As I walked out the door after work today, my first impulse was to look up at the sky. The weather was pristine, September sun lower in the sky than this time two months’ earlier, and refreshing air, distinctively void of any saturation of humidity. I got in our Honda Odyssey, and I looked up at the sky once again…a comtrail behind a silver reflection of a commercial airliner was in view. How innocent…how naive we were on this night 11 years ago. Eleven years ago this sighting was commonplace. Little did I know…
In the documentary made by Jules and Gideon Naudet, as well as NYFD firefighter, James Hanlon, covering the journey of a “probie” in the New York City Fire Department, they show the firefighters on September 10, 2001 eating chow, bustin’ chops, putting in the flag after nightfall, and you hear the voice of the documentarian, Jules Naudet say, “little did we know…”
It’s as if the whole world would be different in a matter of hours…little did we know.
I don’t know if I remember the night before. I did not notice the weather. I did not notice comtrails in the sky behind gleaming airliners. I knew my mother was working the election polls in the morning…but I did not know that this was also the waning of my relationship with my mother B. A. (before Alzheimer’s). I knew in three weeks I’d be flying to San Diego from Cleveland…no biggie…I had made the trip without a hitch that July. Little did I know…
And here we are, eleven years later, and I ask myself,
“What am I taking for granted today? What do I need to do or say today, as I have no idea if tomorrow will afford me the opportunity? What are my eyes not seeing today in the frantic pace of life? What different decisions and choices would I make today…if I knew?”
On the eve of September 11, I am solemn and thoughtful, as I realize how fragile the life and freedom we have at this moment truly is…and how it is but a whisper.
More to come…check in tomorrow as I reflect on the day…be thinking about where you were on September 11, 2001.
We must embrace the pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.