My parents’ generation knows exactly where they were when they heard the news that President Kennedy was shot. My generation also has a worldview-altering moment: when we heard terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center.
I had just taken Reed, age 6, to school that morning and stopped on the way to pick up fresh flowers for a friend’s birthday. I walked him to his Kindergarten class, set the flowers on my friend’s desk, said my hey’s and good morning’s to teachers and other parents and started my drive back home. Jase was home with Cole, age 3, who had shown signs of the chicken pox the night before. I would have normally gone to my job at The Woman's Clinic that day but, after seeing the spots on Cole that Monday night, called my boss and told him I would be staying home with my little boy who would surely be sick the next day. A normal morning with normal errands and normal challenges.
My mom called me while I was in the car. I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. I turned into my driveway and ran into the house to see if I could find out more about the horrific plane accident on the news. As Jase and I watched the next few minutes unfold, we had two different reactions: I started crying and Jase became visibly angry. He left the house for Duck Commander (still located at his parents’ house) because he couldn’t bare to watch after the first tower fell. I sat on the end of my coffee table and watched Shepherd Smith for hours. Cole, who was earlier vaccinated for chicken pox, fortunately never showed any signs of feeling bad. He played and napped normally while the world seemed like it was collapsing.
I don’t remember picking up Reed that day from school. I don’t remember cooking dinner or putting the boys to bed that night. I just remember my shock, sadness and eventual anger.
Exactly two years later, 9/11/03, I was at my prenatal appointment, pregnant with a baby girl who we knew would be born with physical challenges, the extent we were unsure. I was having my own physical challenges, severe enough that my doctor wanted to admit me ASAP and deliver the baby. It’s a somber day of remembrance. It still felt like yesterday. I worked with most of these healthcare workers for years, including my doctor. We all stole as many moments as we could to catch glimpses on the waiting room TV’s during those horrific hours, days and weeks after 9/11, all while doing our jobs, all while grieving for our fellow Americans, all while trying to figure out what the future of America even looked like for us and our children.
I begged my doctor, if at all possible, to let me wait until the next day to deliver Mia. Please don’t let her have a 9/11 birthday. She already has such obstacles to overcome. I won that battle with the compromise of being watched closely in an effort to wait just a few more hours before giving birth. At that time to me, 9/11 meant death, grief, sadness, a heaviness, an anger I couldn’t even fathom moving on from, even two years later. But the next day, 9/12/03, was coming. Hope was on its way. The sun was destined to rise again. That next day brought to me and Jase a new life, beauty, sweetness, unity and tears of joy. It also brought new challenges and fears, ones we would face together. Hope!
Make no mistake: 9/11 happened because evil exists. It’s not a gray area. Evil doesn’t have good days or moments of kindness. Evil IS “businesslike”. Its business is to steal, kill and destroy in whatever way it deems necessary!
Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy (9/11); I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (9/12) .” (My additions in parenthesis)
We remember and pray for the families of the 2,977 innocent people who were murdered 20 years ago by evildoers. Most of us saw those murders in real time, and we will NEVER forget it.
When we wake tomorrow, we will mourn. We are all 9/11 families because it effected all of us in some way. But 9/12 is coming. Sunday we celebrate new life because we have hope. We celebrate Jesus, who MAKES life. With Jesus, life doesn’t end with the last heartbeat! Life is forever. Jesus is forever. Jesus is our hope.
Don’t let the business of evil cause you to live in fear. With Jesus, we are conquerors!
Where were you on 9/11?
More importantly, where will you be on 9/12?