11 September 2016

each year that passes....

Today marks 15 years since 9/11.  Today is the first time in all of those years that I did not wake up with nightmares remembering.  Today was the first time that I didn't sit and listen to the names of those that perished being read out loud. It's the first time in what feels like forever that I just woke up happy and at peace on this day.  Perhaps it's because I woke in the arms of a good man who makes me feel grateful and safe.  Perhaps it's because I got to spend the night prior witness to two friends pledge their love and share their life together.  Whatever the reason, it just felt nice to spend my morning sitting in the sunshine and feeling the breeze on my skin, sipping coffee, talking and laughing with JC.  It felt good to feel alive on this day for once rather than guilty.  It felt good not to relive all the memories. To realize that I can still feel grateful by being in this moment rather than living in that horrific moment of 15 years ago.

It's still there - inside of me there will always be the part that worries.  Last weekend when we were in Chicago walking towards the Hancock building, there were sirens coming from all over.  Firetrucks and police cars racing through the intersections, all of which gave me the uneasy feeling that still resides deep down.  As much as I like to think that I'm past it and I have moved forward from being afraid, there I was about to walk up to one of the tallest buildings in Chicago full of tourists and the sound of sirens made me anxious.  Was something happening? What didn't we know as we walked down that street? If we go up, is this building going to come crashing down? 
There is a part of me that knows it's an irrational fear but I suppose it is a part of me that will just be there always.  It may lay quiet inside of me but I still carry the worry. 

Maybe it is because the past few weeks have been filled with love and weddings and adventures but I feel very hopeful.  Our experiences shape us.  They are how we create our own sense of safety and how we learn from them ultimately dictates how we grow as people.  I suppose that I have learned a lot after living through 9/11 in regards to being grateful and being happy.   I've learned to say I Love You a lot more freely because things can change in an instant and I don't ever want the regret of not sharing how I feel.  Today as I was driving with mom she mentioned how crazy it felt to know that next month will already be a year since dad died.  It doesn't seem like that can even be true.  Almost all of the firsts have come and passed without him.  It still feels raw and yet the wound is starting to heal.  I suppose it's the same as with 9/11 - 15 years later perhaps the wound has really just healed.  The scar may still be there and life may never the be the same as it was prior to that day but life does certainly go forward.  That with each tragedy and each scary moment in our lives, we have the opportunity to learn and to grow.  And so today here I am, grateful for all these moments that have shaped me.  Grateful for the moment of waking up next to someone who gives me hope.  Grateful that here I am, 15 years later alive and still learning.  I will never forget.  But I will move forward.  xo

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