This post is on 9.11 and is more serious than any other I have, or will ever, write (God willing). I’ll have some house updates later this week. For now, a moment to talk about the elephant in the room:
10 years ago I was 17.
A few nights ago, while painting the second coat of paint in our common room I ended up with a common painting oops – a few small patches of paint blisters/bubbles. I wrote an entire post about how ridiculous and dumb it was, and how aware I was of this – but that it still bugged me. I used humor, I was a little sarcastic, but it was all about paint bubbles. I was exhausted, I was tired and I just wanted it to be right.
Today – I don’t care a bit about them. I couldn’t care less about the little things in life that don’t just go perfect. I couldn’t care about the little things in life that I can’t control right now. What I care about right now is that I’m here. That my father wasn’t on the plane from Boston to LA he would normally take for business, because his trip was a few weeks later. That 10 years later, I’m reminded why my 17 year old self was close to joining the Marine Corp. I remember being in history class. Calling my mother to make sure Dad was at the office and dear God, not on that plane to LA. I remember watching the second plane hit, watching in the cafeteria. I remember going home and seeing footage of the buildings falling. I remember hearing toddlers were on the planes. I remember feeling helpless and scared. Weeks later I remember a piece of the mangled metal being given to a teacher who lost her cousin. I touched that metal and I felt all the love of the people in that building talking to their loved ones, saying goodbye. I felt the immense fear of people fleeing and those trapped in the buildings and on the planes. I couldn’t understand the hatred that would drive someone to do this.
I still don’t.
I never will.
2 months after 9/11 I flew for the first time as an 18 year old, by myself, to Las Vegas for the Marine Corps Ball. I had never been prouder of the men and women who were serving. The uncertainty that loomed over them and the rest of us. The kindness of the people on the plane to a girl who was independent for the very first time, even if only for a few days. The man and woman who took me under their arm and gave me their information just in case I needed help while they were in Vegas too on vacation. I remember thinking if this plane went down, it was filled with love. Love from strangers. On my way home, before boarding, a man was questioned and ran and was immediately apprehended by the police. I was terrified. My plane was delayed an hour while they searched it. I debated getting on it. I got on it.
I had never been so happy to land.
I’m so happy I got a chance to land.
To this day I almost never leave somewhere without telling people I love that I love them, whether it’s on the phone or in person. If you’re one of those people, this is why. I do love you, and we never know when life is going to be gone. We never know what is around that corner.
So today, as I mull around doing little projects on the house, as I bake chicken for dinner, as I hear Andy pounding away on the forms for our addition foundation, as I hear my dog snore beside me and curl up – I’m thankful. I’m blessed.
To this day, the footage makes me have tears fall down my face. It gives me shivers. It makes my heart hurt. It makes a lump in my throat form. I still can’t verbalize my feelings surrounding it fully. All I know is that today, like 10 years ago, the sun is shining and I don’t see a cloud in the sky. I never entered the Marine’s but I’ll always feel blessed for those serving. Today, in an economy that’s rough, I have a house, a job, a loving relationship and two fantastic dogs. Most of all, I have God. To some, the day marked the moment people lost God. To me, it marked the moment I knew I needed Him more than ever in my life. I don’t know why it happened and I won’t pretend to even try to figure it out. I don’t discuss the possibilities, there’s no point. To this day, I refuse to fight with someone over God and my view of Him, or why I believe in him. I choose not to fight with someone about something that has no answer here in earth. I refuse to engage in a fight that has been going on for centuries between humans, causing death. Not believing in God isn’t the answer for me. Not fighting about God is.
What I will engage in is celebration of life, of unity, of freedom, of equality, of happiness and of living for those who no longer have a voice . I’m sure small things will still bother me – but I am always acutely aware of how small they are, and of how blessed I am. I always try to maintain this bigger view of things.
With all of this said, I am going to make chicken for my family. I am going to go put my bathroom back together and laugh at the ugly paint color I have to re-prime over because it’s hideous. I’m going to go up to the farm and see the new calf that was born.
Because every day is a change to be born new, to start life again and to enjoy this very moment.
To all of you who have served, for the spouses who have anxiously waited at home, to those who gave their lives and to those who loved them. To those who made it out of those towers, those who witnessed the incredibly emotional burden put upon them, and those who never made it out – wherever you are I send you my love. My entire heart. Thank you.