Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nine Years

Nine years separates the greatest American tragedy I've known in my lifetime from the greatest personal tragedy I've ever endured.

Ten years ago today, I was in my sophomore year of college at UNC-Greensboro and was walking to my early morning statistics class.  I loathed that class and often thought of every reason possible for why I shouldn't go.  Much to my pleasure, I walked towards the classroom that morning to find a simple note taped to the door, "Class canceled".  I turned around, with some pep in my step, and got halfway through campus before I realized something was terribly wrong.

People in front of the Caf crying.  Yelling.  On cell phones.  Frantically running back to dorms.

From there, my memory gets fuzzy.  Unlike most of you, I don't know exactly where I was when I learned what was happening to our country.  I do remember being in front of a TV when the second plane hit, but I can't tell you who I was with, or where I was watching it.  I remember calling my family and feeling very afraid, yet incredibly thankful that I had no personal connections to lives lost that day.  Many of my friends could not say the same.

I remember watching President Bush address our nation later that evening.  I can tell you exactly where I was at that moment, exactly who was in the room with me, and even specifically where everyone was sitting.  Isn't it funny how memory works? I imagine if I had been blogging back then (or had been better about journaling), I would have the exact details of that day filed away in archived memories.  I would be able to re-read my words and recall the devastation, the anger, the sadness.

Kind of like a year ago.

One year ago today, I was at home in Raleigh with my husband and friends.  Ethan was away for the weekend and us adults were getting ready to tackle our biggest home improvement project to date.  Then, I got the call.  I can't re-read my words without a knot forming in my stomach and tears flowing from my eyes.  I've spent quite a bit of time talking with someone who's paid to help people through stuff like this and, while I've found a lot of healing in the past 6 months, the sadness is still so real.

I miss him.

So on today, the tenth and first anniversaries of such tragic days, I remember.  I grieve.  I pray that we will one day be reunited with those that we love so dearly and miss so deeply.  I hold on to the hope that Michael is in the presence of our Creator as I type this.  I pray for those who Michael, Jenn, Aimee - and the thousands who died on September 11, 2001 - left behind.  The ones who woke up this morning with tear-stained cheeks and lumps in our throats.

May our grief impact the way we relate with those around us.  May we feel comforted by His love and move forward in hope. 

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