OFF TOPIC: I Probably Should Have Written This Yesterday…

12 Sep

…but I didn’t. I did not want to put out one more 9/11 post. I certainly do not mean that in any offensive way to all the bloggers who selflessly and thoughtfully shared their experiences of what happened that day. It is just that yesterday really hit me in a way that I was not expecting, a way that felt deeply personal (even more so than in years past), and I just did not know how to express it in a way that would portray exactly how I was feeling.

Yesterday, a lot of running forums on the internet were posting things like “How has 9/11 affected your running?” and things like that. Again, I do not at all mean to sound offensive, but when I think of 9/11, the very LAST thing I think about is how it affects my running. When you are talking about the events of that day, running seems so trivial, so insignificant. 9/11 has affected EVERYTHING.

I was not going to even write this post. However, coming into work this morning, the radio morning show I listen to was still talking about “where were you when it happened” moments and I just could not push my feelings about 9/11 down. I teared up. I felt stupid sitting in my car, driving down the interstate at 6:00AM, crying like a baby.

My perspective this year on 9/11 has completely changed. Now that I have a son on the way, my perception of family has completely changed. There are so many words that have taken on a new meaning to me.


Seeing the images yesterday of all of these families affected by 9/11 really, REALLY got to me. I started thinking of all the children that were left fatherless and motherless. All the wives left without husbands and all of the husbands left without wives. Having suddenly lost my father at a young age, I know what it is like to have a parent taken away from you with no notice at all. I look at the faces of those children and know how hard birthdays, holidays, and Mother’s/Father’s Days must still be. I then thought about my child and how I never, ever want him to know how that feels. I thought about my husband and how thankful I am that I get to wake up every morning and see his face.

How often is it that we kiss our spouse goodbye in the morning, routinely yell out “I love you” as we are running out of the door, and then head off to work, as usual. That is exactly what so many people and families did that day. How easy it is to get in the rut and take for granted the simple act of hugging your loved one and telling them, “I love you.” We don’t mean to be so flippant about it, but we all do it at one point or another.

Yesterday also made me reconsider the words “sacrifice” and “bravery.” My child is not even born yet, I do not know what he looks like, what he sounds like, what kind of person he will grow up to be…but I can tell you this…if faced with the option, I would already be willing to trade my life for his. He is my child. The firemen, police officers, emergency workers, and first responders to arrived at the World Trade Center that day defined sacrifice and bravery. So many of them worked tirelessly for HOURS and DAYS and lost their lives doing everything they could to save complete strangers. Given the same situation, I don’t know if I could have done what they did. In fact, I know I could not have. I like to think of myself as a strong person, but I know I would not have had that in me.

At service yesterday, we learned about loyalty. I like to think of myself as a loyal family member and friend. We all have slip-ups and we all make mistakes, but I try really hard to show my loved ones that I am there for them through thick and thin. However, do I have that same loyalty to my job, to my calling? Is it so ingrained in me that I would do it, even if it issued me a death wish. Probably not. Most of us would not. The heroes that day were loyal to their jobs and loyal to their teammates. They were there to serve and protect others, to save people…many knowing they would never make it out alive. While I am thankful for my job, I can assure you that loyalty to my job and supervisor would be gone if I knew I would not be walking out at the end of my day.

To everyone who was at the site of the World Trade Center that day, I am awed, humbled, and thankful for you. You showed great love for your fellow Americans by doing all you could to make a difference, to help those around you. Thank you for reminding us about what is truly important.

Hug your spouses. Hug your children. (If you’re pregnant, hug your belly. It still counts.) Smile at a police officer. Say thank you to a firefighter. Give a member of the military a pat on the back and a, “Job well done.”

Really mean it when you say, “I love you.”

My apologies if this seemed rambling or slightly incoherent. I just needed to get my thoughts out.

3 Responses to “OFF TOPIC: I Probably Should Have Written This Yesterday…”

  1. KC September 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM #

    Katie–I share your sentiment 100%. There are SO MANY more things to be worried about than how 9/11 affected someone’s running. Watching local news last night (I don’t know why I bother to do that sometimes) their “reminiscing” story was about how BR Metro was forced to close when all flights were grounded and how one of their news anchors somehow intercepted a radio call to air traffic control about there Air Force 1 was heading before it could get back to D.C. REALLY?!? Now, maybe I missed something at the top of the newscast that was actually meaningful, but this story was so irrelevant and insensitive that I was completely disgusted. It really made me feel sad for any local people who lost loved ones in the tragedy that day who were watching the news last night.

  2. Kirk ( September 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM #

    Thank you, Katie.

  3. Kristie September 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM #

    I couldnt even think about 9/11 yesterday, I didn’t turn on the tv, I just kinda avoided it. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I think about 9/11 alot, I can tell exactly how I felt when I heard about it (I can feel it now as my eyes well up). My hubby is a firefighter and actually started working Feb 2001, it was at the moment I heard about it that I knew if something like that happend any closer to home… I know for a fact that he would have been running in, its his nature. I cant think about it too much, or I would drive myself insane. I cant imange what the familes have gone thru.

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