When I was a child I had a rather large fear of dying. Not that I would actually die. But the thought of death itself made my stomach in knots and tears flowing freely, as I could not control the terrible feelings that I got. It took a lot of time, faith, and prayers to conquer that terrible feeling.
Tonight, in honor of 9/11 and the ridiculous drama of social media that I’ve seen today; I thought I would take this blog in a direction that challenges myself on a different level.
If I died in an office in the attack of 9/11, my last thoughts would be prayers for my children. I try to pray for them every day anyway. And I pray at times that I get to stay alive to be here for them as they grow. If I had died in an office 19 years ago, I wouldn’t care if you remembered me. I wouldn’t care if you had a moment of silence for me. I would want my children to have grown to be good people who would never forget me. I most likely would not have known there was a terrorist attack. I would just want my family to be happy and loved.
If I had died rushing in to save others in a burning building on 9/11, my children would still come first in my wish for 19 year in to the future. But if I had died, knowing what the attack was, and trying to help others, I wouldn’t want you to take a moment of silence today. I would want you to stand up today. I would want you to walk around your life with love for others and trying to help others whenever you can. I wouldn’t be here to save anyone, like I was trying to do that day. And I would want others to use thoughts of me to inspire them to carry on the privilege of serving others.
If I had died in last moments of courage, knowing that what I was doing was going to kill me, but save others from another deadly attack with an airplane, I would want my kids to know how much I loved them and that doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. I would trade in a moment of silence once a year for a moment of inspiration day to day to do the right thing, even when the cost is everything you have.
I know everyone is different. I know others would want a moment of silence. I wouldn’t. I’d be content that evil was addressed in the days, weeks, months, and years after the attacks. But I’d be sad that more had to die.
Nineteen years later, I wouldn’t want people attacking each other on how to remember me. I wouldn’t want people arguing about how to teach what happened. I wouldn’t want to be compared, as a number, to other deaths from other things going on in the world. My death shouldn’t be a comparison tool or a negotiating weapon.
Nineteen years later, my children would be grown, the rubble removed, the bad guys killed, and my life showcased in my family’s photo albums. Nineteen years later I wouldn’t want my sacrifice from that day to breed hate among strangers. Nineteen years later if I was remember, I would want to inspire someone who is living now. You wouldn’t be able to change what happened to me. You would only be able to change what is happening to you. I would want you to live brave and free, loving your neighbor; because I no longer could do those things here on Earth.
Tonight I am thankful for life. I am thankful for the brave ones. I am thankful for the quiet ones. I am thankful for the moments that are ordinary and the moments that are extraordinary. I remember those from 9/11 with love and dignity. And I hope our lives are something they are watching with hope and pride and love. I hope they smile ❤