“A Day That Will Live In Infamy”
There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.
This time of the year is an especially difficult one for our family. And yet we are no different from thousands of other families here in the United States and worldwide. You see, tomorrow we remember a day that forever changed our lives, even as if changed the landscape of the New York City skyline. You see, it is an image I saw every single night from the window of my college dorm room. And perhaps I did not appreciate what I saw from that window way back in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975, and for that, I will ever feel true regret! You see, today, when I have the opportunity of looking that way, all I see is a hole in the skyline. And yes, I know that there is a new building that stands in the footprint of what once was. And yet, to me, it will never be the same. It will never be those majestic towers that dominated the skyline from the moment the first girders were erected in 1968.
Married to a native New Yorker, and having lived in New York City from the age of 18, the events we will memorialize tomorrow are a vivid reminder of a profound loss…..both of a dear family member who passed just before that fateful day and was buried that very morning, as well as other friends and family who died as we stood in the funeral home that morning, saying our own goodbyes. And how lucky we were that we had the opportunity of doing so, when so many of the families who lost loved ones couldn’t! There were 266 people on the four planes, 2,735 civilians in the World Trade Center, and 125 at the Pentagon….all lost and all with someone that they loved, left behind!
Even today the wounds from that day are so fresh that I can not bear to watch the hundreds of documentaries that are aired by every channel on television. And just as I can not watch them, my husband can not tear his eyes from the screen. For him I think it is his way of remembering not just the magnitude of the injustice of what happened, but also the magnitude of the many miracles that actually took place that day. And it is not just the miracle of lives spared because they were attending our family funeral that day. No, I am thinking of the untold thousands of other stories of miracles of survival that day, such as these:
- One person survived because his son started kindergarten.
- One person survived because it was his day to bring the donuts.
- One person survived because her alarm clock didn’t go off.
- One person survived because there was an accident on the NJ turnpike creating a traffic jam.
- One person survived because he missed the bus.
- One person survived because she spilled breakfast on her clothes and had to change.
- One person survived because the car wouldn’t start.
- One person survived because the taxis were all taken.
- One person survived because his new shoes gave him a blister and he stopped at the drug store to get band aids.
- More than one person survived because they were attending my mother-in-law’s funeral.
Yes, these are a few but there were many other miracles that day! I remember the miracle of the thousands who did manage to escape from the twin towers that morning. I remember the miracle that so few were lost at the Pentagon. I remember the miracle that the sacrifice of all of those aboard Flight 93 gave by their heroism and their deaths in a field in Pennsylvania, which surely spared the lives of our American leaders, including our President. Yes, with our mourning, we also rightly rejoice in the blessings of those miracles. Which is why our family chooses to celebrate the gift that those heroes whose lives were lost, blessed us with. Last year, we celebrated by taking Landon to his very first circus. And we will plan another special evening this Wednesday with those we love. You see, the gift that has been given to us all is, simply, the ability for each of us to spend time with our near and dear as we LIVE, LAUGH, and LOVE one another!
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
John 11:40-42 NIV
Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry