to come around. It’s uncomfortable & sometimes heartbreaking to remember them. The anniversary of my grandmother’s death – sigh. The anniversary of my first wedding, and the anniversary of that divorce – blah. The anniversary of my father-in-law’s death – sniff, sniff. My wedding day! My sons’ birthdays! My parent’s 50th wedding anniversary! Thankfully, my happy anniversaries outnumber my sad anniversaries and for that I am grateful. But this one. Sept. 11. It rattles me. I want to push it from my mind, pretend it didn’t happen. But that would be insensitive and un-American. I was 15 weeks pregnant, on a business trip in Hartford CT – not that it really matters. But like most everyone else I remember watching the news (standing in Sears, watching on the For Sale TVs). We were on the road and had to get to some news. The horror of seeing that plane crash into the 2nd tower. Wondering what the hell was going on?? Who would do this? Those poor people stuck in those buildings! Hartford is a commuter city to NYC so everyone around me seemed to have a neighbor or friend or family-member in the City at that moment; some in those buildings. I was stuck there for a week and finally made it to DC via train on Friday. My sweet husband drove from Greensboro to DC to pick me up & we drove straight home, with the demolished Pentagon in view. It was exhausting. But it did not compare to the heartbreak & anguish of those victims & those families. So what now? What did I learn? I learned that we are vulnerable. Not always vulnerable, not nearly as vulnerable as most countries & economies on this planet, but we are vulnerable, one way or another. We are strong. We came together in those following days and it was then that my personal feelings of American pride truly developed. I learned that yes – bad things do happen to good people – but life can & will go on. The best way to move past a tragedy is to live a good life. Remember the tragedy, honor those who suffered, and then vow to live a fulfilling life as a gift to those who cannot do so. Live a good life in protest to those who might think we don’t deserve it. Live a good life to serve others in need, to honor God, and to find meaning in the everyday. Live a good life that will allow our children & the next generation to do the same. So that is what Sept. 11 brings me this year and every year. A time to remember those who suffered on that day, and who suffer every day, and a time to remember my blessings. It’s not much. But it’s all I’ve got.

The Pentagon - September 11, 2001 | Remembering september 11th, September  11, September 11 2001
View of the Pentagon as we drove out of DC
XX station exterior
Hartford, CT Union Station

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