This morning was Mimi’s first soccer game of the season. As I basked in the warm sun, cheering on our team and chatting with the other parents, I paused for a moment…just to reflect on how truly wonderful life was.
It was on another beautiful September morning, ten years ago that all seemed right with the world. Little was I, and the rest of my country, to know that all of our illusions were about to be shattered. Early on that fateful morning I had walked my girls down to the school and was met with ashen faced, weepy mothers at the back gate. Puzzled, I kissed my children goodbye and wished them a Happy Day as I always did. Then I turned to see what all the fuss was about.
Through the jumbled explanations, the most I could figure was that a plane had crashed into a building in New York. Definitely a tragedy, but certainly not something sob worthy. After all, accidents did happen.
I rushed home and asked my husband if he had heard about anything going on in New York. Together, we turned on the television and found, to our horror, that it wasn’t some small charter plane accidently veering off course, but instead a purposeful attack…on us.
The days following the attack were intense. Everyone grieved in a different way. Some hunkered down in front of the television and wept. Others reached out, donating blood and whatever services they could. Some found God, others lashed out against him. Still others chose to retaliate by attacking anyone that looked as though they may have been Muslim. One thing that we all had in common was to realize just how precious…and fleeting…life really was. We all felt the need to cling tight to those that were dearest to us.
I’d like to think that surviving these attacks have made us a better people. In the midst of such horrible losses, we watched true heroes emerge. We discovered what we were truly made of. I think we have learned to reach out to each other just a little bit more. To be a little more caring and a little more compassionate.
Exactly ten years later, I watch as my youngest daughter fiercely defends something so simple as a soccer ball for her team. As a parent, I realize how ephemeral these youthful days are. In addition, there’s a small niggle in the back of my head, reminding me that something unthinkable could happen, and that it can all be gone in a moment. I am so thankful that my daughters were too young to learn this hard lesson. That they can feel safe in this country of ours.
On this day…this September morning, in particular, I am keenly aware that these are the moments to be treasured.