Yes, I’m a day late with this.
I cried yesterday when they played “Taps” before the Browns game, but I’d been upset before that, watching the video someone made with video and photographs to Alan Jackson’s song. Today, I have what a friend of mine called a “9/11 hangover” and this post is the result
If anything should come of the aftermath of the events of 9/11, even ten years (and one day) on, it seems to me it ought to be a reassessment of what’s really important to us. Over and over again, I’m brought to a realization that no one who died that day is likely to have woken up thinking, “Well, this is it. I don’t get any more mornings after this one.” I doubt they did anything majorly different from the things they normally did. They fed the cat/dog/fish/bird, thought about what they’d make or get for dinner that night and tried to organize their work day, setting priorities and deciding what to tackle when they hit their desks. Some of them went to vote — but most of those folks didn’t make it back to the office in time to be victims of the terrorists.
Not that I think we ought to spend our whole lives focused on death, but it might not hurt to occasionally realize that now is all the time there may ever be. No one is promised one second more than the one they’re in right now. It’s a good idea not to defer the kindness you mean to do, to tell a loved one that they matter to you, to do whatever it is you can do to improve the world in your immediate vicinity.
Forgive me for saying this — I’m sure it will come across as morbid — but I have always wondered what passes through someone’s mind when they realize that THIS time, there won’t be any second chances. I don’t think it’s possible to die without regrets. I don’t think anyone’s life is so perfect that there isn’t at least one thing they wish they had or hadn’t done — unless they’re really deluding themselves. I do think it’s possible to reduce the number of regrets. And maybe that’s the ultimate gift those 3,000-plus people give us; to honor their memories by making whatever difference we can. It has to be a more positive legacy than hatred and war, don’t you think?