This is a special week in our household. We have three birthdays in our immediate family. My oldest son, my youngest son and my husband. My youngest son's birthday is on 9/11. On that fateful year in 2001 my son was turning 11. Needless to say, his birthday has never been the same since.
I wasn't married at the time of the US terrorist strike. I didn't even know my husband then. I was working downtown and my kids were in school. When it was finally determined that what was going on was not by accident, everything begin to shut down. Our office decided to close and I begin to send employees home. One employee had a son in NYC that she could not contact. I had one employee overseas and his pregnant wife was here in the states trying to reach him. My mom was calling me. My dad was calling me. My sister and brothers were all calling making sure that everyone was accounted for and ok. The kids school called to tell me to pick them up. It was utter chaos, but one theme remained constant. FAMILY. That's all that mattered. I didn't care about my job, my car, my bank account, my position, my troubles...NOTHING mattered more to me than getting my kids and getting to my family.
That evening the dust settled and the gravity of what had happened weighed on us. My family and I watched TV together over my mom's house trying to make some sense of it all when it hit us that it was Jay's birthday. He was so sad that something so evil was now associated with the most special day of his life. We got him cake and ice cream but he said his head was hurting and just wanted to go to bed. I was sad that he was upset, but inside as I watched the horror on TV, I was still incredibly grateful for his life and those around me.
Those who were in the room at that time...my kids...my siblings and their kids and my parents..THAT's what really important. FAMILY.
We have to be careful not to put so many things before them...work..church..activities, clubs, hobbies etc..while maintaining balance in your own life. Family needs to know how you feel about them, what you would be willing to do for them and how much they matter.
There are many that grieve this week..and my heart aches for them. The death of their loved one was so selfish and senseless. I pray that they have learned (albeit the hard way) to cherish the family they have left. I pray they (and us) will always know and never forget...what's really important.