Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forgive, but not Forget

Like so many others, I am reflecting today about that horrific day 10 years ago when life as we knew it changed forever.  I remember hearing it on the radio as I pulled into the driveway of the office (central time) that a plane had hit the WTC.  I remember thinking that some novice pilot had probably dinged the building with his Cessna or similar small plane and that had to have been a jolt to whoever was in that office.  Never once even considering the type of tragedy that was about to unfold. 

We didn't have a TV in the office and internet reports were slow at the time (no Twitter or FB back then).  But soon we were frantically trying to get ahold of our construction superintendant that was working near the area on a couple of projects.  He usually flew from KC to NYC every Mon or Tue and back every Thur or Fri.  It wasn't until that night we found out he had been safe at our Secaucus job site - standing, horrified, as he watched from a distance as the towers fell.  He was essentially trapped where he was though - bridges and tunnels shut down.  So he stayed and worked.  It was all any of us could do.

I went home that night.  I hugged my sweet 3.5 month old baby boy and couldn't put him down.  I was so sad for the world I had brought him into.  I just watched it over and over on TV.  Still so shell-shocked at it all.  I slept poorly, but drug myself to work the next day anxious to hear if Joe was alright while still reeling from the rising death toll.  I had nightmares for a while - about people I knew and loved dying on planes mostly.  And I got on a plane in October, a little over a month after the attack and prayed for all who dared to fly in those first months. 

Yesterday, we went to 5 PM mass and I teared up numerous times as I prayed for peace in my heart.  The readings and homily focused on forgiveness.  And it occurred to me how important forgiveness is in our lives.  If we hang on to the hate, anger, hurt, sadness - we fail to remember the beauty, laughter, kindness.  It serves no one.  While it feels insane to try to forgive those that did this terrible thing to our nation, I will try.  There are so many ways I've been hurt in my life by people much closer to me and I struggle to continue to work on forgiving them too.  There are ways I've hurt myself - and I need to try to forgive myself too.

So many things have changed and so many have not in these ten years.  That baby boy is now a strapping young man - no longer the colicky baby, but now a 5th grader.  He now has a sister.  We live in a different home, drive different cars, have different jobs (or none at all as the case may be), we have different worries. We've seen my husband's baby brother go to war - twice (Iraq and Afghanistan). Yet some things remain the same.  We have faith.  We have hope.  And we have love.

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

God bless.


  1. This is a great and moving piece. Thanks so much for putting it out for us to read. The sentiments on forgiveness... so right on. I love this.

    Peace be with you.

  2. I know what you mean about things changing after 10 years, but they also haven't. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow are our lives parallel...I had a 5-month old boy who is now a 5th grader and he has a little sister. And when I went to church on Sunday, the pastor talked about forgiveness and how hard it is. But yes, we must do it to move forward.

    Love the angle you took with this post!