Sharing My Birthday with Our Nation’s Tragedy

On my 37th birthday, I woke up to the horrific news.

My husband’s assistant called us early. She wanted to make sure we were watching TV. We turned it on and couldn’t believe what we saw. An airplane crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. WHAT? How is that possible? And then the second plane.

A friend stopped by to pick up my girls and drive them to school. She was bubbly, wondering how my morning was going. Obviously she hadn’t heard.

The rest of the day is a blur, yet crystal clear.

My husband took me out for my birthday lunch. It was hard to eat. The events unfolding made me feel anxious and sick. The last thing I felt was happy.

It didn’t make sense. Our country, under attack by terrorists. I’d never dreamed that was possible.

I spent the afternoon at my friend’s house with our kids. We watched TV in disbelief. She made me a little cake. I felt like I shouldn’t enjoy it.

This is not a day to celebrate.

My husband, daughters, and I went to my parent’s house for dinner. They tried to make it special. None of us felt festive.

I couldn’t shake the eerie feeling I’d had since that morning. Like someone broke into our home, ripped it to shreds, and took everything that mattered. I felt invaded, shocked, terrorized. Of course, on a far greater level.

9/11. For 36 years, my birthday was simply, 9/11. Now those numbers mean so much more.

When I tell people when my birthday is, some give me a look as if to say, Oh no, I”m so sorry. Someone suggested I celebrate my half birthday instead. I couldn’t do that. September 11 is the day I was born, and I can’t change it.

Now I share my special day with everyone, in remembrance of what we lost. But also the strength of who we are.

Every year on my birthday, the first thing I do is reflect on the events of that heart-wrenching day. I think about the people in those airplanes and buildings, and how terrified they must’ve been. And the first responders who sacrificed their livesΒ  with the hope of saving others. I pray for the thousands of beautiful souls who lost their lives, and for their families who still grieve.

9/11 is not only a reminder of how the world changed for millions of people, here and abroad.

It’s also a reminder that our lives can change in an instant. Treasure our loved ones, hold them a little closer. Celebrate them, and celebrate life.

That’s what I’ll be doing today. Spending time with my family, thanking God for this beautiful, amazing, and precious life.

First image courtesy of here

Second image courtesy of here

Third image courtesy of here

Fourth image courtesy of here


39 thoughts on “Sharing My Birthday with Our Nation’s Tragedy

  1. We can choose how we move in the world. We can stay in one place or move forward. It sounds like you have chosen to see the good in life.
    My niece married on 9/11/10 as a counterpoint. She says we mustn’t let terrorists take more than they already have. So enjoy your day without regret! ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I too mourn the loss of all the lives cut short, destroyed that day. And will continue to in the years to come as I’m sure you will also.
    That day is NOT your Birth Day.
    Your Birth Day is one of joy and happiness. A great day to celebrate no matter what may happen on that day. Cake and cookies is a good start! – Happy Birthday!!! πŸŽ‰

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I absolutely love your sweet comment, thank you!! You are so right. My birthday, all of our birthdays, are to celebrate our lives. Regardless of what happens to happen on that day. And yes, I enjoyed a lot of yummy treats yesterday! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ


  3. Happy Belated Birthday to you. I can understand how you must feel sharing the date of your birth with a day that we as a nation we will never forget in history. I, as well as many others, remember that day as if it were yesterday. My husband was supposed to work at the Verizon building across from the TWC, and it was a last minute change for him to relocate that day. Thank God.
    Don’t ever look at your birthday as a sad moment. Look at it as a time when our nation became united under the most horrific circumstances. That in itself is something to be happy about.
    Take Care,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Beckie, thank you so much for your nice comment and for sharing your experience. Wow, thank God your husband was relocated that day. I love what you said about not looking at my birthday as a sad time, instead as a time when our country came together. Thanks again for your kind words. I appreciate it!πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw Jenny, I’m sorry this is so belated but nevertheless I want to wish you happiness and love for the year ahead. We really do have to cherish and treasure this life we have. And celebrate it despite all the darkness in our world. We have to focus on the good. Sending you love, hugs and my warmest wishes. xo

    Liked by 2 people

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