"To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now. And now is all we have, and love is who we are."---Anne Lamott

"I can no other answer make but thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks."---William Shakespeare

"Wherever we are we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other and the wonder of our breathing." Thích Nhất Hạnh

"Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh, either. —Golda Meir

Please copy and paste this as your status even if its just for a few minutes, if you know someone who is alive today because you can't afford a hit man..

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." -William Shakespeare

...that there is an ebb and flow to this life. Trust this peaceful rhythm. If there were constant flow, we would drown in the intensity. Ebb is as necessary as flow.

Here's President Lincoln's letter that President Bush read at today's memorial service.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless should be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln

"Don't live every day as if it were your last. Live every day as if it were your first." By Paulo Coehlo

I had just arrived at work in Brooklyn and was chatting with Dionne and Keith. One of the nurses came in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was, could it have been an accident? Perhaps an inexperienced pilot on a small plane? Our boss walked in and told us about the "accident". Shortly after, we heard about the second plane, and learned that they were passenger jets. I immediately thought, "al Qaeda", the USS Cole attack in Yemen fresh on my mind. I tried to call my sister's work phone, then her cell phone. All circuits were busy. If they're flying planes into NYC buildings, the UN building was certainly a target. Al Qaeda wasn't above sticking it to the world by saying they don't believe in diplomacy and the work of the United Nations. At some point, I was relieved and happy to hear from her. She was OK. They were evacuated. She was walking home with multitudes of people. She was meeting her husband at his office then go back home together to our apartment in Queens.

At work, every chance we could, we'd go to the nurses' office and try to find out what was going on in Manhattan. Talking to my co-workers, I even said Ground Zero, when talking about where the planes hit. We heard about the Pentagon attack, the grounding of the flights, President Bush's address, the other plane that may or may not have been shot down by the Air Force. We all just wanted to go home, be with family. Somehow we made it through that surreal day. When we got to the parking lot, we found our cars covered in ash, pieces of burned documents on the ground or blowing in the wind. I made it home in 15 minutes, the roads eerily empty. Quiet, except for the occasional siren. We were glued to the television. Peter Jennings stayed on the air indefinitely, it seemed.

The next day, I tried to go to work but was stopped by cops. I was asked what I did for a living, and I told them I worked as a PT in Brooklyn. I was told to go home, that only emergency personnel were allowed on the roads. Later that day, we were able to go to work. I didn't want to work. How could we go about our normal day when thousands were dead or dying? People jumped to their deaths, or were burned to death. So many trapped in the rubble. The thought of firemen climbing up those steps to rescue people, as other people were walking down stairs. The fires that went on for days. The seawall that may or may not hold. Rescue dogs getting depressed because they couldn't find live victims. The heroes of United Flight 93. Imagining the terror inside those planes and buildings.

We were told to go out, visit the city, spend money, go shopping. If you don't, the terrorists win. I went to lower Manhattan, as close as the police would let me get to Ground Zero. I went to Union Square, looking at the signs people had put up, looking for their loved ones. I even went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, with the wax figure of President Bush standing outside. The place was almost deserted. I tried to schedule a blood donation, only to be turned away because so many people had the same idea. I recalled that on September 9, I was in Times Square for Broadway on Broadway. When Rudy Giuliani was introduced, some people in the crowd booed him. Two days later, he was America's Mayor.

Every year on the anniversary of the attacks, my pain, grief, and anger return. I watch and listen to the names of the dead being recited. I pray and light candles. This year, I first started sobbing when I heard a little boy talk about the father he never met, because "I was in my Mom's belly". Then it was all downhill for me. When they got to my co-worker's aunt's name, I turned the TV off. I've decided that I should stop doing this to myself. My overwhelming sorrow could not possibly equal those who lost their loved ones that day. Once a year, they go out and mourn publicly. Maybe get some brief comfort from other families who know what they've gone through. But then they all go back home and continue to privately deal with their losses. I saw an interview with a retired firefighter who helped in the rescue efforts. He said he doesn't need to go down to any of the memorials or tributes. His friends and colleagues will always be in his heart and mind. Maybe next year, I won't feel the need to view the ceremonies. I can just be still, and hold them in my prayers.

Lord, take me where
you want me to go;
Let me meet who
you want me to meet;
Tell me what
... you want me to say, and
Keep me out of your way.
~ Father Mychal Judge, O.F.M.
Chaplain, New York Fire Department
This commercial that aired after the 9-11 attacks still brings tears to my eyes. Never forget those who died, the ones who survived, and their loved ones left behind.

As the 10 year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks approaches, with new unconfirmed but credible terrorist threats hanging over our heads, here's something to think about: "braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear."

"NYC firefighters not invited to 10th anniv of 9/11 at Ground Zero. They weren't invited on that day in 2001 either. They just showed up."---Denis Leary

"Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it."

Rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit!!! Happy 1st of the month!


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