Today I can’t help but think about all the men and women who died on September 11th, 2001.  It seems like it was just last year but it was 14 years ago!    This year I consider that loss  differently.  Now, I have a new understanding for grief and loss.  I understand more clearly the pain so many experienced on that day.  So today I think of that loss much more intimately.

I now can imagine the shock and denial loved ones must have felt when they learned of the situation.   I somewhat know the journey they have all walked as they consider every imaginable situation that would avoid the loss of their loved ones, even though nothing reverses reality. I think of the men and women who were just at another day of work.  The children that were at a normal day of daycare.  The men and women who were just taking a routine flight.  All to end in a devastating, seemingly preventable, irreversible, act of horror.

But what I can’t imagine is the  anger they might have experienced knowing another human PLANNED this horrific event.  I know that I don’t understand this piece.

I also think about all the firefighters and police officers that marched bravely straight into the nucleus of the danger.  Instead of running screaming away from the scene, they loaded their bodies with gear and walked towards danger.  So many people were saved that day due to these heroic events.  I can imagine the unbelievable appreciation some loved ones must feel for getting there loved ones back.

So today I say thank you to all the heroes 14 years ago that helped so many people survive.  I also thank the police and firemen who protect us every day.  Thank you for your service.

It’s hard for me to imagine how I will feel 14 years after Harrison’s death.  Bennett will be driving by then!  Life feels so stagnate right now.  It seems like Harrison is still 4 months old.  I see Facebook posts of kids born after Harrison turning 6 months old.  Will Harrison always be 4 months old in my mind?  

This week on Facebook I saw the post announcing we were having a boy.  It’s hard to imagine this little man has already come and gone.

I remember laying with Harrison the weekend before he died and thinking,” I have EVERYTHING I need right in this house.” I was sleep deprived, stressed at work, and distant from my husband but I still remember feeling overwhelmingly appreciative for the amazing gifts in my life.  And now I am appreciative of these memories of graditude.

So here is my challenge to myself.  Parenting is hard.  Life is stressful.  But I will put mind over matter and BE Grateful!  Gratitude is not always an easy practice.  Gratitude is not just recognizing the good but spending time cultivating more good.

 I feel angry, tired, and frustrated. However, I will take time to recognized what I appreciate. Additionally, I will spend more time focusing my attention with what matters the most.  

My graditude starts with my amazing husband and both of my sons.  So this week I will put my phone down and spend more time absorbing my family.  I will multitask one less item to take in what my husband is saying.  I will serve dinner 10 minutes later because Bennett needs a hug and attention.  When I see a 4 month old baby that reminds me of Harrison, I will not turn away from the pain.  I will turn my heart to my Harrison and say, “I will always love you sweet baby boy.”