Like so many millions today, I am reflecting on how proud I am to be an American. Don't get me wrong, I get my $5 Old Navy shirt every year and wear it for July 4th...and then Labor Day...and often other times throughout the summer. I watch the Today show every morning and see the soldiers fighting for their lives so that we may have peace and freedom and lives to live. But on this day in particular, I pause to reflect even more. I sit up and pay even more attention than usual.
10 years ago, I was single. I was in my first apartment. I had just brought Zoe home to live with me. I was working in Center City Philadelphia at a PBS affiliate. I remember when the towers got hit and I remember when they fell. I remember the police escort I had to the train station so that I could get home. I remember panicking because my brother lived in Manhattan and I remember the relief I felt when I realized he was in New Mexico visiting an old friend. I remember the tears and the sorrow and the knowledge that life as I knew it would never be the same.
10 years later, I woke up next to my husband on September 11th. In the house that we own. Zoe was at the foot on the bed, as she always is. I turned on the TV before I even got out of bed to watch the coverage on the news. I saw the Presidents (past and present) pay their respects to the Fallen. I got the familiar lump in my chest and felt the same sorrow as I had a decade ago.
A few hours later, we left for Gary's third 5k. He started running when Allie died as way to honor her - to do something for her and for him. To make her proud. To have a goal and to meet it. Today's run was a very special one. It was a 9/11 Heroes Run and there were more than 50 races across the world. They created a team at work and Gary invited his brother to run it with him as well. And our dear friend who trains with Gary weekly.
Upon arriving at the race, you could feel the excitement in the air. There was a sense of pride that was palpable. We are still here, stronger than ever and we are not going to be defeated. And if that is not a motto that defines Gary and me, than I do not know what is!!
Gary finished in record time and the whole team thrived. I was so proud, standing at the finish line, taking pictures and cheering them all on.
We are survivors...all of you out there reading this blog who have also lost their babies far too soon...we are strong and we will not be defeated. Mark my words. Whether you write (like me), run (like Gary) or do something completely different, you fight each and every day. We, too, will never forget. And we are still here and will keep remembering. Each and every day of our lives.
|Just about to cross the finish line|
|Best Team EVER!|