13 years ago but it only seems like yesterday to many of us. A day where we always remember where we were and what we were doing when the news reached us. News that a plane had hit the World Trades building in NYC. An accident? Didn’t a plane hit the Empire State building back in the 30s or 40s? I couldn’t remember. Then it sunk into our minds, this wasn’t an accident. This was the horrible, sick feeling my parents had felt when they had heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A feeling I was being sucked into a black abyss. Helpless and afraid.
I was living in Richmond Virginia, my husband was back in Alabama. Our daughter was active duty in Montana. We were scattered all over the country and there was nothing I could do about it, not a good feeling for a wife or mother. I reached for my phone and called my husband. All I could say was, “Turn on the TV! Turn on the TV!” Having him on the phone was a small comfort, as we watched the second plane hit and the first tower fall. When we ended our conversation saying that we loved each other and we would talk later that evening, all I could think about was all the wives and husbands that never had that chance that morning.
My mother had always told me that you always say good-bye when you are leaving someone, even for just a quick trip to the corner store. Always give them a hug, a kiss or tell them you love them, just in case. I always tried to do what she had said, although in the back of my mind I would think, I’m just going down the street. I’m just going to work. I’m just…. I never knew just how true that was until 09/11/01. All those people who on that morning, were just doing something that they perhaps did every single morning of their lives. Now they were gone. Never again having that last chance to give a hug, a kiss or tell someone they loved them.
There is so much I could say today about this day in our history. About the men and women that lost their lives, the families they left behind, the ones that searched ground zero and are now ill from the air they breathed in the weeks that followed. I’m pretty sure there is nothing I could say that hasn’t been said before and is being said as I type.
I just wanted to remind people of the words my mother spoke to me so many years ago. Always take the time to give a hug or a kiss to your loved one every chance you get. If you are only parting for a short time, give that loved one a hug and or a kiss. Make sure you tell them you love them. You never know if you will get that chance again. Let the last thing they remember is your loving act and words. Know that before you take your last breath, the last thing you said or did, was kind and loving.