Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Rememberance and my Faith

10 years ago on this date, I woke up and got dressed for school while witnessing the horrible events on the TV. On this date 10 years ago my parents had to force me, tears rolling down my face, into the car and off to school. 10 years ago today my grand parents were in New York City scheduled for a 8:45 am tour of the twin towers. After watching planes hit and fire and smoke flow out of those buildings we feared the worst, but there was no way to get a call through to their cell phones.

Around 3 pm PST, we received an email. Despite going to bed early the night before and being beyond thrilled for the tour, my grandparents overslept on the morning of September 11, 2001. They ultimately decided to skip their tour and 20 minutes after getting out of bed, at 9:02 EST, my grandfather was looking out the window to see the second plane hit at 9:03am EST.

Before that email, I spent most of the day knowing my grandparents were scheduled for that tour. 10 years ago today, I spent a whole day thinking that my grandparents were killed in one of the most horrific incidents on American soil.

For whatever reason, my grandparents felt compelled to abandon the part of their trip that they were most excited about. On this day 10 years ago, my faith in God was renewed. It was not their time to leave this world and God made sure that they were not in harm's way that morning. Instead of fleeing the city like many other tourists, my grandparents stayed and worked at the church near their hotel with whatever they could. They sat with families and prayed with them and just ministered to them in their time of need. Finally, when there was nothing more they could do, my grandparents were able to rent a car and drive to West Virginia to stay with my aunt.

My grandmother lived for nearly 3 more years after to the attacks on September 11, 2001. In those 3 years, I learned so much from her. I learned perseverance, strength and an unending faith in God throughout her fight with Ovarian cancer, Lupus and Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Two months before her passing in May 2004, she gave me her collection of letters, ads, magazines and photos from that week in NYC including a trip the previous day to the Statue, along with allowing me to record her talking about that day. And one week after watching her pass from this world to the next, I stood up in front of a class of 50 and her story became mine to tell.

This day will always carry a whirlwind of emotions for me. On this day every year I share in the sympathy of all those that have lost someone in the attacks, in the rescue and in the recovery of the World Trade Center. On this day I know what it feels like to have someone ripped from your life. But I also know the joy and safety and grace from God and those emotions are what keep this day from being a bitter one. So on this day every year I say a special prayer for those who have suffered from this event, that God may comfort them and give them peace. For those that are still suffering, children of lost parents, and spouses of deployed soldiers. I pray that God guides us in recovery and helps us all to move beyond this in an effective manner. On this day, I Pray.

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