Everyone remembers where they were 10 years ago today. I was on my way to Algebra class my freshman year at Rochester College when I heard about the first plane. Just thinking it was an accident, we went about the class and I headed back to my dorm room. Then I saw my roommate in front of the TV and watched with her as the second plane hit. Then we went to Chapel together and watched the news feed with the rest of the school with our jaws hanging open.
I remember how monumental that day felt. It was a beautiful day weather wise, so peaceful and calm - almost eerie. And yet you could feel darkness and war that would change history. Classes were cancelled for the day. People were calling loved ones to make sure everyone was okay. We knew we would remember that day forever.
Even though I knew it was a tragic day for so many, I never really understood the epic loss that 9/11 caused for so many until now. I read a statistic on FB today: 3,051 children lost a parent. 2,819 lives were taken. 1,609 lost a husband or wife. 623 police and firemen did not go home. 1 day changed the world. Now I'm not trying to compare my loss to these, I couldn't possibly. But the world picked back up without those people. Not only were they a part of history that day, but their everyday lives were altered in ways that I only now understand and my heart breaks for them.
Every year on this day, I remember where I was when the world changed. But today, I thought more often about where I was on this day last year, with you. We were at a wedding, watching one of my best friends get married, spending time with some sweet friends of mine from high school. It's where we took this picture:
Today when I thought about 9/11, I thought about how strange it was that it was before we were together. Since 9/11, I've lived an entire lifetime of love and loss, new beginnings and tragic endings. The only 10 year anniversary I'll celebrate with you will be like today - an anniversary of loss.
I prayed for those who lost their lives that horrible day. I prayed for their loved ones who had to keep living afterward without them. I cried for them this morning even imagining half of the pain that they've endured.
I visited Ground Zero almost a year after 9/11 and was stunned by the amount of damage that still needed repair, and how fresh that day felt standing in that place, how tragic. But now I get it. Tragedy, no matter how big or small, takes time to recover from. It takes a long time to pick up the pieces, to clean up the damage done. And there will always be marks. We will never forget.
I miss you baby.
I love you forever.