Tag: remembrance

Thoughts on This Day



I remember-

  • before the second plane hit,thinking that first plane was the ONLY plane and it was a freak accident.
  • the complete and utter confusion and failure to process or comprehend the enormity of what had happened as the events unfolded.
  • being unable to move. I was at my younger kids’ schools, scheduled to volunteer, and I could not, would not leave the building. I was told I could leave, take my kids home, but I couldn’t move. I needed to be near my kids but I didn’t want to take them home yet.
  • the young teacher who came into the media center (the only place in the school where a television was on- a kid free zone) and kept uttering “Oh my God!” while she reached blindly behind her to hold onto a chair that was not there.
  • calling my husband at work (in downtown Chicago) and asking him to please come home and hearing how trains were filling up as fast as they pulled into the station.
  • my mind racing in so many different directions, running through my list of friends, family, anyone who might be in New York City, Virginia, Pennsylvania.
  • a picture that 5 year old Andy drew of a plane crashing into the Sears Tower (the only skyscraper he knew).
  • the deafening silence outside when I left the school building to walk to my car. And the silence that continued for days, even weeks….
  • the anxiety that grew inside me each time I saw a plane in the sky. For months I would stop and look up at any plane, just following its path until it was out of sight.
  • being glued to the television screen, overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and grief, anger and helplessness.
  • watching the news stories about first responders traveling from all over the country to help, more casualties being added to the ever growing number and wondering when it was going to end.
  • not leaving the house unless absolutely necessary.
  • the fear, ignorance and hate that was fueled as a result of the attacks.
  • crying every time I heard the National Anthem.
  • And when I visited New York City for the first time ever four years ago, I visited the 9/11 Memorial. It was still incomplete, which only made it more so moving and powerful, such a testament to our ability to heal and work together to create a living remembrance commemorating all of it- the lives lost, the lives forever changed and what it meant to each and every one of us.

What do you remember?

Breathe In, Breathe Out

breathe in

In honor of-

  • All the lives lost due to terrorist attacks, violence and suicide
  • And the loved ones that mourn their losses
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance

One quick word about this- there shouldn’t have to be a day or a week or tribute flags on profile pictures. I’m not against any of these things. I understand and support all of them. My point is that it shouldn’t take a horrific act of violence to get anyone’s attention.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is one day, this year on Friday, November 20th, to honor all transgender people who were taken from us too soon. This is a problem of epic proportions and we need more than a day to bring awareness. We need more than a week. Click on the link to find out more. You will see a list of people who were killed. Way too many lives have been lost.

Suicide doesn’t play favorites. Instead it can be found in all walks of life. Anyone from celebrities to ever day dads can  battle demons none of us can imagine. If you need help or want to help out, you can contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Trevor Project supports LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. But also, don’t forget. This isn’t something you think about for one day. Let’s keep this in our hearts and minds for longer than a day or a week. It’s up to the living to make a difference.

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will be as one.”  -Imagine, John Lennon

This post is working double time as part of Writer’s Quote Wednesday and BeWoW. If you are unfamiliar with these great challenges, click on the names to check them out!


Remember the Person

The tragic loss of Robin Williams is echoing everywhere. It fills Facebook and Twitter feeds. It is the topic of blogs and news stories. It’s not only his enormous talent, larger than life personality and his incredible imprint in entertainment but his battle with depression that resonates with people around the world.

Depression and suicide are ugly. The words, the illness, the action evoke different reactions in each person. And the emotion that accompanies the reaction is not something people like to feel. Today there are many posts, articles, and news stories educating the public on depression and suicide. This is very important information. I’m not writing about that. If you have read anything I’ve written, you know that my focus is always from the human side. And that’s where I’m writing from today.

Last year I lost someone to suicide. He was not a close friend. Brian was someone I had known for years and with whom I had a friendly acquaintance. He was one of my children’s former teachers and we had formed a casual friendship when I was his room mom. Having a gifted child can be challenging. Teachers don’t always know what to do with these “out of the box” kids. He did. He was innovative with technology at a time when it was just showing up in classrooms and he used it to challenge and motivate his students. He was one of my son’s favorite teachers.

Brian was a great guy. I stopped in to see him every time I was at the school. He was always excited to hear about my son’s latest news. He would share his latest family news and his own personal accomplishments as well as all the really cool things he was doing in the classroom. He was energetic, friendly, smiling.

The last time I saw him was just a few short months before he committed suicide. When I walked into his classroom, he excitedly brought me over to his computer. “You’ve got to see what I found the other day!” He was like a kid who had just gotten a new video game. He quickly pulled up a video that my son had made as a project all those year ago. It was a commercial for a made up product. My son is still close friends with the student who was his partner on this assignment. He insisted that I keep in touch.

News of his death and the details surrounding it rocked our community. For what seemed like the longest time there wasn’t a place I went where people were not talking about him. On a much closer level both former and present students, parents, co-workers, family and friends were reeling. His loss was felt deeply by everyone who knew him.

There was talk of doing something to memorialize him. He had accomplished so much in his short time here with us. He was inspiring and well liked and he deserved to be remembered.

Except there were people who felt that in giving him a remembrance we would be glorifying suicide. Making him to a tragic hero. Throughout the conversation it felt as if people had lost sight of the purpose. And they lost sight of Brian. (The truth of the matter is that I don’t need a physical object to remember him. His memory lives in the classroom where he taught, the students he left his mark on and all of the people whose lives he touched. I miss him.)

During this time when people are sorting out their shock, anger, and sadness over the death of Robin Williams, let’s try to remember the person. Like Brian, he did incredible things and he deserves to be remembered for those things.