Before that day, what were you grateful for?

The words from last year, still resonate:


August, 2001Lake Michigan

A baby grows in my belly

A sand dune, and lots of wind.

My legs are tired – my boys are calling down to me to come up to the top

The baby is pushing up against my lungs; I just want to sit

I climb, and meet them, my husband pulls me up.

The boys are are ecstatic

We watch a pink sunset on the lake

My son blows into the horizon, believing he is blowing out the light of the sun; as if it were a candle

I grab his hand, but do not say what I’m thinking; my sadness for his upcoming first day of kindergarten

I wish the sun would stop; to save this day. To keep us here together.

God, I love this family. God, I love these boys.

September 11, 2001

In the car, driving my son to preschool, my cell phone rings.  I said, “No, you’re wrong. I’ve known since 5th grade that our Pentagon is secure”

“Satellite systems circle our borders”

“We are the country of hard-working true-blooded Americans. Don’t you see our cornfields?”

My friend’s friend is missing. She was talking to her Dad; they were disconnected. I forget her floor number.

Aaron Brown, on CNN. In the background, the sky of New York is dark, yet is full of twinkling embers from the day’s tragedy. He stops talking. The only sound is Enya, Fallen Embers.

September 19, 2001

My heart aches

I pick up our photos at the store from Lake Michigan. I think of the sunset, the sand dunes, and the lake

In this picture, the sky is not yet pierced by evil

I remember that night when I wanted time to stop; We did have it all… and we didn’t even know it.

I wish I had been grateful for our freedom, that day too.

I wish I had been grateful for our safety.

I wish I had been grateful for my country.

No, I didn’t think of those things. I took those things for granted.

My children will never know the safety I once felt in this country.

What do you wish you had been grateful for?

Once, as my heart remember,
all the stars were fallen embers.

From Enya’s Fallen Embers

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11 comments on “Before that day, what were you grateful for?
  1. Still makes me ache too. I do remember the weekend before – Zack was a baby and had slept well. I felt great and the world seemed so right.

    I try to remember that; I want it back.

  2. This was beautifully written. And that photo is so gorgeous.

    I was six months’ pregnant with Jack, and I remember thinking, Why would anyone want to bring a baby into this world?

  3. Yet another beautiful post.
    I was 4 months pregnant with my older one. We had been up all night watching the news. And we were frantically calling up my Uncle who lived in D.C.

  4. We’d just signed our first lease together and I was about to start a new job. I was west coast bound from Logan later that morning, we found out en route. My employer called several days later to inquire if I was alive. I was wracked with survivor guilt for weeks after.

    This was a beautiful entry. You should have no guilt for not being grateful back then, just blessed that you carried three boys with a light spirit.

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