© 2013 PixelJo

Repost: Thoughts on a day like today

I originally wrote this piece two years ago, on the tenth anniversary of the occasion.

I still stand by the bulk of the sentiment of this post.  But I’d like to edit that I understand the commemoration, or recognition.   I understand that stating on THIS day that we will never forget provides a sense of unity, a sense of community, that during our daily mournings, or our every day remembrances, we don’t always share.

Posted on 9.11.11 to the writing on the wall which is now defunct.

All day, I have been trying to figure out how I would post about today.  There are so many thoughts screaming through my head.  Some of them not so nice.  It’s the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks on NYC and America.  All over Facebook and Twitter you see it.  RIP So and So.  Never Forget.  Moments of silence for the fallen; for the victims; the dead; their families.  I’ve watched many of my hundreds of friends comment about not forgetting, and how blessed they are to be here, and how lucky their friend or loved one was that they “went in late” that day, or “called out sick” or some other such happenstance.  And I don’t want to diminish anyone’s sorrow; or loss; or pain.  I, too, have loss and sorrow and pain from that day.  But, like the rest of my life, I don’t shout it from the rooftops, or every 20 minutes on The Book.  And maybe that’s the problem I need to deal with.

I can name two people I knew personally, that died on that fateful day 10 years ago.

One, I can honestly say, I never took the time to get to know as well as I could have.  I was much better friends with her younger sister.  I had a mad crush on her younger brother.  I walked to and from school with her siblings for over a year.  I grieve her loss.  More so, I grieve the time I have missed in staying in touch with her siblings.  At this point in time, I doubt I will ever reconnect with them.  Mutual friends, we have many.  I really don’t know if any of them are still in touch.  But, I do hope and pray that her siblings are well.  I don’t want to intrude on their sorrow, or their grieving.  And certainly, on a day like today, I don’t think I could ever reach out.  But if by some small miracle a mutual friend points to this post, I hope they know they are often thought of.  I hope they know that their loss, a huge one, was not taken lightly by an acquaintance from afar.  I think of the Westwood neighborhood, and wonder why I didn’t take more time to get to know Jackie; or stay in touch with Patrice; or even…nah, I won’t even touch the last one.

The other loss, was a little closer to my heart, and leaves a much bigger hole.  Not because we spent so much time together in recent years prior to the attack, but because we DIDN’T spend time together.  I like to think we were good friends; maybe even better than good friends.  But somewhere along the line, I lost sight of what it meant to be a friend.  I became faceless…nameless…to many.  I didn’t so much make a conscious choice not to keep in touch, but I did make the unconscious choice to leave my Long Island roots behind me.  Boston became my home; the Red Sox became my team.  And, like many, when from afar, I found names of people I knew, people I grew up with, people I learned life lessons from, on that unending long list of casualties, I cried.  There were things I would have loved to say to Katie.  I’m sorry we drifted.  I’m sorry I let life pull me away and not look back.  I’m sorry I never told you what kind of impact you had on my life.  I’m sorry you were taken from us so young.

But I think my problem with today is that no matter what I say, no matter who reads this, no matter how much anyone says “Never Forget,” it seems almost like a no-brainer.  Never Forget. Duh.  I can’t forget it.  I can remember exactly where I was.  What I did. How I spent my day.  I will never forget it.  Just like I will never forget the days my girls were born.  I will never forget my wedding day.  I will never forget the day I buried my father, almost 4 years before the attacks on our country.  I think my friend Fil said it best.

repeat from last year: in honor of remembering those that were taken from us on 9/11…and in honor of those that have fought so bravely for our freedoms before that day and since…….I plan on not letting them down by CELEBRATING LIFE and the freedoms that I have….gonna have a few drinks….gonna turn my amp up REALLY loud (sorry guys) and I’m going to continue to rock faces off….

I like the thought of celebrating life.  Isn’t that kind of what it’s all about?  Wouldn’t our friends and loved ones want us to enjoy what little time we have left on this earth?  I am fairly certain my father would.  And he didn’t die in the attack.  I am fairly certain he would tell me that life should be lived for the present and the future.  Learn from your mistakes and use that to your advantage.  Or maybe he wouldn’t.

But moving on does not mean forgetting.  Moving on does not mean we think less of those we lost.  I think moving on is a sign of accepting that those we’ve lost are all around us.  They are in everything we touch, and everything we do.  And no matter how heavily or lightly impacting their presence in our lives, they have helped shape who we are and who we have yet to be. My friend and my acquaintance will always be with me. I do not need to declare that I will never forget.

 

 


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