10 Years Later

I know that September 11th is not until tomorrow, but I want to write my post today because I can and because I didn’t get a post in on Thursday.  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the ceremonies and memorials that are going to be happening tomorrow with the flooding and damage that has occurred in my area here.

Anyways.  10 years ago.  It is astonishing to me that it was that long ago.  I was still fairly young – not young enough that I don’t remember it – but young enough that it wasn’t something that necessarily traumatized me.

I was a freshmen in high school.  It was sometime during 2nd or 3rd period and I found out in between that period and the next.  I was in study hall when it happened – and you know how high school study halls are (especially for freshmen): you are silent and you do work or read.  When I got out into the hallway, people were talking about it.  When I got to my next class – Spanish, all we did was watch the news.  It didn’t stay like that all day.  There is only so much you can watch over and over again when you’re in school – probably only so much that the teachers were allowed to have on when kids were in the room.

I don’t remember feeling particularly sad.  I don’t remember feeling much of anything at all.  Even as the days wore on, I didn’t feel much sadness.  I wasn’t personally effected.  I didn’t know anyone that had been working in New York City.  I didn’t have any friends or family in New York City.  As I got older, I learned more about empathy and, I think, today on the almost-tenth anniversary, I probably have more empathy than I did then.  But I was just a foolish kid then.

None of it is all that clear to me.  I don’t remember exactly what I saw on TV that day.  I don’t remember how I felt.  I don’t remember who I might have talked to about it.  Or what we might have talked about at home.  Because September 11th is special to me for another reason – it is my mom’s birthday.  She turned 40 that day and will turn 50 tomorrow.  I don’t remember if we celebrated or how we celebrated.  It’s all such a blur.

I do know that I am proud to be from a country where when tragedies occur, the community bands together to help.  I do know that many lives were tragically lost that day – lives that should not have been lost and that can never be gotten back.  I do know that many lives were spared that day.  I do know that heroes were made that day.

Just because I cannot remember clearly what I felt that day – I know how I feel about the tragedy that is occurring in my neighborhood now.  And I know that we have banded together around it.  And I have to imagine that this is how New Yorkers (those from the city, as there is a whole other state to consider as well) felt when their worlds tumbled around them 10 years ago.

If you are dealing with pain or anguish because of that day, let yourself feel it.  If you have something to celebrate on that day (I know it’s hard to believe, but the world does not stop spinning even when a tragedy that big happens: babies are still born, friends are still made, lives are still saved), celebrate it.

Find the people you love.  Tell them.  Find the people you need to forgive.  Do it.  Find the people that need help.  Give it.  Find the people that need a friend.  Be one.

Life is short.  Relationships are the most important thing any of us have – our relationships with our family, our relationships with our friends, our relationships with ourselves.  Be the best you that you can be.  Do not live in the past.  Do not forget the lessons you have learned.  But do not forget to live.  Every single day.  Because life is the most precious gift any of us have been given.

I almost forgot.  This year, the NY State Fair sand sculpture was a tribute to 9-11.  I have posted the pictures before, but am going to post them again in a slideshow.  Please, take a moment and enjoy the wonderful artwork.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

God Bless all of you.  May your day be filled with feeling and emotions – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Life is a beautiful ride.  Find a way to celebrate it today.

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