11 September 2015

my heart today....

I've come to accept that today will never be a typical day for me.  I am a different person because of this day.  I am, if it's possible, softer and more loving as a result.  I practice daily gratitude and strive for optimism as much as I can.  (I do realize that this sometimes annoys the heck out of people but I've come to own it and not be ashamed of being called a Care Bear at times.)  I never knew my own strength until this day 14 years ago and the moment I had to face a crowd of New Yorkers to tell them that the country was under attack and that our location was named as the next New York target.  Faced with extreme craziness & fear, I somehow held it together from that moment until I stepped in my apartment days later.  

A friend asked me earlier if I wished I could forget this day and the fear of being in downtown Manhattan - my answer is strongly a no.  As horrific as it was, it was a day that changed me forever and I don't ever want that to fade out of my memory.  I remember in vivid detail every bit of that day.  I remember my sales rep from the hotel walking in and saying how weird it was that a commercial plane just flew directly over her head as she entered the building.  I remember the feeling of calling my mother still thinking that this was an accident and knowing she would be worried.  I remember the gravity of it sinking in and asking her to call our office in Toronto to tell them we were safe.  Asking the techs who were running my rehearsal in the ballroom to put up a live CNN feed and seeing the rest of this unfold before our eyes.  I remember packing up bagels and breakfast items from the buffet tables to take with us as we tried to go and give bloodI remember the streets and the people, the dust and the chaos.  How horrible could it have been that people were willingly throwing themselves out of the buildings? What kind of despair could have been in their hearts

I remember watching the buildings fall and the impact causing our own ceiling to crumble.  The sounds of the emergency sirens going off and us picking up to run only to be told to stay inside because of the crowds.  We had no idea where we were going to go? The borders were closed.  We were sitting ducks on an island just waiting.  I remember not being able to stomach watching the coverage on tv and packing up all of our event supplies to busy myself so that if we did get to leave all was taken care of.  I just remember willing myself to get through this and cry later.  Later that night and the next day seeing deserted streets except for military and wandering loved ones with pictures of those lost in the rubble, just hoping to find them.  People covered in blood and ash and I'm sure countless tears.  Our lives were now changed forever.      

Some things have faded over the years - I don't freeze in fear now when I hear loud sirens.  I'm able to talk about 9/11 without tears in my eyes, today being the exception because today there are always tears. 

I crossed through the tunnel today to the US and felt a pit of anxiety in my stomach so I guess the fear isn't totally gone.  As I write this, I am listening to the names of those who perished being read at the memorial.  It may be slightly morbid but it's my way to give tribute - to sit here and listen to each name, to hear stories from their loved ones and to just be grateful that I am not on that list.  Our lives move along and we think of these moments less and less but today I think it's important to make the time to remember.  To listen to each name and pray for all the souls that went to heaven that day. 

If anything good can come of something so tragic, is is the lesson that life is finite and fragile - we should never take it for granted. We need to live each day in a way that promotes love and freedom and abashment of hate.  To remember that when we are faced with acts of evil or demise, it is up to each of us to sow peace.  That every day something horrible happens in our world but tragedy cannot be what guides us. Let us live our lives in the way that teaches others to walk in peace and be guided by hopeLove with all your heart. Say I love you as often as you can and mean it.  Take the high road.  Forgive easily, even if forgiveness isn't asked forBe selfless.  Give of ourselves and walk by faith that if we put good into the world eventually it will overtake hate. 

There is something in each day to cherish no matter what our circumstances or challenges may be. Look for that with each rising sun or as you say goodnight to the moon.  Live every day in such a way that you would not feel regret when faced with your own mortality.  Be happy.  Make others happy.  Live fully.    Love. Love. Love.

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