Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Re-Post: What 9/11 Means to Me

Today, in honor of my daughter Lucy's 7th birthday, I'm re-publishing this post I wrote two years ago, when she turned five. She will get a new birthday post too, but I think this one is a good reminder that there is more to today than tragic memories.

Yes, I remember what I was doing 10 years ago today. I was home with my new baby; Bethany was not yet a month old. Chris was at work and called to tell me to put the news on. As I was on the phone with him, I watched as the second tower was hit. It was a scary time to be an American. I remember feeling shocked and violated. I remember my heart breaking for all those who were missing or dead and their grieving families. But although I was sad as I sat watching the never-ending news coverage, nothing could take away the joy and wonderment of being a new mother.

I also remember what I was doing five years ago today. I was giving birth to my beautiful girl, Lucille Margaret. I was introducing Bethany and Connor to their brand new baby sister. I was stressing and feeling guilty because I was going to be missing Connor's first day of preschool the next day. I was feeling overwhelmed and overjoyed, because the two can definitely co-exist in the very same moment. I was holding my precious baby and trying to believe she was really mine.

When I tell anyone Lucy's birth date, the response I get is usually one of sympathy - such a sad day to have a birthday! But to me, September 11th is a day representing the introduction of Lucy into our lives. It is a happy day in our family. Because Lucy deserves that. Celebrating our daughter's birth on September 11th doesn't take away any of the horrors of that day 10 years ago. But it is a reminder that life goes on, life continues to be beautiful, and that our blessings in life are never ending.

Today I will bake a birthday cake and welcome guests into my home to celebrate Lucy's 5th birthday. I will wrap presents and sing "Happy Birthday". I will hug Lucy tight, kiss her sweet cheeks, and cherish her. I will quietly remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001, but I won't let that memory diminish the joy of Lucy's special day.

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