Today, shortly after I got the girls home from school, Ava told me that September 11th always makes her teary. When I asked her to tell me more, she said "...because this day makes me realize I came close to never existing." Not quite what you think is going to come out of your 11-year-old's mouth.
I've never framed it that way. It about knocked me over. Gut punch.
She went on to share that I could have died that day, and dad could have died in the war that followed (and, in reality, it's a divine miracle he didn't). I was never in danger, but somehow explaining to her that I was on the other side of an island she's never been to is hard to grasp.
Our children experience our stories in ways we never will. They need to hear them; may we realize this and share honestly and passionately.
18 years ago, I was 18. I watched the smoke, I watched the long lines at the Red Cross, I watched the fire trucks drive south, and I watched hundreds of strangers walk north, some hand-in-hand.
Now half my life was before, and half is after. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. I'm not sure why, but the thing I remember most is the blue sky.