It’s September 11th. I realize there are plenty of people and occasions to celebrate on this day, but my first thought is of September 11, 2001.
I’m sure we all remember where we were that day. I know I do. That morning, I was in my office. The blinds to my window – with a clear view of the World Trade Center – were still closed from the previous afternoon when the sun seemed determined to melt me.
I heard what sounded like a plane flying by – but way too close. It was so loud. I thought it was odd, but brushed it off.
Not long after that, my best friend, who was teaching in Arizona at the time, called to tell me she was watching The Today Show and apparently a helicopter or small plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers.
I thought, “You have got to be kidding me.” I raised the blinds and could not believe my eyes. There was a gaping hole in the north tower and black smoke was just pouring out of it. There was no way it could have been created by a helicopter or small plane.
Shortly after staring at the tower in shock, trying to wrap my mind around what was going on, I witnessed what looked like an explosion in the other tower. Since my view was directly south, I didn’t see the plane, only a massive fireball.
My dad was in that tower.
I can’t remember exactly how the rest of the morning went, but I know it involved multiple attempts to reach my dad, family, and friends. There were updates from colleagues who were watching the news and lots of confusion, chatter, tears, and fears.
Time flew by, yet stood still, and the tragedy kept unfolding.
As I continued to look out the window in total disbelief, the south tower started to collapse. I couldn’t even move. I was paralyzed with fear.
My friend, who knew my dad worked in that tower, ran into my office, put his arm around my shoulder, and said, “I’m so sorry.”
At that time, a gentle calm washed over me, and I heard a voice say, “He’s okay”. And in that moment, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my dad was all right.
Hours later, my dad arrived at my office, covered in dust. I had never been happier to see him.
September 11, 2001 was a turning point for me.
While the events of that day were going down, so was I, down a spiral of fear, feeling sick and out of control. I could not get a grip. I started having anxiety/panic attacks again. I was shaking and sobbing and scared.
Still, I couldn’t help but notice my faithful friend from work. Of course she was feeling and experiencing what we all were, but she was handling it in a different way. She turned inward for help, comfort, peace, and strength.
I was disappointed in myself. I mean, I went to church my whole life and always thought I was a strong and faithful person, but in that time of chaos and confusion, I fell apart.
My friend was like a rock and I wanted to be like that.
It wasn’t until I saw my dad that it dawned on me: The voice I had heard was right. My dad was okay. So I wasn’t alone? No, I wasn’t alone.
There was indeed something bigger than me, and I decided from that point on that I wanted to consciously connect with it again.
Thirteen years ago today I started down a new spiritual path. I’ve had many ups and downs, but one thing remains constant: my commitment to connecting with that energy and my desire to feel safe, secure, and steady despite everything going on around me.
I want that for you. I want you to feel peace, joy, love, hope, faith, and freedom throughout all circumstances. I want that for everyone.
Broaching this topic made me nervous, because I tend to be light and breezy, and what happened on September 11, 2001 was anything but.
I was hesitant to tell my story, since it’s downright glorious compared to the grief, loss, and pain so many others experienced firsthand. I didn’t want to minimize that at all, but did want to share one of the many miracles that happened that day, in the midst of such tragedy.
My thoughts are with all of those affected by the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.
Amy, The Queen Bee NYC
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