I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever stop crying openly when I see the images from September 11, 2001.
Part of me wants to. Stop crying, that is. Sometimes the moment is so inopportune. Last year on the 10th, walking up the sidewalk to the front doors of my children’s school, the flag was at half-mast.
It hit me like a punch in the gut.
Another part of me never wants to be so numbed to those events that I don’t cry.
I want it to continue to impact me so strongly, and remind me to be the best person I can be.
This morning, my family gathered together and watched “102 Minutes that Changed America”. As I wept in front of my children, we talked. We talked about where we were, and the fear in our hearts. We talked about the brave men and women who went into those buildings to try to save those trapped inside.
For 102 minutes, my children absorbed the images, and they absorbed my broken heart.
My children came over to comfort me.
Jeep was just over the six-month mark when the attacks happened. Eli & Melissa – not even a thought yet.
It will never be as real to them as it is to those of us who spent hours in front of our televisions. As real as it is to those who cried out as they realized the first tower had fallen. Who stared in horror as the second fell.
It will never be as real to them as it is to those children who lost parents in the tragic events of that day. To the kids who were infants, just like Jeep, or even still waiting to make their entrance into this world, and will never know the love of their daddy, or remember the caress of their mother.
Part of me is grateful that my children do not know that reality. For them, it’s almost like a movie – images on a screen of buildings they never saw. A skyline they never knew, forever changed.
But the rest of me? That part of me is grateful that my children have seen me weep openly over those images. That we’ve talked about the events of that day. That they are aware that it was real. It was not a movie.
Maybe one day, I won’t cry every time.
Today? I’ll cry. And that will be ok.
We will be ok.