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 lives 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