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:
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.