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  • Writer's pictureVicki Viall

The Day Before...

Every year, 9/11 hits me like an emotional ton of bricks. I think of all those lost that day, especially those I knew. And, it hurts all over again.

And 9/12/2012 follows very close behind on the emotional scale. Another NOT good day. That day, I lost two brothers (military brothers), and that still hurts like an open wound.

Every year, the focus - rightfully so - is on the victims and their families and the sheer horror of what hatred can breed.

Perhaps I have missed this part in the past, but, this year on Facebook, I saw numerous "I miss 9/12" posts.

I thought about 9/12 and the days immediately following. On my daily runs, it was quiet. Disturbingly so.

No planes flying over head. No other daily noise either. It was disconcerting.

But those reminders got me thinking about a different day.

September 10, 2001.

I have been trying to piece that day together. Sadly, it is a complete blank. I can't recall a single moment of that day.

I assume that I worked. At the time, I was employed by the evil empire known as Bank of America. I worked at an in-store location (Albertson's) in West Fort Worth. And, I worked with a crew I thoroughly adored.

I know I went to Trinity Trails for a daily run.

I know I went through all the daily motions of living.

Yet, not a single coherent memory of that day.

That has hit meet in a very strange and hard manner.

I don't want to go through another day, ever, and not have at least one memory or memorable moment to remember and mark that day.

Can you recall any part of your September 10, 2001?

I even went to research that day in history. Here's all I got:

An article addressing "suspicious events" that happened on September 10. Had never heard that before. Check it out, if interested. (Notes 1)

On that day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "called a meeting of hundreds of Pentagon senior staff, giving a speech calling the Pentagon bureaucracy an adversary to the security of the USA. He says "... today we declare war on bureaucracy". (Note 2)

"Michael Jackson performs his second 30th anniversary (because of his career) concert in New York." (See Note 2)

"Donald Rumsfeld warns of $2,300,000,000,000 of Pentagon spending that cannot be accounted for." (See Note 2)

That's it! Nothing jumps out that earmarks that to be a day to remember, does it?

I think we all remember where we were for every single minute of 9/11.

I was awake, showered after a run, and just sitting down to eat a breakfast of eggs and toast with "Good Morning, America."

In the background was a building on fire. It took a few moments to capture my attention and, I started focusing on it. I finally absorbed the fact the the United States was under attack by Islamic Terrorists.

I picked up the phone and called my father. It was an hour earlier in Arizona from Texas, but I knew he would be up.

We were talking about what the heck was going on, and then, we both watched silently as the second plane hit.

I was in tears by this point.

Shortly after, the plane hit the Pentagon. Just. No. Words.

Of course, we still had one plane to go. That was followed over the next few days with stories of heroism from all three locations.

We had one of the surviving heroes from the Pentagon come speak at my church, then known as Pantego Bible Church. He was badly burned and injured in the attack, but saved from death due to a call from nature that put him in a restroom that shielded him, somewhat.

Back to 9/11.

I had to go to work, so I told my Dad I would call him later and got ready for work.

As I pulled into the parking lot, it was packed!

As I entered the store, the first thing I saw was a line of people that stopped at the security gate to our bank. The fact the security gate was down hit me.

My colleagues saw me and opened the gate for me to get in.

It never occurred to me that there would be "a run on banks." That never entered my own mind.

My boss, Shelita, had already been on the phone with corporate. Every bank was under siege by account holders wanting to withdraw their monies. Corporate decided we were to close, but stay in the branch, and address customers as well as we could through the gate.

Eventually, things calmed down or people got tired of standing in line and left.

Later, after lunch, we were given strict instructions on what we could or could not do, and then reopened to a much calmer and shorter line of customers.

After that, the next thing I remember of work was going through a normal closing sequence and getting out and back home. I hit the Whataburger in our shared parking lot so I wouldn't waste time preparing a meal.

Then, after feedings my kids - cats - I had the TV on and ate a Whataburger I barely was even aware of as I watched the news.

I do remember there was absolutely nothing on TV for days after but "The Event." Nothing.

9/11 and 9/12 are forever cemented in my brain. The following days slowly returned to a new normal. I tried to keep my routine the same. Pretty much succeeded.

However, real normal was a while in coming.

Yet, 19 years later, it seems we have all forgotten the indescribable horror of that day, or who caused it, or why, or how many precious lives were lost because of it.

I don't want to get into that, though.

What I do want to focus on is the fact that the day before the world stood still is a complete blank to me.

I don't know if you experienced anything similar or not. But, it affects me profoundly, still.

I do not, under any circumstances, want to ever find I have another completely blank day.

I want to "live out loud" every day, be kind to as many people as I can every day, learn new things about those around me or at work, appreciate moments throughout the day where I saw people smiling, or reaching out to each other, hugging, laughing, or even crying. I just want to have something to remember every day I have left by.

Does that make sense?

Last week, we talked about dreams. I think we should have dreams for every tomorrow we have. And, and memories of every day we had.

How do we do that?

I do not have the answers. So, I am open to input.

I do know that I want to focus more on the person or people in front of me or on the other end of the phone from me.

I want to watch for people in need of assistance and do my best to offer what I can.

I want to have an opportunity to share at least a smile with everyone I cross paths with each day.

I want to try my best to share a laugh with everyone I talk to.

I want to hear the laughter of children around me.

I want to watch horses running in the fields.

I want to see the seagulls and pelicans flying around the beach.

I want to see surfers surfing, sunrises and sunsets, and butterflies floating past, followed by hummingbirds.

I want to be the reason that someone has a better day.

I want to be the reason that someone has at least one smile.

I want to be a better human becoming; much closer to who my Abba created me to be.

And, I want to grow closer and closer to my Abba with every breath I take.

Rereading that list, I realize I can achieve every single item on it - IF I don't get in a rut and slowly start forgetting to do them.

Again, I am open to suggestions.

What would you do?

I often think, if I knew I would not live beyond tomorrow, how would I live today? How would I live tomorrow?

That's how I want to handle every single day. I do not want to lose sight of that goal. I do not want to lose a burning passion to grow closer to my Abba. And, I do not want to miss a single opportunity to make someone's life better.

Today's post may not help anyone else, and that's okay. But, this is something I needed to do, to share.

So, if it helps, I am so glad.

To close out today, I want to share two videos with you.

A song by Alan Jackson that is appropriate and a video from Budweiser done as tribute to 9/11.

Now, get out there and live today because you DO remember that day.

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