a mom reflects on 9-11


I may live in California, but I’m a New Yorker. If you were born and raised in New York, you know what I mean. It doesn’t leave you, no matter what ocean you move away to.

As New Yorkers, we all have our stories on where we were that morning. Who we almost lost or actually did lose.

I was a sophomore in college and our cell phones and phone lines stopped working when the attack happened. My college boyfriend was supposed to be getting off at the WTC subway stop that morning for work. My best friend’s dorm room was minutes from the towers. A girl on my floor was freaking out because both her parents worked in the tower that was attacked first.

Screaming, smoke, surreal.

That was my memory.

When my daughter grows up and sees it in her textbooks she will ask me questions.

What will I tell her?

About the horror of terrorism, government greed and conspiracy?

Maybe I will just start by telling her where I was.

Even as many miles away, I can describe how thick the air was. How her now auntie let her shoes fall off while running so hard but people held each other up in that race away from the smoke.

How God was there when her now daddy didn’t get on that subway.

I will then tell her about the firefighters and policemen who saved people, who mourned the ones they couldn’t. Who risked and lost lives.

I will tell her there were strangers who lit candles everyday in the aftermath. For anyone that was grieving.

And that there was compassion, so much of it.

Even in all the fear and literal darkness, it was the compassion I remember most.

And so this is what she will learn.

That in times like 9-11, it was compassion that got NY through.

That if you fill your heart and let it over flow to your neighbor you can overcome anything.

Love you today and always NY.

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