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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


For me, twelve years ago today started out just like every other morning. Woke up and poured some caffeine into my engine, dropped my youngest daughter off at school and then came home to begin the morning fight with my body and brain. I don't know how it works for you, but everyday there is a war that is raged within myself and good day or bad, it never seems to go differently. The brain usually will spew out words like get moving, or you have things to do, while the body stays in  a constant state of disillusionment. It thinks that time is endless and there's always one more minute to spare for that last sip of relaxing coffee before the shower. And as I sit here and write this, I remembered that on that day it was no different...for about ten seconds. I was in the kitchen over looking the family room and my eldest daughter Stevie had the television on. She was riveted to the screen and there was an absolute look of panic on her face. As I walked over to sit beside her, it became clear what I was seeing. One of the Twin Towers, the north one, was crumbling like a pile of jenga pieces after I had pulled the wrong one from the stack below. The fear ran through my body with such intensity that I felt my muscles tighten and my arms and legs start to ache. I couldn't look away, but I wanted to. I didn't want to know that there before my eyes were people dying. It seemed like one of those nightmares that you get where you can't seem to wake up. You know, you hope, that it is just a dream but something keeps you locked up in it until you break free and jump up in your bed. I wasn't in bed and this was no dream, it was a real nightmare and I sat with my daughter in complete horror.

I thought nothing could overwhelm me as much as this did, but as my eyes were glued to the picture, the realization became even more horrifying. I thought the news team in all it's courage that day to keep us informed had began playing the mind bending vision of the tower collapsing over and over again. But what it took me a moment to realize was that it wasn't, they were showing the complete demise of the second tower. That's when my fear escalated into internal hysterics. I say internal because I didn't want to alarm my daughter any more than she already was. Which now looking back seems preposterous. She had crossed over that day just as many of our children did and there was no possible way she could turn back. The world had smashed into their back yard and the crater was too big to fill in. Over and over we watched the footage of the planes crashing in to the towers, the feed back from the other hijackings and the sheer devastation that was being left in the aftermath. I remember worrying about my cousin who is an officer in the N.Y.P.D. and my other cousin who is a New York fireman. I thought about friends who might be in either one of the towers or walking the streets below. This was home town...my family...my friends...my childhood.

We held on to each other extra tight that day and I know for months following I couldn't get the lump out of my throat. All those people, all those lives changed forever. Our lives, changed forever. I sat quietly for a while thinking about what I wanted to say. I knew I needed to get something out because bottled up it began to take over everything I was doing today. I have no absolute. I have no real reason why people hurt each other in the name of religion or any other structure they deem all important. I only know this...hate gets you hurt, closed gets you a wall and tolerance just bides you time. I will never forget that day, I will always keep  in my heart those that lost their lives, displayed heroics beyond belief, those that will never go home again and their families who still grieve today. Being human isn't a right, it's a gift we are given everyday, a common denominator above all else. We are the religion, the politics, the ethnicity of the human race. One common bond, one true reality. So why do we seek out and focus on what's different instead of accepting the differences and embracing the truth. We are all in this together...

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