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This anniversary makes my heart hurt. 

It is such a dark day that comes along at one of the most beautiful times of year.

Below is a piece (slightly updated) that I wrote a few years ago.


And here we are again.

September 11th.

I remember that day and all its horrors so vividly. I remember the endless aching that followed as I and everyone else futilely tried to make sense of something so violent and cruel and of course, completely senseless.

I remember pouring over the “New York Times’ Portraits of Grief” where the paper honored each and every victim with poignant, beautiful details of their lives.

imageAnd for some reason, Michele Coyle-Eulau always stuck with me. I didn’t know her. Only what I read. She had three sons, 2, 5 and 7 years-old.

Matthew, Mark and Eric.  The children who were waiting for her to come home that day.

I wasn’t even a mom yet. But those ages. Those boys. I couldn’t stop thinking  about them.

Michele was a working mom, who juggled a full and hectic schedule, including a three day a week job as a systems analyst. She worked one day from home and two days on the 96th floor of Tower One. The World Trade Center.

She was 38 years-old.

At night her husband would yell out to her, “Michelle, it’s 11 o’clock! Could you just come to bed?”

And the piece ended like this…

What took her so long to get to bed? Packing lunches, making grocery lists, arranging play dates. “I never understood,” her husband said. “Now I do.”

Since 9-11, I’ve been thinking of Michele and her family.

I’m absolutely sure that I always will.

And not a day goes by that I don’t hear the roar of an engine, look up and notice a plane flying high above.

I always look up.  And I always think of that day and the nearly 3,000 victims who were robbed of their lives.

And the ones who died from inhaling toxic fumes at ground zero.

And the ones who gave their lives fighting overseas.

Every single day.

There is no forgetting.

4 Responses to september 11th

  • beachmom says:

    Yes you are correct..no forgetting..not 15 years, not 30 years..never .I still stand riveted to the T.V as they read out the names of those lives taken too soon and I gasp when I see the ages of most of the victims -they were so young, so hopeful, so precious to everyone in their lives. I stand and I cry for all these strangers that I never knew and never will and my heart aches for those left behind 🙁

  • Angi says:

    We talk to our kids every year about what this day means and how we can both remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when it happened. My oldest asked me 2 days ago if I remembered what songs we were going to listen to in two days (Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning? and Little Did She Know She’d Kissed A Hero) because we used those to help teach them about what happened. I was impressed that he’s remembering and grasping the concepts of historical significance.

  • Mary Walsh says:

    Beautiful essay! Last night I started to talk about the 9-11 events with my sensitive 8 year old. I figure she’ll hear about it sooner or later from someone. It’s a tough subject and she wasn’t ready even for the most basic details. I’ll try again when she’s a bit older. When she was asleep I looked at her sweet face and wondered how I’d help her understand the inexplicable.

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kelcey kintner