I woke up to my mother’s voice on the answering machine, “Jennifer, if you’re asleep, you need to get up and turn on the news. Something bad has happened in New York…” I spent the morning watching the horror unfold on TV, in my old neighborhood.
For two years, I had lived on Nassau Street, across from the Federal Reserve and next to Wall Street. I took out of town guests to Battery Park. I shopped at Century 21. I ate at the mini-muffin shop. I was a temp at the World Trade Center after college, who looked up at the twin towers and walked through the pedestrian bridge into the Winter Garden Atrium almost every day until I moved back to Florida in 2000…less than a year before 9/11.
I could barely process what was happening to my old neighborhood, on TV, on fire, in chaos, then buried in ash. The fates of my superintendent, neighbors, and World Financial Center coworkers were all mysteries. I had my first and hopefully only panic attack later that evening. I wasn’t even there, but I was.
Today, I remember the victims and honor the heroes of 9/11. I am grateful for what I was spared from, but also grateful for a heart that is open enough to be broken for others’ losses. I feel that the true blessing of being alive today is so that I can continue my purpose to worship God, moment to moment, on stage and off stage, in the big things and the little things. Jesus, who holds our healing and restoration, is with those who have passed, as well as those of us who have more to do in this world. Thank you, Lord, for your peace that passes our understanding, as well as your love that is far greater than our best and worst days:)