I sat down at my keyboard this morning ready to type a lighthearted post. I am pressed for time (what else is new?) and looked down at the clock on my monitor to note it and keep myself to a strict 20 minute limit. Then I saw the date.
And, I completely erased what I had started.
There is nothing lighthearted about being two days away from the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It is a date, 10 years old, that feels like yesterday; the images so clear that I am sure a decade could not have possibly passed.
Seeing the calendar takes me away from this still, quiet room. My mind, instantly, sees the Trade Center with smoke billowing from the sides. It sees faces looking up in terror, thousands of people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and it imagines what it was like to be on one of those planes.
I can’t see a clear blue sky without thinking of that day. I can’t hear planes flying overhead and think nothing of it. That day changed every bit of normal that I ever felt.
I think about these people.
I wonder how to explain to my children that there are people who are, inexplicably, evil, or why they have had three cousins fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of our nephews is over there now. He was the ring bearer in my wedding 14 years ago; young enough to be called a kid…though, undoubtedly, now a man.
I see lives lost, lives changed and I see the world in an entirely different light. A light dimmed by my own skepticism and worry.
Next week, I will come back to this new normal and write again without consideration of the date. I will find humor in the mundane and laughter in the everyday.
But, I will never, ever forget.