Family Time on the 11th

I still remember the panicked phone call from my mom:

“Maureen, are you up??  Are you watching the TV???”

As a senior in college on September 11, 2001, I was still very much asleep when the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center. My mom’s phone call jolted me from slumber and slammed me into a new reality I wish I never had to know.  My world – the whole world – changed on that day.  How could such evil exist in this world?

I’ll never forget my best friend Laura and I watching TV when the Pentagon was hit.  Was this a joke, we wondered?  Where was Superman when we really needed him??

And, now it is 10 years since.  Life moved on, but it certainly hasn’t been the same.  Sometimes I get sad when I think that Evie and Mack will never know a pre-9/11 world when things were a little bit safer and calm and perhaps more quaint.  Both of my children have been raised during a time of war and economic turmoil.  Where’s the peace for them?

To honor the memory and legacy of all the precious souls lost 10 years ago, I decided we should spend the day quietly as a family.  We headed out to a forest preserve for an early afternoon hike in the woods, with nothing more than an occasional airplane or busy squirrel to interrupt the tranquility.  It was nice to get out of the city and into nature.  I spent much of the time thinking about and praying for the families unfairly torn apart, the brave firefighters who went up when others were racing down and the babies born after their fathers were gone.  So much tragedy and heartbreak – its almost more than any of us can bear.

At one point during our family walk, Evie started to whine.  She wanted to go home…wanted to watch a cartoon…wanted a snack…wanted anything other than a hike through the woods.  I stopped and stooped to her level and very calmly told her that we are so lucky and fortunate to have this time as a family. Not all families have this precious time today.  Some families are missing their moms or dads or brothers or sisters.  Those families would do anything for a quiet walk in the woods as a complete family.

This day reminds me that it is so important to never, ever take family time for granted.  The attacks on September 11th:

*taught me to love my family and my country more than I ever knew possible…

*encourage me to teach my children to love democracy and recognize the benefits that come from a freedom-loving society…

*show me that evil will never triumph…

*remind us all  just how fragile, beautiful and precious life is…

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1 Comment for this entry

  1. Mary says:

    Lovely way to honor this anniversary.

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