Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Imperfect Life and Remembering 9/11

My Imperfect Life and Remembering 9/11/01

I’d like to say that my life is perfect right now, at this very minute, and at most moments, it feels as if it is. John and his daughter are at the Sands Point Preserve dressed up in period garb and becoming medieval folk. My daughter is at work, where she can drive to because she has a license and her car. My rescue mutt, Trippy, is lounging in the back yard, sunbathing, which she likes to do quite often. I feel such pride that I’ve been able to have and run my own home.
And I’m here, in my home, after shopping and doing errands and providing for my family, writing this blog and feeling so thankful. And what’s not perfect? I have a job I love, true, it’s now where I’d imagined I’d end up 30 years ago, but it’s still great. I have my health, my happiness, both of my parents are still alive, I’m close to my brother and his wife. I have a partner who is a true equal who challenges and/or supports me every day to be who I was meant to be – to fulfill whatever journey I was sent here to follow, or create. I can move my body in all sorts of ways which brings me joy – whether it be dancing, walking, running, yoga, weight lifting or just stretching, and it all feels so good. And I can’t forget my amazing friends who I’ve been fortunate to meet.
We’re not here on this earth for too long. We’re a basic blip in the time continuum that is infinity. And we’re actually not here to just exist and get by. We’re all here to learn something – but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an incredible time while we’re here! While I can’t say I’m happy every moment of my life, I am most. Like the Aerosmith song says, “I don’t want to miss a thing.” I don’t. I want to do it all, have it all. I don’t mean material things, though those are fun – but a true spiritual and happy path. The ability to truly help others along their way is a luxury, and something I’m very thankful for as well.
John said to me yesterday, he wonders sometimes what it would be like if we’d met each other 30 years ago. But in truth, while it must be an amazing experience to have children with someone who actually would stick around and be part of their lives, and while I can’t even imagine what wonderful children we could have created, would we have been ready for each other? Maybe we would have been happy and stayed together all this time, but would we have become who we were meant to be? Would I have known enough to demand from him everything that I needed? Would I even have known what I needed if I didn’t go through everything I did? I think not.
I think I had to go through a couple of bad marriages to realize that security was not the answer. Growth, expansion is the answer – but maybe I wouldn’t have known that. How on earth could I have created my first two books, “Naked in the Rain,” and “Sarah and Caleb,” if I didn’t know pain, and loss, and hope and survival? They’re not biographies, but the messages are there. When people e-mail me to tell me what those stories have meant to them, I know I’ve hit upon a universal condition – one many of us have gone through. And though I don’t have the entire thing figured out, I do know that we are all basically different parts of one being. If I really dislike someone, is there something about me that is similar to them that I don’t like? How can I change it?
Hearing sirens outside as I write this, it’s a terrible reminder of 9/11. Of all that was lost, and it can never be properly counted. Lives, innocence, health, security, freedoms…so much. But life did go on, it does every day. Babies are born (welcome, Isaac Henry Bard), people have looked inside themselves to see what really matters. Hopefully some of us have learned to not take a day for granted, to love as much as we can. To be able to, for a short while, see each other without the veil of ego. To feel each other’s pain…and hope. To know what it is to be one, and to want to give of yourself.

This was my 9/11 post on Facebook:

I was at my computer when a friend IM'd me that a plane had hit the first tower. "What an idiot," I thought. When he told me the second tower was hit, I froze, and knew it was so much more. I went in to my friend, Debbie Damone (still alive then), and we went up the hall to watch TV in the Real Estate department, in... shock as they fell. My exhusband (still my husband then) called (which he never did), and I decided to go home. The buses took the children home early that day, and we watched the events unfold on TV together. It was terrible for everyone, some obviously more than others. But we stood together, we put our flags out, some gave their lives, or lost loved ones, but we all lost something. But we stood together, all of us. We met on the street corners and lit candles and said prayers. Some of us tried to go in, or gave food and water, and it was turned away because of the outpouring of volunteers and donations. But for a while, we all looked at, and treated each other differently...with love, and with the understanding that it was felt by all. Don't you see - if you rally against something without the true facts, if you hate for no other reason than the color of someone's skin or their religion - we all lose. They win. Of course there are bad people everywhere, but most are not. Maybe it's idealistic, but if we can love in return - we win. We all win.
This is not a holiday to be celebrated, but one to be remembered. And if you choose to celebrate, celebrate love.

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