As the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 looms, I find my mind wandering back to the horrific events of that day. I still cannot wrap my brain around what happened, but I can recall in precise detail what I did, said, felt, and thought from the moment I saw the second airplane hit one of the Twin Towers until I fell into bed that night, numb with grief and fear. At first, as the horrendous events unfolded on television, I could not avert my eyes from the news coverage. When it became too much, though, I attempted to distract myself with household tasks. As I emptied the dishwasher, I paused and dissolved into more tears, screaming silently in my head, “I just want things to go back to normal.” ‘Normal’ no longer existed, though.
As readily as I can recount everything that happened on 9/11, I cannot recall a single detail about 9/10. For as much as I craved and needed normalcy on 9/11 and the uncertain days and weeks that followed, I took all of those normal moments prior to 9/11 for granted and forgot them almost as soon as they occurred. The human mind is not meant to recount every moment of one’s life, but it would be wonderful if we could learn to better recognize and cherish some of those seemingly ordinary moments that suddenly become extraordinary in the wake of a tragedy. With these random thoughts rattling in my head, I took notice of the ordinary moments of 9/10/14 and gave thanks for them:
Waking up to the sounds of birds chirping outside of my window
Laughing with some of my colleagues and the men at the day shelter for homeless men where I work
Sipping delicious ginger tea
Breathing in the scent of approaching rain in the air
Feeling a cool breeze on my skin as I walked to my mailbox
Enjoying a healing massage
Relaxing at home by myself on a quiet evening
None of these events were life changing, but they were some of the events that made life worth living today. Every day that I am privileged to live in this world, I have the opportunity to do all of the ordinary and extraordinary things that were stolen from all of those who perished in an instant on 9/11. That is a precious gift worth celebrating and appreciating today and every day. May we always remember . . .
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story