Today is one that reminds a lot of us of loss. For me, that loss is compounded by memories of losing my son. This time of year always brings me right back to the night my water broke and I ended up settling into the hospital. I remember the terror on my husbands face. The uncomfortable looks of friends and family as I was brought out of my house and into an ambulance. The fear I felt as I imagined losing my babies. And the worry over how my daughter would react to waking up with her Mommy gone.
On top of these memories today, I also remember the terrifying events of 20 years ago. I was a junior in high school, stumbling through pre-calculus when someone ran in to let us know that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. As we all assumed it was a crazy freak accident, an announcement came over the loud speaker in the whole school, telling us that a second plane had hit.
TV’s were placed in the cafeteria, and the whole school stopped to watch the horror unfold. Some were crying trying to reach family, some were glued to the TV, astonished at the horrible scene in front of us. I remember feeling helpless. Like nothing would be the same. I thought of a friend of mine that was in the Army, knowing he would be going to war now.
The most impactful moment of that day for me, was when I got home from school. Hearing my parents discuss the tragedy was heartbreaking.
So many lives lost.
So many losing husbands, wives, parents and children.
So many first responders risking everything to save a stranger.
Even as a teenager, I have always been an empath. I cried for the people I didn’t know that would be forever changed by that day.
And today, 20 years later, I read and watch the remembrance ceremonies with a feeling of sadness. I remember those lives that were lost, and pray that their families are ok.
Because those left behind after a tragedy will suffer for the rest of their lives. It’s been 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, and almost 7 years since I lost my son, but the pain and sadness doesn’t fade. It comes in waves, sometimes slow and manageable and sometimes crashing over us, making breathing impossible.
Something I read recently said just one breath at a time can get you through the day. Remember the past, but focus on today.
One step. One breath. And then the next.