When I awoke 14 years ago today, I had taken up permanent residence on Cloud Nine. I was counting down the days until I stepped fearlessly from the security of my childhood and jumped into the arms of my love for all of life. It was just 11 days before my wedding.
Little did I know, it would forever be a day that Americans would tether their personal history to. We’ll always remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we were feeling on that day; the day that stands out like a soar thumb in the span of 87,235 fingers.
Since that day, my husband and I have decided to bring 3 precious children into the unstable aftermath of those gruesome moments. It was actually a no-brainer. That day not only wrote a story of terror, death, and defeat. It resounded a symphony of one of humanity’s greatest distinctions- the ability to show sacrificial, unconditional love to strangers. Co-workers and first-responders instantaneously became brothers and sisters as they gave their lives to rescue those trapped. The immediate need for care and comfort made childless women into mothers. And children, ages 1 to 100, sought out the shelter and safety of a strong father’s embrace. It was the day that all of America felt like family.
Today, the world is still spinning and the future is still uncertain, but my children are thriving. We’ve witnessed thousands of brave men and women sacrificing everything to defend our big, American family. Yet, our hope is not found in this world and our security is not anchored to its future. Our definition of living is affixed to the everyday, immediate opportunities we all have to love sacrificially and unconditionally; the opportunity to live like family.
(Repost with edits from original on Sept. 11th, 2011)