Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Spread the Love

I'm sitting here, trying to get back to the job-searching-settling-in grind, but it's thunderstorming and dark and dreary and there are two sleepy puppies on my bed. So I have a special post for you, because today is a special day, and also because I hate storms and need to get my mind off of it. I moved to the wrong state for someone who hates storms, right? Hah.

12 years ago today, the importance of not taking people for granted was made very aware to me. I was sitting in Mrs. Benninger's 8th grade reading class doing partner work with Lauren Ann, when my usually very composed guidance counselor came in looking all frazzled. My mom was waiting in the guidance office, where they both told me that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings in NYC. My mom didn't want me to be worried if I remembered that my uncle worked there. She said he was out of the building the last she had heard.

They really tried to downplay the situation for my sake. But as the school day went on, announcements were made about terrorist attacks. The teachers were told to keep the TVs off. Some teachers updated us on the news when they got back from their lunch breaks. The towers were collapsing, people were stuck in the city, and I had no clue what was going on.

Long story short, I spent the day freaking out, wondering where my uncle was and if he had made it out. When I got home, I finally saw the news. Seeing pictures of the towers haunt me to this day. I hate it. Seeing people jump out, people running from the scene as the buildings were coming down, the flood of people walking across the bridges to get out of the city. My uncle ended up being one of those people. I remember standing on my sidewalk with people, talking about how eerie the lack of air traffic noise was. We live right next to Philly, so we always hear and see the planes coming in and out. My uncle got to our house as we were standing out there. He worked on one of the top floors of the first building, but he had gone down to a lower floor to get a muffin... Most random thing ever. Was it fate? God's will? Pure coincidence? I don't know what you believe in, but... a muffin. Yes.

Every year I tell people this story, because it's important. Whenever I say goodbye to people, I always keep in mind that it could be the last time I see them. People tell me I'm morbid when I say this, and maybe I am, but ever since 9/11, that is how I think. You never know when you are going to lose someone. So even if you're one of those people who thinks 9/11 is a government conspiracy, take a minute to let the people you love know how you feel.

This week is also Suicide Prevention Week. Let this day and this week be a reminder to you to do your part to make the world a better place. Just one smile or kind word can completely turn someone's day around, so do your part and spread the love to EVERYONE, even those you don't know.  :)

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