We are Writing Our Own Memorials Each and Every Day
I can best honor those who were lost by living my life to it's fullest, and not be consumed by anger, anxiety, or depression.
This week, as we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the media will have endless documentaries about the massive terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and of the passengers that tried to take control of a plane that crashed into a field to prevent it from reaching its intended target in Washington D.C..
Despite the raw emotions I feel each and every time I hear about that day, I want to try to focus on the 2,996 casualties and the wonderful memorials of those that were lost as the tenth anniversary draws closer. So many people were murdered that day, that if I were to read just one obituary per day, it would take more than eight-years to read all the memorials. I can best honor those who were lost by living my life to it's fullest, and not be consumed by anger, anxiety, or depression over the attacks.
Then and now, I live and work figuratively in the shadow of the World Trade Center. The towers were not only a familiar landmark, but where friends, family, neighbors, and employers worked. Whenever a boy I cared for in the 1990's and I used to take walks we would point at the two towers. I would say, "Your mother and my brother work in the 11," and he would point at the 11 to show me he understood this is where his mother and my brother worked. (Eleven being the shorthand for the two towers).
In the months after that horrific day, as identities of those that were murdered were confirmed, local newspapers published heartfelt tributes and obituaries from family, friends, and colleagues. The memorials typically shared sentiments such as, "He was the greatest father, the most caring husband, and worlds nicest person," or "She was the best mother and daughter and the most giving person you could ever meet." Currently, when my charges visit their mother who works in a building on ground zero, (the spot where the World Trade Center and surrounding building were destroyed), they read lovely tributes and memorials in the building as well.
It is very hard to take any positive lessons from the memories of that day. But, a pivotal moment for me was when a childhood friend who lost her high school sweetheart, husband, and the father of her children on 9/11 said that being angry and anxious is a waste time. She explained that she just wants her kids growing up knowing they had a wonderful father. When she said that I finally realized it was time to focus on the wonderful memories of those lost, rather than being consumed by anger.
I hope in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks I can honor those who lives were lost by remembering that each day, in my personal life and working life, I am writing my future memorial. Each and every day I greatly affect the children I am helping raise working as a nanny. I want to share a loving and positive attitude with my charges. I hope that in 10-years, (and at a much later date in my obituary), my employers and charges can say, with only the slightest bit of hyperbole, "She was the best nanny in the world."
Where were you and what were you doing when you first heard the Twin Towers had been attacked?