The pain I feel does not take away from the fact that today is just an ordinary day. The thoughts swirling in my head do not take away from the reality of today being just an ordinary day.
April 27, 2011 rained a nightmare on my area with four tornadoes touching down and affecting our lives – that does not even count the tornadoes hitting neighboring communities. I still recall the destruction and the loss, but for most folks that day was nothing to them. They continued on with their lives. It was just an ordinary day.
My pain returned almost a year later when my mother died in March of 2012. I watched the neighborhood around her house. People were mowing. Up the road people were shopping. It was just an ordinary day for them.
I remember. Ask my husband or my children. I have been known to repeat complete conversations to them – with the background scenery and actions included. Remembering has never been much of an issue for me.
So, I remember September 11, 2001. I remember the gut wrenching feelings that wracked my heart and mind. I remember the tears spilling over, out of control. I remember and I make time each year on the anniversary to take time out to remember.
This morning I realized that today is just an ordinary day. I have not forgotten, but today is an ordinary day because I remember every day. I remember every time I see the Twin Towers, the rebuilding, or the memorials. I remember every time I see the Pentagon or hear certain songs. My choice to remember allows today to be an ordinary day.
Several years ago, “Dawn’s Early Light” played during a trip with the kids. I have talked about this radio show before, but it impacted me so much that I never stop sharing. I was not present for the battle. I have never met anyone that was present for the battle. Listening to the re-enactment of the moments that Frances Scott Key painted the imagery for the Star Spangled Banner changed my life, and my vision.
It was an ordinary day, but it became more in the few moments of that show. I remember that imagery every time I hear the National Anthem. I remember every time I attend a flag ceremony.
I choose to remember – that moment in history and so many others that have impacted my life, my nation, and my home – and in holding to that memory and sharing that memory, today becomes an ordinary day.
What is it that I remember? That is simple – the HOPE of a nation.
If you have listened to my radio broadcast or read my writing then you know that finding the seed of hope in all situations is a fundamental part of who I am.
I confess that it was hard to find hope in the aftermath of the tornadoes, or at least in the midst of the storms. It was hard to find hope in the death of my mom, until I thought beyond my own needs and how she was living healed.
It was hard to find hope that September 11, 2001. It seemed too dark for any hope to exist. Each moment when you thought it was as bad as it could get, it got worse, at least it felt and looked that way. Messages began going out that the blood banks were swamped around the country with people coming to donate. People began flocking to churches – one church in the community because on that day we were not as concerned with the denomination written on the door. The nation came together to comfort, to support and to help in whatever way possible.
A hope seed was planted.
Stories continued over the next several days of flights missed, or traffic slowing people down, or flat tires that kept people away from the destruction. More stories came to life of the heroism that reached the highest levels of sacrifice during the attacks, after the attacks, and even to this day.
My heart goes out to those that lost someone on that day of September 11, 2001. My heart pours out to those that have lost someone since. My heart mourns for the loss of my mother and the loss of those in the tornadoes. Loss tends to remember loss, I think.
This morning I made time for pray to cover those experiencing the loss. I pray that the peace that passes all understanding fill them all to overflow so that that can continue to grow in hope. I pray that the memory of the past continues to grow the hope of this nation for the future. I pray that we come together – no matter the name of the denomination on the door, the political background, or the geographic location – to rekindle the comfort, support and help.
May hope become the foundation that will make today just an ordinary day.