Pausing to Remember

On September 10, 2001 Nancy and I flew home safely past the Statue of Liberty to land in Newark. Were returning from visiting family in California and I looked forward to getting back to our normal schedule.

The next morning I got up and went back to work. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was mowing the big lawn behind one house where I had worked for many years. When I noticed the owner’s wife walking down the hill from the house I was quite surprised as she rarely walked around the grounds.

So I turned off my big mower and went up to see what she needed. “Hi Radica. What can I do for you?” I asked as I got off the seat of the lawn tractor to greet her.

She looked blankly up at me as she responded, “An airplane flew into the World trade Center and the towers just fell down.”

“Are you sure?” I asked incredulously. “They’re so big. I can’t believe it.”

“That’s what they are saying on the news.” she answered softly. “I’ve got to get back to the house and see what is going on.”

At first I just went down tot he truck and turned on my radio to double check that she understood everything correctly because the idea that anything so big could fall over seemed unreal. But I was stunned with the reports I heard as I tuned into the local radio station. Everything she had said was true: and more. A few minutes later I meekly knocked on her door and asked if I could watch with her. It felt as if our life was about to end and that everything we had been so concerned about the previous hour didn’t matter at all. There we sat together listening as new and terrible reports came in of other planes being hijacked and burning buildings. Nothing made any sense but somehow I finally excused myself as she watched with tears running down her face and I put my tools away to go home to my family.

This is exactly where I was that day

How little did Nancy and I know when we woke that morning that we would be spared while others would never be able to go home. Now 19 years later as I am looking back at that day it still doesn’t seem real. It still doesn’t make sense. But I have learned that in a life often filled with terrible things that don’t make sense to always be thankful for every one of God’s smallest blessings and that as He gives us ability we should always be ready to serve in every way He gives.

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