I know that I will never be able to full convey what it was like to be alive on 9/11 to my son. I know that my words will fall short in describing the hours of silence as I sat with my mother watching CNN. I know that I will not ever be able to write all the thoughts that were in my prayers and heart and cards that poured out in the wake of all that loss.
Even all these years later, even in my sadness to see those families honoring the loved ones they lost on that day, even in my speechlessness that we are still at war and at odds in a presidential election about what happened on 9/11, I feel grateful.
I am grateful that I am alive.
I don't mean that disrespectfully. My heart aches for all those good people lost as towers and planes and later, bombs, came down. As hard as it is to think that I can't completely convey what it was like to be alive on 9/11, I feel blessed that I was alive on the days that followed.
It should have never happened. Acts of violence and greed and power and such horror never should. Aren't we, as people who watched and waited and dove in and donated, lucky to witness what happened in those days that bookmarked 9/11? Do you remember the memorials other countries sent out to us? Do you recall the casseroles and thank yous strangers delivered to firehouses? Did you hear the poetry and see the art and architecture that rose up, literally from the ashes? It was awing. And still is.
As the years pass, the way we honor the day will change. It already has. The way we remember those frightful moments will fade. It already has. This is not a bad thing. It means that our lives are continuing on as the calendar pages turn. It means we have woven that day and all it brought -- and brought down -- into our daily lives. It means we've changed. Even if we can't say exactly how or why or when.
I am choosing today to take a few minutes to remember what it was like to watch the flames and screams and lost people on my television screen. I also choose to make those memories the beginning of a sentence that ends in gratitude.
The meditation below by Deepak Chopra is a lovely and centering three-minutes on why we must embrace gratitude in the toughest, most trying, traumatic of times. It seems to be the most honorable way, at this point in time, to honor all the people and all that has passed in the years since the historical 9/11 struck.
I am grateful today that there are rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses and caregivers who make it their profession and commitment to save and stand by people in the most need.
I am grateful for the people who serve in the war that resulted from this day and for the people working to end the war and bring the soldiers home for good.
I am grateful for the power of prayer and meditation and therapy and healing that help people move from acute trauma to peace.
I am grateful that most often, love and not violence prevails.
I am grateful to be alive today.
What are you remembering from 9/11? What are you grateful for on this anniversary?
Dory Devlin from Work + Money writes beautifully on remembering the details of the day.
[photo credit: Getty Images]