It seems impossible that I could ever forget.
That we could ever forget.
My barely hip jeans and my favorite periwinkle blue shirt. My awful bangs that I never would learn how to manage. A normal Tuesday in September. Not quite the beginning, but hardly the end of my seventh grade year at Boardman Glenwood Middle School.
No clockwork that day in shop class.
No pre workshop instructions.
No post shop work clean up.
Only wide eyes.
The hallways were chattery. Confusing. Chaotic.
As if seventh grade and all that surrounds it isn't messy and emotional and dramatic enough.
Already confused about who we were, who our friends were. If we would ever fit into any of it.
Everything around us and inside of us already so unsure.
And in a moment.
The last pieces of certainty suddenly became uncertain too.
It seemed there was nowhere solid to stand.
That there may never be again.
That the sky might always be empty and silent.
That America might never feel or look the same again.
That we might never again find trust or healing or hope.
That we were somehow different. Everything was different.
How on earth would we face it?
How would we ever leave Tuesday, September 11, 2001?
We had to.
Time stops for nothing. Waits for no-one.
Forward, the only direction.
But together, the only way.
And so we did it.
We went home.
We hugged our friends. Our family. Strangers.
We remembered how blessed we were. How much we had to be thankful for.
We decided together that the sky would connect us all once again.
That this would not define us.
That we would find good.
They were all still there. Beneath the pain and the confusion and the hurt and the wreckage.
Waiting to be found.
That we were different. But still together.
That tomorrow we would wake up.
Offer our hearts. Our hands. Our strength. Our truth. Our lights.
That we would face the future together.
That we would indeed leave that Tuesday but that we would most certainly never forget it.
That we would remember where we were.
How we felt.
What we feared.
Who and what we lost.
Sacrifices that were made.
Because remembering was the only way.
Remembering didn't pin us in the past but instead fueled us forward.
Made us stronger. And braver.
In remembering we are reminded that though it seemed impossible, we did wake up.
We did move forward.
We did chase light and find good and believe that there was still hope.
We did heal.
We refused to accept that there could no longer be beauty even though every moment, every tomorrow was now uncertain. Even though we were different.
That the sky.
Could be as good as they once were.
I decided to write.
In order to remember.
In order to keep moving forward.
This is my piece of togetherness.
My offering of hope and light and truth and healing.
Things that we all have to offer in a dark, confused and hurting world.
And so, how could we ever forget?
How could I ever forget?