Sunday, September 11, 2011
Woke up this morning to a beautiful, clear-blue sky, just like the one that greeted us 10 years ago today.
We were all so naive, so innocent then. All thinking we would go about that day like any other day.
Throwing back glasses of orange juice, giving our families the routine quick pecks on their cheeks, if anything, as we dashed off to our jobs, our school days, our routines, our lives.
Just another beautiful, clear-blue-sky September morn...
September 11, 2001.
Never the same since. Our world, our country, our personal journeys, all forever upended in one horrific day's events that have stretched across our psyches for a decade.
Indeed, we will never forget.
But we keep on keeping on, for that is what Americans do. It is what everyone who endures tragedy must do.
We remember those we lost, honor those who came to the rescue in the aftermath, and try to put it all into some kind of perspective.
Ten years ago today.
Daniel was only eight years old. John was in the ministry, away at seminary. I was a stay-at-home mom turned newspaper editor.
As events unfolded before our very eyes, I remember Daniel asking me why someone would fly a plane into the World Trade Center, and I just stared at him, wanting to reassure him, fighting back tears. All I could say was, "I don't know, honey, I don't know."
Our foundation, our sense of national and personal security -- young and old, alike -- shattered in the blink of an eye.
And I remember the next day, still reeling in shock from the previous day's incomprehensible turn of events.
The evening of September 12, John called home to talk to Daniel.
"How was your day, Daniel?" John asked him.
"Good, Daddy," sweet, young Daniel replied. "No planes fell out of the sky."
End of the innocence. For all of us.
But from the ashes of 9/11 arose stories of bravery, compassion, unity, survival. And from those stories we glean comfort, strength, the sheer will to keep looking and moving forward in spite of the terror and tragedy.
Yes, while it is important and necessary to look back and reflect and remember, it is imperative when facing tragedy at any level -- national or personal -- to not dwell too long in the past, lest we lose ourselves to our grief.
"You can't keep looking back, Mom, just keep looking ahead," advised still-sweet-now-18-year-old Daniel, who recently experienced, and continues to work through, his own personal 9/11 tragedy.
A heart-wrenching reminder of perhaps the most important lesson learned from not only that beautiful-turned-tragic September 11 morn back in 2001, but from any time we lose a loved one unexpectedly:
The next moment is promised to no one.
Love one another.