Fourteen years ago today, I woke up in my parents home, as I was living there at the time. It was a particularly beautiful day, I remember well. Much like today, actually. My parents were already awake, and sipping their morning cups of coffee while looking at the newspaper and watching the news on tv, as I made my way downstairs. Half-awake, I shuffled over to the cereal cabinet. I opened the cabinet, reached up for a box of Special K Red Berries, and pulled it down. I then reached up to the left of me for a bowl and brought it down to the counter. I can't remember if it was a new box, or already open, but I recall watching the corn flakes and bright red freeze dried strawberries spill into the bowl as my father, in a voice I almost didn't recognize, softly said, "Jenny, look at this." I turned to the television, and saw an image of the World Trade Towers in New York City, one of them with a massive billow of black smoke pouring from the top of it. "A plane flew into the tower", said my dad with confusion and fear lingering in his voice. And just then, we saw it coming. My mom gasped softly, and my Dad said, "Oh my god, no...". And we watched, in what seems like slow motion in my memory, a commercial jet fly directly into the second tower.
And then I felt a feeling I had never felt before. A feeling I am not sure I can describe, except to say that I was scared. I felt, for the very first time as an American citizen, unsafe. I felt sad, and mad, and I wanted to call all of my closest friends who were just back off to College out of state to make sure they were all ok. I wanted to be there, be present for my country, and the people who were hurting. I knew, in this exact moment, that everything was about to change.
I have a friend who shared on her Facebook page today how 14 years ago today she was supposed to be on the flight that ultimately flew into the pentagon. She had changed her flight, by chance. I wanted to share some of what she wrote because in life, we HAVE to find a way to keep living and loving and seeing the beauty, otherwise what is the point? This can be hard to grasp when there is so much dark in the world. But she puts it perfectly;
"Ive had a hard time digesting this truth... how close I was to being one of the lives lost on this sad day. Why not me? Why them? I can never find an answer that makes sense. Actually a lot of this life doesn't make sense.. why some people have go and some get to stay.. why some are sick and others remain well.. the list goes on. I've just come to the conclusion I don't have to make sense of life.. I just get to enjoy it and respect it and be thankful for it. And honor those that have gone by making every moment count. Today reminds me to embrace life - cherish it - never take it for granted - to live and breathe and laugh through it all. I will NEVER FORGET."
Hug your friends and family extra hard today, and every day. Take a little more time to appreciate the beauty of this life, notice the sunrise and sunset, drive with your windows down because you can, go for a walk, breath in the fresh air. Love your life and be thankful for all you have.
Love and peace to you all..