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My 10 year anniversary is on Friday. So I’ve been reading some old cards and notes from Rick. They are so sweet and earnest. I found one from January 2001. It was mostly about how I was the most awesome girlfriend ever and how happy he was. Since we were only about 4 months into our relationship, I can only assume he had yet to find out that I wore slippers to bed and hated Chinese food and other character flaws.

But as much as I adored reading his loving words, it was the date that really took hold of me.

January 2001. Nine months before September 11th.

As he wrote that note, there was still time. Plenty of time to stop it all from happening.

But no one knew what was coming.

There are things we just can’t undo in life. Painful terrible things that we so desperately want to change and just can’t. We are left to absorb the overwhelming emptiness and weep for what will never be.  A friend of mine recently suffered a terrible miscarriage. And a friend wrote to her,

“It’s the ordinary of a regular day that stands in such stark contrast to the grief inside that really gets me. Shouldn’t the whole world pause for a moment in sadness too? And, yet, here are a whole bunch of us—pausing with you.”

And this is also a day to pause. In the sadness of it all. Remembering everyone who didn’t come home that night. And remembering those who have left us since because they courageously spent weeks sorting through the rubble and inhaling the toxic fumes or because they bravely fought for us overseas.

There are some moments in life you don’t make peace with. They just become a part of you. Your fabric. Your layers. 9/11 is one of those days.

22 Responses to pausing on september 11th

  • I’m so sorry for your losses. We could only imagine the nightmare from so far away. I know all work in our office stopped and we just stared at the streaming video’s. It was the very least expected event.
    God bless you and those that feel this so intensely every year.

  • Always remembering, honoring, and appreciating. So thankful for people who take the time – REALLY take the time – to remember. Saying a prayer for the loved ones left behind, and for the people, Military and otherwise, still working hard to keep America safe. Thank you for the post.

  • Kerri says:

    Even as a Canadian I remember that day well. I happened to have a news station on while I was folding laundry & suddenly re-runs of the first crash appeared with commentary & speculations. I watched live as my 18 month old twins played on the floor & their siblings looking on as the second plane crashed live. I cannot explain the depth of pain I felt in that moment. I called my husband as there were speculations regarding other main cities in the world being hit. I live half-way between smack dab under the main airplane route between Toronto & Ottawa, and only 10 minutes from the American border. My husband was in Ottawa that day, near the parliament buildings. He had no idea what was happening in the US, when I called. As on-line, real life friends & American family became affected, so did I. As I stood and watched I said, “They have to get out the buildings are going to collapse!” I could NOT understand why they were so confident that everyone was safer inside. I started yelling at them through the t.v. to please get out of the building, for the “authorities” to get the people out. I watched live as the buildings crumbled & I fell to the floor. Why didn’t they listen? I relived the second crash & falling of the buildings in my head. More & more people were telling me about their family & friends that were lost. I ended up getting physically unwell. I ended up in the hospital (a whole other story) and was told that they did not know what I had, and that I may not survive till the end of the week. Unknown infection, rare invasive cancer???They suggested I let my friends & family know so we could say good-bye. I was not ready, like the victims of 9/11 to say good-bye. My face was so swelled up, I had a 400 lb head & neck attached to my 100 lb body. Finally I used alternative methods in addition to the mega anti-biotics. CAT scans, a severe reaction to the CAT scan dye & failed lancing and days later I was going to survive. They think it was severe cellulitis. I lucked out as it stopped just before reaching my brain & my heart. I have a scar on my neck from the failed lancing, but it is not that noticeable as it is in a crease. I don’t take life for granted so much anymore (throw in a car accident I survived after that and before that). Life can be so strong and yet so incredibly fragile and each day that we try to remember that for even a moment contributes to the memory of those who are no longer with us. Remembering those who are now gone~

  • I really thought things would feel more normal on this day, this year, having passed the decade mark and all. But no – it hasn’t changed at all. It’s 9/11, and it was still hard to let my husband walk out the door to work. It doesn’t help that today is just as beautiful a day – blue sky, bright sun, fall weather – as it was 11 years ago. It all still seems like a very, very bad dream. Especially when I think of all the military personnel who have died since then in misbegotten wars…

  • Angi says:

    This is so well said. Does anyone remember the coming together of our country in the days and even weeks after 9/11? It was unreal…and I wish that in remembering every year the way we do, that we could pull ourselves a little closer. Eliminate the hate and divide that has become so open in this country. Because when tragedy strikes…on any scale…we should remember that we only have each other.

  • johanna says:

    beautifuly said for something that words can’t describe. you brought tears to my eyes.

    the weather is so the same clear blue sky today. extra prayers said for those gone and a double for those still here trying to “live” their lives.

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kelcey kintner