It feels uncomfortable to send out my usual content in my weekly Tuesday email and blog post today.
Essential oil DIYs, smoothie recipes, or MELT tips just don’t feel right.
My mind is on the Tuesday that shook our world seventeen years ago
Although I haven’t gone on social media yet today or turned on the news, it is replaying in a loop in my mind.
After first praying this morning for the victims, the families, first responders and all that were affected, I began reflecting while journaling.
Terror is not a word I used before terrorists became part of the conversation, nor was it a feeling that was familiar. Fear, yes. Terror, not so much. I had a visceral glimpse of terror that day.
Everyone has a story, mine is a musical.
The musical Come From Away beautifully and accurately describes my experience that fateful day, although we didn’t engage in any song and dance.
If you’re not familiar with the musical, it is about the people who were in flight that day and rerouted to Newfoundland. I was in flight from Paris to NYC and landed in St. John’s for several days. To be honest, my first thought when the pilot said St. John’s I was thinking Virgin Islands, but in my defense, there was so much confusion I lost all sense of geography.
There was a moment on the plane that someone yelled “they’re shooting planes down every 15 minutes.” Inaccurate of course, but instilling terror nevertheless.
There are also many people that I know, especially living in the greater NYC area, who have far more terrifying stories than I.
I’m a minimizer.
I always assume that even if something that happened to me that is really good or really bad, there is someone else who has it worse or better. This can be a great coping skill and has often served me well. I’ve grown enough to know now that there are times for minimizing and times to “feel all the feels” as kids today say.
Today is one of those days. My intention today is to reflect, remember and be grateful.
What have I learned since then? What did I vow to do differently after that day? How can I stay in gratutide as I reflect?
I wish I had some profound message, eloquent words, and inspirational thoughts to answer those questions.
My response is simple….
Feel your pain. Acknowledge it. Cry. Get support. Move forward, one step at a time. Don’t take anything for granted.
And always, live in gratitude and love.
I continue to be eternally grateful for my family and friends who lifted me up that week – my mom of course, as well Melissa, Jura, Liz who were especially rock stars.
I always say a prayer of thanksgiving for the safety of my brother who commuted through the towers just prior to the first hit and eventually made I home safely.
My Jazzercise team who kept the ship afloat in my absence.
My co-workers, boss and my employer DaimlerChrysler Financial Services who stepped up in big ways to get me home.
Deep gratitude goes to the Canadian Red Cross and the Naval Base where we eventually slept.
I’m even grateful for my boyfriend at the time (who broke up with me shortly after) because I would have felt even more alone that week had I been on my own.
Being out of the country that week I did not share the experience that many have described in the aftermath. People talk about the unity that occurred, the kindness extended to strangers, the patience and care offered to one another.
If we take something from that day to recreate, let it be that today.
This life is short, there is no time for hate, only love.
Photo by me at the 9/11 Memorial