Monday, September 19, 2011

Instant Relief

I started thinking the other day about all the things in my life that provide me Instant Relief.
I decided to make a list of them and this is what I came up with:

1. Letting my hair down after wearing it in a high ponytail all day long
2. That first moment when your head touches your pillow
3. Finding a bathroom when you are in DIRE need
4. Putting ice or cold water on a burn
5. A hug (long and tight)
6. Massages and back scratches
7. Drinking water when dehydrated 
8. Sinking into a hot bath
9. Pushing "print" on that final draft
10. Seeing "words" at the Testing Center (acing a test)
11. Crossing off that final thing on the To-Do list
12. A quiet moment after a hectic day
13. A "O mio babbino caro" type melody at just the right moment

There are probably so many more items I could list, but I guess this is a start. I never gave these moments of blissful sighing  much thought before, but I'm glad they happen. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years ago today...

Ten years ago today, I was in the car with my mother heading to my weekly morning piano lesson. We were listening to the radio, when an announcer came on saying that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Being an innocent girl in fifth grade, my immediate response was that this must have been some terrible mistake.
I remember saying something like, "Oh my gosh. That is terrible. I wonder if the plane was somehow flying too low and the pilot didn't see the tower until it was too late. Those towers are the tallest buildings in the world, i'm surprised nothing has flown into them before."
I don't believe I heard more until after my piano lesson...maybe my piano teacher ended up canceling or letting me off early because of the event. I don't actually remember. I just remember when I heard another plane had hit the other tower, I felt that disgusting pit in my stomach. I realized this was not an  accident. 
I felt stunned and confused. Every fiber of my body wanted this terrible act to be an accident. In my world, people were genuinely good. How could I have guessed that there were people out there who Wanted to kill all of these innocent people on purpose.
When I arrived at class, the televisions were on and they stayed on for the entire morning. This was unheard of. Those screens only ever turned on for announcements or educational movies. One of the kids pointed to the screen and said, "the tower is falling!" We all watched in complete silence, not understanding exactly what we were watching. I don't think my innocent heart and mind could completely grasp the reality of this event. It just couldn't be real.
We tried to go on with our day like any other day, but the truth is, it was not any other day. This was a day we would never forget.
It's been ten years since 9/11. Sometimes I wonder how different life would be had that day never happened. Thousands of lives would have been spared, maybe I would be able to carry liquids on planes and say goodbye at the gate instead of the security line, would we be fighting a war in Afghanistan and Iraq? I don't know. I can't live my life wondering "what if."
What I do know is that this day of terror did not destroy my belief in people. In fact, watching the fire fighters and volunteers sacrificing their own lives for the lives of others instilled a renewal in the good of people's hearts. This country banded together. I was, and still am, proud to be an American. I am grateful for those who sacrifice every day to preserve the freedoms of this country.