Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I remember listening to Brian Williams break into the AM news radio broadcast on my drive to work with an update that "something" had happened in New York.  By the time I made it into the offices, everyone was gathered around a television, watching. Then the second plane hit and nothing's been the same ever since. That day marked the second time I'd ever seen my firefighter husband cry, the first being when my eldest son was born.

We've all experienced sad and traumatic events and it's hard to not let the emotions attached overwhelm the rest of our existence. How can you go on when you think you might never smile again, that the world is a sad place populated with evil, uncaring and unfair people or things? Personally I try to utilize the forget but try to forgive adage but I think the best mechanism uses balance to keep us from total meltdown.

My mother died on Easter morning so no matter when Easter falls, and because the date is a moving target, I get a double whammy of sad--both on the actual date of her death and then on Easter morning. I remember the phone call, the searing pain of hearing the news and the angst of having to gather myself so I could make plane reservations and also arrangements for her.  After the funeral, I returned home and decided that Easter wasn't for me anymore.  Nope. Maybe I'd just sit in the bathtub with a bottle of wine all day and cry once that horrible anniversary rolled around.

But then, my son was born and aside from the religious implications of the day, I thought why should he miss out on Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, baskets and all the other trappings? Because his mother was sad about something he didn't understand yet? So, I decided that instead of propagating my very sad but relevant memories, I would try to make some new, happier imprints to balance things. Not that I was giving up on my blanket of misery, but I'd drape myself in it instead of wearing it as swaddling. Plus, I knew my mother wouldn't want me to carry on being so upset about it. Sad, yes, but upset and emotional--no. She'd worry about the toll that coping method would take.

So, I'm using the same tactic to deal with the 9/11 anniversary. It's the birthday of two dear friends, so even though I'm never going to forget the terror and sadness of the attacks, I'm going to remember to celebrate the good things this day also brings.


Marilyn Brant said...

Lovely post, Pamala...
{{Hugs}} and many thanks for your beautifully written reminder not to forget to celebrate joy, even as we remember days of sadness.

Pamala Knight said...

Thank YOU Marilyn, for being a good friend and for the kind words. I hope your fall is shaping up nicely. *hugs*