Twenty years. Hard to believe it has been twenty years. The pain has receded; it isn’t daily now as it was in the first several years. When it returns it is tempered now by sweet memories of better days. The things we did together, the moments of laughter we shared, the trips we took – these are precious now.
Twenty years. Hard to believe it has been twenty years. The pain has receded, but when it returns it is jagged and still painful and hard to understand. The pain has not been worked through – it seems instead burned into our memories without healing.
Today, September 11, has two meanings for me.
First, this day would have been my dad’s 101st birthday. He was born in 1920, and he died unexpectedly on the 5th of July, 2001. The first anniversary of his birth occurred on the day that the 9/11 attacks shook our country to the core. Now, twenty years later, we are remembering as a nation that terrible day. I, as a single human being, am remembering both the terrorist attack and the loss of a beloved father.
The most important lesson for me out of all this loss is a simple one. Don’t wait. Don’t wait to visit loved ones. Don’t wait to say you love them. Don’t wait to take that trip, to write that story down, to share happy memories. Our time on this earth is not a given, and we never really know what is ahead.
I didn’t know on July 1, 2001 that the phone call I had with my father would be the last time I heard his voice. Thousands didn’t know on September 11, 2001 that they were saying good-bye for the last time.
Don’t wait. It may be the last thing you ever get to say or do.
About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP
Communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, proud native Nashvillian – in private practice for 30+ years. I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts. Contact me at http://www.susanhammondswhite.com.
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