I was a couple weeks into my first year of college. It was my first time really away from my parents aside from little week long vacations. I woke up and walked to my first class oblivious to what was happening. My college professor greeted us with hysterics and told us to all go home and hunker down, enjoy some bread and treats because the country was going to war and those items wouldn't be available. She told us life as we knew it was going to change and we would have to grow up fast. My roommate and I spent the rest of the day in our dorm room watching the tv and making calls to our parents.
I did not have a direct loss, no family or friends in the towers. I did not know anyone on the planes. Yet it is the type of tragedy that marks everyone.
Two years later on that day I watched my boyfriend get his pin for Army Airborne after enlisting in response to the towers falling. Pride mixed with fear knowing he faced deployment.
And seven years after that, September 10th, I walked out of a courtroom dazed and lost as a judge finalized our divorce. It seemed like the date itself had some kind of curse.
Six years later I couldn't help but be a little nervous when I was told my rainbow baby's due date was September 10th. Was this going to be the breaking of the cycle or would I lose this most precious gift to the date that only seemed capable of heartache?
My rainbow baby arrived that year, two weeks early. It was the most beautiful blessing I could have asked for. Now I hold my second sweet daughter as I reflect on all this date has meant. In my personal story the losses of this date were what ultimately gave me the beautiful gift of the children I hold today. For me it is a story with a bright side. But not everyone has this same blessing. For some this date marks the loss of their child, spouse, sibling, parent, friend. I pray that each of the people left behind has found some joy, some peace, and some way to move forward.
I'm grateful to have a bright side in my own story. I'm grateful for my roommate that day. I'm grateful for the ability to call home. I'm grateful for the miracle of those who survived. I'm grateful to get to see as the media tracks the 9/11 babies, now the age I was when this tragic event took place. I'm grateful to see how young eighteen really was and to have a few more years of wisdom today. I'm grateful for my first husband's bravery in answering the call to duty. I'm grateful for all I learned during those years together and I'm grateful for all I have learned about myself and relationships since then.
Where were you that day? What narrative have you created around that day in your personal story? How do we grow love and respect into our children and the world so we never have to bear witness to a tragedy like this again?
May today's reflection move us forward toward love. May the memories help us grow. May we work together to make this world a more loving place for our children. Have a beautiful day!