The Day After

The day after– it holds untapped and underrated potential for reflection, redemption, and empowerment.

I was probably a couple of minutes late to school. I have passing memories of my brother and I running up the hill to my elementary school in my navy blue and white collared shirt. Ms. Clark’s second grade classroom was quiet with reading time underway. She had been on the phone and very indifferent that morning. Later that day, my brother asked if I had watched the planes crash into the Twin Towers.

I had no idea what he was talking about but when I saw the expression on his face, I became nervous.

I do not remember anything else about September 11th, 2001 but September 12th was a new day. I woke up to the same family and same outfits to pick from. It was Wednesday and that meant school, as usual, and then there was church that evening. No one in my class was bothered by the event that had happened the day before. My friends and I were probably playing a game like American Idol on the playground or running away from boys across the kickball field. After morning recess there was a hummingbird stuck in our classroom. I don’t know why but I held on to the memory of the bird flying around the ceiling attracted to the red piece within the fire sprinkler. Now I know hummingbirds are the ones buzzing from flower to beautiful flower in search of nectar. Like the rest of nature we carry on.

I woke up to the same family and same outfits to pick from.

Today, I want you to remember those who were affected one more time. Acknowledge how they felt on the twelfth of that month in 2001. They did not get the chance to wake up unwithered or somewhat solemn. I believe there were people who couldn’t sleep at all. They may never have the pleasure of only feeling mildly or vaguely sympathetic this time of the year.

Fast Forward fifteen years to the day. I am married. And my husband being a Virginia native recalls the airplanes flying low over his school as he sat in his second grade classroom. He had been that much closer to everything and he too like myself, do remember the day in terms of reflection, remembrance, and prayer. But today evenmoreso is for empowerment. This is for those who mourned to rise and choose joy especially when it hurts.

This is for those who mourned to rise and choose joy especially when it hurts.

There were times I can think of, days and weeks where I was left in tears over stress or a sense of loss. It can cause aching and fatigue. Some night crying put me to sleep and other nights i’d lie awake staring at the ceiling begging God for sleep. We can call my moments like that my emotional growing pains if you want. A sort of coming of age time in my life. What is most important is the next morning. Getting out of bed is a victory. I’ve learned life can easily slam you with a bag of bricks just as much as it can be sweet and beautiful. So in everything choose joy after mourning. See how much strength overwhelms you when joy that only God can give wraps you in its arms.

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