Where were you seven years ago today?
Where were you when you heard?
I remember opening my AOL e-mail and seeing a picture of the first hit of the twin towers. At that moment, the media assumed it was an accident, but something didn't feel right.
I switched on the TV and called my mother, who lives in NYC. She hadn't heard anything. I told her to turn on her TV. When she did, she said there had been a second hit.
No accident. I begged her to stay put and leave the TV on. I told her that I loved her, and I hung up.
After the buildings collapsed, too short a time later, I tried calling her again, but I would not be able to reach her for another two days.
I reached D. and asked him to come home. He wanted to wait for more news reports to come in. Fifteen minutes later, he called back to say the office was emptying out and he was on his way home.
C was homeschooling, so he was home with me. I wasn't one of the hundreds of thousands of parents that day scrambling to pick up their children from schools or daycare.
We checked the supplies in our tornado shelter area. I tried to keep C occupied, but still keep up with the news.
I became the same sleepless zombie that so many of us were during those first few days. News became my food, my sleep, my friend, my family, my lover.
It was not healthy.
Slowly, reports came in about friends and family in New York.
I was exceedingly lucky - I lost no one. But virtually every person I knew from home had lost someone - a mother, a brother, a friend of the family, a friend of a friend, the grandmother of an acquaintance, their son's preschool classmate's father.
The shock waves went on and on.
Ironically, the person I knew who had the closest loss to me was a woman I knew in Ann Arbor. She lost her son that day, and his three children and his wife lost their father and husband.
The loss to police and firefighting companies was beyond imagining.
The sad stories seemed to (and still do) go on and on.
So, on this day of remembrance, take a moment to hug someone you love, call someone you care about, be just a bit kinder or more patient when you might not have been otherwise.
Counteract this horror, this act of extraordinary violence and hate, by trying to do something nice for the world.
Let's try to tip the scales back towards healing and love.