On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was in my sixth grade classroom, a week or so into the school year. I absolutely hated being in sixth grade because of my current classmates, my teacher and because simply because I was going through puberty. Oh, and my third grade crush was now teasing me – something sure to be consistent through the year. It was a terrible moment for an 11 year old.
Then the classroom phone rang and my teacher answered it as the whole classroom watched. Now that I think about it, her expression said she was unsure over what was being told to her. Next thing I knew, I was taken out of my classroom by a secretary. My father was here to pick me up, she said, now, where’s your mother? Where was my mother? In Manhattan working, of course. I can’t remember if my teacher told us that a plane had crashed into the Tower. I can’t remember if my dad told me. I just remember watching the second plane crash into the second tower on the news.
This isn’t a dramatic post about losing someone in the tragedy of 9/11. My mother made it home later that day, having crossed the Brooklyn Bridge with hundreds of New Yorkers trying to get home as quickly as possible.
This isn’t about me suffering from the tragedy. Sure, I was in the city when it happened, but in a different borough. I didn’t lose anyone, thank goodness. What happened was that so many if’s and ‘could have’s’ came up during this event. My father could have been in the middle of it all because his job frequently took him all over Manhattan. He wasn’t because, through a stroke of luck, he had taken work off that day. My mother had the same stroke of luck.
This post is about living and continuing. My family was incredibly lucky to have gotten through 9/11 without a scratch. The only thing shaken was our sense of security by an overwhelming threat. I can’t say the same for hundreds of other families out there, and for that I am so incredibly sorry for their losses.
What makes someone a victim to a tragedy like 9/11? I’m sure we all wish we knew the formula or whatever it is. On the 11 year anniversary of this tragedy, it is a good time to remember the life you do have. The life that is still stretching out before you. I still believe that yeah, shit happens and then you die. However, in no way should that obstruct how I or anyone lives. We cannot live in fear of interruptions of any kind. We would get nowhere.
Take things in strides. There’s always a solution – it may not be exactly what you want, but there is a solution nonetheless. Take risks. Take chances. Don’t let anything get in your way.