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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Never Forget.. Sixteen Years..September 11, 2001

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein

This is the second time I'm quoting Einstein in the past few weeks. He must not only have been a scientific genius but a very intuitive man as well.
"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better."

This weekend will be a very reflective time for all of us. Think back at all that has happened in the past fifteen years. People were born, children grew up, loved ones passed away. Life goes on, the dawn returns every morning, the clock keeps ticking.

For those who had lost a loved one or were there to support someone, September 11, 2001 will always be a raw and ever present memory. A recurring question being asked right now is "Where were you on 9/11?" Many people cannot remember what they wore yesterday but they will never forget that unfathomable day in American history.

For our family, we were on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia for a few days to celebrate my birthday. My husband had gone out for a bike ride and stopped for a drink at a quick shop when the news flashed on the TV screen. It was surreal when he flew through the door of our room and turned on the television. The haze of what was happening in front of our eyes on the screen took a while to comprehend that it was no accident.

Being so near the military base, the rest of our time spent in that historic town was so strange. People employed at all the wonderful sights of Williamsburg had no choice but to try to function as usual. For the children's sake we still did all the events we had planned but everywhere the energy was so somber and tightly wound. What could possibly be the right thing to say to reassure our kids that they were safe? Even at their young age they could tell none of us were sure about anything.

When faced with the news of such loss of precious life what is one to do? Most of us felt absolutely helpless to do anything other than stay glued to the news and deal with the fearful reality by reaching out to other people. Interesting how it always seems to take a tragedy for people to look up and notice those around them.

Of course, as time went by things quieted down and folks gradually returned to the humdrum of their family routines. Those left grieving had to somehow pick up their lives while trying to find some solace in what good could possibly come out of such a waste of life.

Losing someone we love forces us to face the reality of how alone we really are in this life. Our loved ones are separate individuals with a path and fate beyond our control. Those left behind often have trouble giving themselves permission to again feel a sense of happiness.

Let's take the advice of Einstein to heart and live each day given to us as a gift waiting to be unwrapped. A gift of time to cherish, moments to treasure. Don't just go through the motions where every day brings the same expectations.

Look alive because you are alive. Learn something new every day. The more you educate yourselves about our very existence the more you'll view it as indeed miraculous. To live as though nothing is a miracle will soon snuff out the light within the soul.

As the anniversary of 9/11 comes around once again, let it be the nudge to remind us to wake up, look up, and appreciate the now, since that is really all we've got.

In Loving Memory