Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This Day

Today is one of those days. This is a date that is never forgotten. This is a moment in history that you'll always remember where you were when It happened.

On September 11, 2001 my alarm clock went off just before 8am. I heard the newscaster on the radio say that an airplane hit The World Trade Centre; that it looked like pilot error. I remember feeling bad for the pilot and his family and hoping that no one else was injured or dead.

A few minutes later I ran through the shower, got Dude out of his crib and sat him in his high chair for breakfast. We were going for a playmate with friends and I was looking forward to some adult interaction as Mr. Awesome had been away for a couple of weeks on business. As I turned on the TV, looking for Sesame Street or Poco for Dude to watch, I found that every channel was covering the accident in New York.

Only, it turns out it wasn't an accident.

And its much worse than just a plane hitting a building.

I sank to the couch, stunned at the images of a second plane hitting the towers and then the smoke, the running, the screaming, the jumping and finally the collapse of one then another. I called Mr. Awesome to see if he had seen the news. He was watching it too. we stayed on the phone for more than an hour, mostly in silence, as we watch the news coverage coming from New York and Washington. When we hung up the phone and I continued to watch.

I watched and watched for hours. Days. Months.

Its now been 11 years. 11 birthdays, 11 Christmases, 11 summers, 11 winters, 11 Septembers that the victims have missed and that the families have lived separate from the life they had planned. That's what sticks with me; the abrupt change of plans.The all-of-a-sudden-direction-change in life for those nearly 3,00 families.

In the past 11 years there have been countless victims of accidents, countless people who succumbed to disease, countless people who never had the chance to live the life they had planned. After all I've been through this year, after surviving, I feel an certain sense of obligation to live, really, really live.

We are the lucky ones. We are the living, the ones with another tomorrow, with another chance to do the things we've always wanted to do. We have this chance today to make the most of our lives. We owe it to those who are gone, we owe it to ourselves.

Instead of 9 11 being only the anniversary of a tragedy, why not make it the anniversary of the day that you decided to live on purpose. The anniversary of the day you woke up and decided to passionately pursue the life you've always dreamed of.

Make it the anniversary of your all-of-a-sudden life direction change. Plant a flag, build a monument to the life you are going to live. And then live it.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." 
 ~Erma Bombeck

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