I don't have to tell you what day it is. If you're in America, you know....even if you're not - you still know.
I knew what I was going to see when I opened up Facebook this morning and my Blog Reader.
Memorial statuses, remembrance posts, dedications to love ones lost.
I refused to turn on my TV....not because I'm cold hearted - but because I knew what images would be displayed, and I just can't bear to see them. Families coming together and leaders discussing that tragic day. It's all too much for me.
I remember being stuck to my TV for almost an entire week back then. I remember crying, worrying, wondering what was going to happen next. The feelings continued for weeks after as I watched memorial services, Presidential addresses, or stories from loved ones of those who lost their lives.
I remember feeling pain for people I didn't know. I remember complete strangers coming together to discuss the tragic events. I remember going to the store or the Post Office and being met with smiles or people willing to help out a complete stranger with two small children - because there was a unity built in the midst of those events.
I was only 19 years old that day. I was a new mother to not one, but two children. One only 17 months old, the other only 6 months old. For the first time since giving birth to either child, I felt the dire panic a parent feels when something bad may happen to their children. It was not a day I want to remember - but it's a day that will never be erased from my mind.
I remember a few years later, being terrified to get on to a plane. Even though I'd flown in airplanes since I was a child - the thought of getting on a plane after that day was traumatic. Especially since my children weren't with me....What if something happened? What if I didn't get off this plane? Thoughts that had never crossed my mind before that day....but were as fresh as ever years later.
Today, as I think about the time that has passed since that day. I smile. Yes, as a nation, we encountered the most heinous of attacks. But with the devastation came unity, friendship, strength.
In the past ten years, my life has changed dramatically.
I found the strength to break free from an abusive relationship. I found the strength to care for two small children by myself. I found the need to pack a car with as much that could be fit, and haul my two small children back to my home town so that I could be reunited with my family. For four years, I dedicated my life to supporting my children. I was determined, and successful in giving them everything they needed. It was often tough, but I was never in short supply of love from my family, friendship from co-workers, and the support of people I barely knew.
Then, I met a man that would help me. He provided me love, companionship, support, and additional strength. He became a father to two children who didn't know the meaning of the word. He supported me while I went to school - and then having another child.
The past ten years have had their ups and most definitely their downs. But I conquered it all. As this nation grew stronger and more united as a whole - so did I as an individual.
Making a difference was something I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to pass on the strength, wisdom, and courage I learned. I wanted to fulfill my dreams so that I could instill the value of my journey to get there into children....make them believe that anything is possible.
If a nation could do the things it has done since that day - so can they as individuals.
This morning, I felt that unity that was instilled into our country once again. People thinking of, showing support for, and praying for the families affected on that day. Complete strangers to many, yet honored and loved by all.
Complete strangers extending a hand to help.
Even though I couldn't bare to watch the events on TV, they will forever be engrained into my mind - and I will never forget. I will, probably for the rest of my life, take a few moments every year to remember those that lost their lives, remember the troops that jumped to action, remember the families that had their parents, children, brothers, sisters, and grandparents ripped from them.
I will continue to fight for my dreams. I will continue to reach out and help those that need it any way I can. I will continue to show my children the importance of unity and strength. I will continue to spread the message that no matter how bad things get, there will people out there that care and are willing to help.
Today, and forever we remember.
We will never forget.
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