Today is one that every one in the United States stops to remember. There are even some in other countries who can’t help but recall what it means. It’s a day of remembrance.
For me it is a double whammy. Do I remember where I was? Yes I do. It wasn’t like any other day for me. September 11 would have been a day I stopped to remember even if the tragedy had never happened. The terrorist attack only made it that much worse for my family.
Because it is my oldest brother’s birthday. What made this day was knowing we’d never be able to wish him a happy birthday ever again. We lost him 4 years earlier in a car accident. He left behind a wife and a four month old daughter. He was only twenty-five years old. My heart still hurts today and it was almost twenty years ago. He would have been forty-four this year.
So what was I doing on that fateful day? I was packing up my vehicle to go visit my mother in Muskegon, MI. It was an almost four hour drive from where I lived at the time. My boys were three years old and nine months. My mother took Glen’s death hard and his birthday was one of those days she did better surrounded by family.As I was strapping the baby in the car seat my phone started to ring. I fished it out of my purse and my mother’s voice filled my ears. She was in a panic watching the news. I had no idea what she was talking about. I told her I’d call her back. I turned the radio on and listened to it in shock for several minutes. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
I listened to the radio the entire drive to my mother’s. My brother’s birthday had become something different. It was a tragedy that the world would always remember. It wasn’t a good thing we could cherish. It was heartbreaking for so many people. It is a day I will never forget for entirely different reasons.
My mother is no longer with us. We have had a lot of tragedy in my family. Some might say more than any one could bear. But that too is part of life. So today I wished Glen a Happy Birthday. He is up in heaven with my mother, my father, my grandparents, and yes his daughter who we lost to a fire not too long ago. I have to take comfort in knowing they have each other now.
This is all at the forefront of my mind today for a lot of reasons. Seeing all the posts about people talking about where they were that day made it all come back. Nathan (my youngest) and I were discussing it yesterday. He’d said his American History teacher said their parents would know where they were when the 9/11 attacks hit. He didn’t believe him. My child thought I’d have been sleeping that early in the morning (because I do like to sleep in when I can). He didn’t realize that an infant doesn’t allow for mornings of sleeping in and that I only have that luxury now that they are both teenagers. So this post is for him, and anyone who might be curious.
It is a day I will never forget, but it’s more than that. It is a day of remembrance for the world. I for one won’t live in terror. Life is meant to be lived free of any kind of oppression. That is what makes our country so wonderful. Even when it seems like there is nothing good around us we have that. This is the land of the free for a reason. We don’t have to agree with the person’ next to us’s opinion. Take this day to appreciate what we have and forget about the things we don’t agree with. Give those you love a hug and tell them you love them. There are some people who can’t do that. They lost their love ones in this tragedy and would give anything for one more chance to do what a lot of us take for granted.