10 years

Ten years ago tonight…

My friend Stephen and I walked down to the Twin Towers. He knew I was obsessed with them. He knew how their energy had been calling to me for years before I moved here. And he knew how all I had to do was look down 5th Avenue and see the Towers standing over everything to feel safe. To me, it felt like they were protecting the city and everyone who lived here.

No one else was there that night. I stood where the Towers began, leaning way back to see all the way up. We wanted to go to the observation deck at the top of the South Tower, but it was closed. So we made plans to go on Tuesday.

Tuesday was September 11, 2001.

Time was the only thing that saved us.

Stephen has come back to New York almost every 9.11 since. We always walk down to Ground Zero. We always get as close as possible to the Tribute in Light. It’s our way of remembering. We were there last year:

Stephen Venters and Susane Colasanti at the Tribute in Light, 9.11.10

I was teaching on September 11, 2001. But Stephen went down to the Towers to help. He was down there for a few days. There’s even a picture of him in Time magazine looking at the wreckage, the only person not in uniform, surrounded by firefighters. He said that, in a way, I was with him at the top after all.

People knew we had plans to go to the observation deck that evening. They asked me why we didn’t go. I said, “Because it wasn’t there anymore.”

Every single one of us has things that have been taken away. We’re all dealing with our own unique set of loss. We can’t ever get those people or chances or treasures back. But what we can do is reach out to the people who are here. We can help make the world a better place. We can try to bring out the positive side of negative situations. And we can keep holding on to hope.

No matter how hard this life thing gets, no matter how much we want to give up, we can’t. We have to keep going. We owe it to the people who aren’t with us anymore. They no longer have an opportunity to turn their dreams into reality. But we do.

So take it. Take this chance to create the life you want to be living. This is your time.

It’s time.

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23 thoughts on “10 years

  1. Wow. That just gives me the CHILLS reading that. Timing really is everything. I was so little when 9-11 happened, and I’m glad that I don’t have to remember that depressing day. So many innocent people who died. Time kept you from those twin towers. Thank god. You are so aspiring and that post really touched me. Love you, Natalie (from Philly) xoxoxo =)

  2. My sister and I had visited New York City for the first time the summer of 2001. The Twin Towers were one of the tourist spots that we went to see. So sad that a couple months later they would be gone.

    Thanks for sharing your message of holding on to hope and not giving up. It’s a good message to remember.

        • Meg Cabot’s blog is one of the few I read regularly. I read that post last year and at least one other year before. Such a powerful experience. Thanks for sharing!

          No, I was definitely NOT the positive person I am now. Every day of my teen life was the Worst Day Ever. I was miserable and very pessimistic about life. But then my real life started when I went off to college, and that was my chance to become the person I’d always wanted to be. I hated being negative and depressed – it’s just what happened while I was surviving the worst time of my life. Now I’m thankful for everything the Universe has helped me make happen. I practice creative visualization every day to shape my ideal life (which is always a work in progress). The worst time of my life is behind me. And that makes me very happy!

  3. Today in school, we have shortened classes, because we are spending extra time in Homeroom, to make Pinwheels for Peace in honor of the 11th. Even the fleeting thought of this day breaks my heart. I’m glad time saved you, friendly neighbor.

    • Pinwheels for Peace! I think I saw a display of them in a garden this summer (or else it was a different collection of pinwheels). It’s cool you guys are doing that. They’re like a big bunch of warm fuzzies 🙂

  4. Wow! Such a brush with fate. I too am a teacher. I spent September 12th educating students about this historical event. I live in Washington state so NY seemed like a world away to them. Now I can’t start school without being reminded of this day and revisiting it. I can’t believe how quickly it is too far behind for the new students to remember first hand. Each year they are “younger.” This year’s sophomores were in kindergarden on that fateful day. I will tell them the story and try to make an impact on their memory. I feel like it is my responsibliity to tell the story so they will NEVER FORGET.

    My heart goes out to all those who were first hand affected. It is such a defining moment in our country’s history. Thank you so much for sharing YOUR story. I will share this one too.

  5. Gosh! What a moving post! I just finsihed my day using the interactive timeline to teach my 8th graders who were maybe 3 or 4 in 2001. My son, Creighton, 7 years old, taught his 2nd grade class about 9/11 today. His teacher shared some pictures of him teaching and now I can’t stop smiling. 🙂 I’m glad that time was on your side, but I will forever remember those who gave everything each and every year I teach about that September day. Thank you for sharing this personal memory with the world.

  6. I cry every time something about this day is on the news…i think i always will but the only thing we can do is remember and move on right?…

  7. Dear Susane,
    Was thinking of you all day. Love your message: very powerful and true words. All we can do is live now, connect, and make this world a better place. And keep moving on. It was a quiet night in the hospital last night. As if the world stopped to remember.
    Lai

    • Laila! It was eerily quiet here, too. New York just shut down. Would you believe that there was no line at John’s pizza AND most of the tables were empty? Everyone was a bit freaked out, I think. And yes, every face I saw was struggling, remembering.

  8. I just read your post after previously reading Meg Cabot’s Post on 9/11 on her blog. I was a little overwhelmed with both of your amazing stories. They made me cry!! Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s unbelievable and heart wrenching! At least for me it is. It makes me realize that you do need to live in the moment with no regrets. So thank you! For everything!! I know good will come from your words!

  9. Pingback: we will never forget | Susane Colasanti – Blog

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