I hate this day. I might even hate it more than I hate tomorrow.
It makes me uncomfortable, anxious and sick-to-my-stomach.
But, it wasn’t until last year, after reading a meme going around Facebook and Instagram, that I completely understood why it made me feel the way I do.
“At this moment 13 years ago, millions of Americans went to bed quietly, with no thought that the next morning their world would change forever.
That night hundreds packed flight bags they would not live to open. Thousands slept with loved ones for the last time. One never knows what a new day has in store.
Let us live each day to the fullest, and never miss a chance to let those dearest to us know of our love for them.
So TONIGHT if you have someone in your life that you love, tell them …”
I cannot get through that without my tears forming in my eyes.
Fourteen years ago today I was a college senior whose biggest problem in the world was getting her local greek interest group installed by a national sorority that upcoming weekend. It was making sure our leadership consultant from that sorority was taken care of well. It was making sure I was putting out a quality first issue of the college newspaper I was the editor of. It was about making plans to see the boy from a summer internship that I very much liked. It was about applying for jobs after I graduated. It was about reconnecting with everyone after getting back from summer break.
Then Sept. 11, happened and everything changed.
I couldn’t sleep well last night and didn’t realize why. Then, after waking up at 5:15 a.m. for the fourth time, I looked at the date, Sept. 10, and I cried. Then I started to write.
None of us knew what the next day would mean for all of us, or the world.
I did not lose a loved one on that day. In fact, all I did was tell the stories of those who survived and then in subsequent years, told the stories of those who did lose someone close to them. The story of a widow in Brick, N.J. who wrote a book to deal with her grief. The story of a Mom who lost her son fighting the “war on terror” in Iraq, prompted by Sept. 11. A high school friend who lost her brother in the World Trade Center that day.
But, their stories, they have always stuck with me. Like, listening to that widow tell me how tough it was to look at her husband’s toothbrush every morning. I can’t imagine what they go through on this day.
It all seems surreal. It makes me tense.
Did this all really happen 14 years ago tomorrow?
What if we knew something with such ever-lasting tragedy would happen tomorrow? Would it change the way we live today? Would we leave that dead-end job? Would we take that vacation to Europe? Would we let love into our life instead of being scared? Would we be just a little nicer to each other?
I hate this day.