Today is a significant day, primarily in the recent history of our US readers. I remember where I was when the first plane struck the Twin Towers. I remember people theorizing about what was happening, phone lines being clogged and then the horrible truth being all too obvious. Living in the Philadelphia area I was safely insulated from the tragedy unfolding in NYC yet this was the first big world event that made me start paying attention.
A few years later, also on September 11th, my maternal grandmother passed away. She was the grandmother who I lived with in the summers from 8-13 years old. I grew up living 20 minutes from her and have a very small family. I was supposed to get married on September 29th, but after a heart attack in late August she’d decided that she had a good life and was done with dialysis. She knew she wouldn’t make it to my wedding and in probably what was the most spontaneous move I’ve ever made in my life, I took my wedding to her. On August 30, 2007 my fiance, parents, aunt, cousin and I showed up in my grandmother’s ICU room with my former-neighbor-who-happened-to-be-a-minister-and-was-home-on-a-Thursday-at-11AM. We got married. She passed away 12 days later. We had our ‘party’ wedding on September 29th and celebrated our 1 month anniversary the next day.
Today I remember both of those things and encourage you to reflect on your own remembrances.
Today I am also grateful.
I’m grateful that the people I love who were in and around NYC in 2001 were safe. I’m grateful that I had 30 years with my grandmother. I’m grateful that I had the courage to run out of a work meeting and have a spontaneous wedding. I’m grateful that although it took me until much more recently to become politically involved and aware, that the events of 9/11/01 made me pay attention. I’m grateful to be traveling today with the person who I married on 8/30/07 (and 9/29!).
Let’s be grateful for all that we have while we work to make things better.