September Elevenths

Dear Reader,

It seems that it is time to be reflective, now ten years after the events of 9/11/01.

For me September 11th was a national event. That is, as an American I was shocked and outraged and grieved. But it was not personal because I did not know, even tangentially, anyone involved.

But more than that, I think September 11th is representative. It symbolizes all those events that rock our lives. It is about loss–of life and loved ones and health and security and peace of mind. But more than that it is about vulnerability. It is the moment we realize that life is not safe. That what we love most can be taken from us and that our own lives and those of our loved ones are in jeopardy.

For many people 9/11/01 was both a  national and a personal tragedy. For me, it was a national event. But my own personal 9/11 was 10/26/03. This was the day my then 1-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was the day I personally faced loss (of security and of my child’s health) and faced greater potential loss (of her life). It was the day when we began to really feel vulnerable. Of course, just as with the real 9/11, we did not become vulnerable that day. It is only the day we realized our vulnerabilities.

I cried on 9/11/01, though I didn’t know anyone involved. I am not particularly feeling teary as I think about it now.

But the other day at a homeschool gathering, I was asked what the symptoms of type 1 are. And as I replied, I found myself choking up, thinking of how my little girl just lay in ym arms on the way into the ER. And it surprised me. I thought I was just having a conversation. And I love to let more people know about this disease. But it all came back to me in a  rush.

And that is how it is with our 9/11s. They never leave us. They change something inside us. For many of us, our 9/11s will be very private. They will not be noticed or cared about by many people. But they change who we are inside. Which is not always a bad thing. But that’s another story.


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