Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Life is An Oprah Episode - Reflection

September 11, 2001....ten years ago today.  Our Facebook and other social media pages, TV, Radio and all media is flooded with images and remembrances of that day that shook us to our core, and changed how we felt about our world, forever. The event left us all questioning our future freedom, and left us with a resolve to rise above the insidious notion that terrorists can take away our spirit. 

I don't think anything I write tonight will be of a profound nature, nor write anything that has not be said or written about:  this tragedy that we have all experienced.  But, what I choose to write is about how we all have made promises we often make after a tragedy; of how we all feel we've had a wake up call and decide to live our life -- not only better -- but with more intention.  To live more in the moment and to experience less regret.

Therapists say that when either witnessing or experiencing traumatic events, our memory of that event is more vivid that happier, joyful events.  Why?  Probably because the event has left an indelible fear of the possibility of another occurrence, and that can keep us emotionally frozen.  The safety net that I, and so many others have, is that we really are all in this together,  and with that comes the hope and optimism that we are going to be alright in the end.

We have all felt the sense of loss with those that perished that terrible day.  It is a reminder to those of us who have lost loved ones, of the void and the hole in our hearts that remain.  Although I wrote about loss and grief in an earlier blog, my thoughts now are centered on how we move forward with our lives, holding our lost loved ones close by and somehow want everything we do to be with their approval.  I know that whenever I am in New York, I can not go to lower Manhattan without  feeling a pit in my stomach that I will be overcome with emotion as I see reminders all around me of the WTC.  I spent so much time there over the years. I flew to New York two weeks after September 11, and it was a surreal experience.  Beginning with the silence at the airports, so eerily unfamiliar, and then to see so many National Guardsmen patrolling the streets of the city, still so quiet even with thousands walking around.  We decided to get out of the city on the Sunday of my visit, to upstate New York, and as we passed through small towns and hamlets about fifty (50) miles north of Manhattan, we ran into many funerals being held for  many of the firefighters, who had given their lives, that made their homes in those small towns.  So unnerving, so profoundly sad.  I think, I, not unlike so many other New Yorkers, were frayed at the edges.

Have we lived each day being kinder?  I know that I'm a work in progress.  How many of us are following our heart....each and every day?  Not only telling people we love that we love them, but also modeling behavior that is an indication that we are trying to live our life with joy and happiness.  We tell ourselves that life is so short and seem to forget that until the next reminder....the next loss we have to deal with.

When my sister, Ann, passed away some years ago, I vowed to live my life without regret.  Because, I regret that I put off going to Los Angeles for just two days due to a business meeting that was scheduled.  I knew she was in serious condition, but, only expected  her to have a long recovery, not succumb in a matter of days.  I am flooded with emotion whenever I am in Los Angeles for a visit and cannot attend the church where she had her funeral without being in tears throughout the Mass.  And, for the longest time, I would not buy cherry-flavored Swedish fish, her favorite candy...I do not remember a time when she did not have them in her pockets.  The past cannot be changed, so having any regret is pointless.

As the evening draws toward closing , the TV tributes wind down, as the remembrances remain fresh in our minds, I am once again drawn to the possibilities awaiting all of us.  A reminder that each day brings a fresh start; a chance to begin again.

for Annie:

When you're weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment