There’s no way to start this post without mentioning the incredulity that it has been five years. FIVE YEARS AGO today. It’s something I don’t write about, something I barely talk about…something that I probably should start owning up to. It’s not a unique story, and certainly not the most tragic, but it’s what makes me go through many days feeling broken, not just because of what happened afterwards but just by the fact that it happened. As it’s only in retrospect that we can identify what the pivotal points in our life are, this is the only situation where I knew, inherently, that nothing would ever be the same. Somehow – and the events themselves surprised me in their occurrence – this was the day that I grew up.
It’s ironic…I spoke at my graduation, and the theme of my speech was growing up…asking if you ever knew when you really had. I questioned if it was when you went to college, or your first friend got married, or when you had a child, or perhaps when you started taking care of your parents. 11 years later, and (hypothetically) somewhat wiser, I know the answer is yes, yes to all of them. Every day, with everything you do, you grow up a little. With heartbreak and failure, with happiness and success, you grow. Yet it wasn’t until September 11, 2001 that I realized that sometimes it comes subtly, and other times it comes immediately with the events of a tragedy or the realization that youth and innocence is fleeting and can be taken away immediately on a bright blue day when all should be sunshine and happiness and it’s anything but.
I feel like I should be reflecting back more on this day…I think we all are, in our own ways. We have to; it affected everyone differently. For me, it was the impetus that caused my family to change irrevocably. Was the outcome inevitable even if this day hadn’t happened? It’s likely, but I can never be sure. What I can be sure of is that I deal with it in my way, know that it affects my own cynicism and anger and hurt and hatred and dispair that is so often related with the losses of this day in September, but more often the losses that occur later. Life changed for us all five years ago, and for me, it changed from this day going forward. My loss occurred later – nine months and two years and three and half years and yes, today, five years later, I’m changed. I will be changed on my wedding day, I will be changed with the birth of my child, I will be changed on my deathbed.
They say time heals all wounds. I don’t think time will ever actually heal this.