10 years. A lot can happen in 10 years. Children are born, they grow, teenagers become adults, culture changes — the world changes, and we change with it. Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, the tragic day that thousands lives were cut short, and millions of lives were changed forever. I went on to CNN.com and watched some of the remembrance ceremony down at Ground Zero around 11:00 am. They were reading through the list of names of those who died, and had just reached the end of the M section. It was pretty staggering to hear.
I’m going to keep this short — there are so many things one can say about this milestone, so many different aspects one can see and emotions one can feel, but let me simply say that as much as things can change in 10 years, some things, like birthdays, stay the same. Yesterday also happened to be a friend of mine’s birthday. We’re not super close. I see her about twice a year, but I still feel close enough to write on her wall and let her know I appreciate and cherish her presence in my life. And so I opened a new tab and logged onto Facebook, the names still sounding via CNN.com, found the profile, and wrote:
Happy Birthday Darling! *Still* need to throw that vegan dinner party w/you – I’ve been mentally planning a menu and every time I think about it, it gets more extravagant. We’re going to need to rent out the Oak Room if we don’t do it soon. In any case, hope you’re having a fabulous day – cheers to you! Glad you were born.=)
After I wrote it I immediately questioned my choice of words, my usage of the cyber smiley-face, thinking that it could be viewed as irreverent. How can a day so historically tragic be fabulous for anyone?
But I figure, it’s still her birthday, and she still deserves to have the world (her world) celebrate that fact that she was born on that day twenty-some years ago. After all, isn’t it best to honor those we’ve lost by cherishing the life we still have, by not taking a single breath for granted? I contemplated, for a moment, deleting my post, revising it, and reposting something a little less…jaunty. In the end I decided against it, for the reasons above. I decided that the only way I could legitimately honor those lives that were cut so drastically short that day, would be to live mine without fear. Fear of change, fear of disaster — letting either of those master me would be a bit of an insult to their memory, I would think.
So yesterday I got up, went for a run with my guest who was visiting for the weekend, explored some new territory, made some chai and some oatmeal, and took a trip to Jackson Heights for some out-of-this-world Indian food. I did not go downtown. I did not see the beams of light that pierced the night sky above Ground Zero. I carried on in a fairly normal manner. I checked the happenings of Fashion Week on Twitter. I checked Facebook to see what was happening in my social circles. I took my guest to midtown and put her on a Megaus back to Boston, and then went home and did my laundry, made my lunch for the week, and watched Tangled while I edited some photos. And I resolved to live without fear. Life is much too short to not live the life of which you dream.
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