In remembrance of the tragedies that took place on September 11, 2001.

twin towers in New York in sunset

Like most of you, I remember like it was yesterday. I was working at a hospital about an hour north of where we lived and my husband (then fiancee) was working about 30 minutes south of where we lived. I felt like we were worlds away from each other, and I didn’t know if we would both make it home safely that evening.  I spent the evening on the couch, glassy eyed, staring at the TV screen in complete disbelief.  I left that job the following month because I was scared to be so far away from home.  Every time we were in a large public place, like the OSU football stadium, I thought we were targets, and I was scared. I was living in fear.  I am so grateful we did not have kids then.  It is one thing to be scared for your own life. It’s a whole different ball game to feel uncertainty and to be scared for the lives of your own children.  I have deep respect for those of you who were raising your families during that time.

We took our oldest daughter on a special trip to NYC this year to celebrate her 10th birthday. It was our first time visiting the city, and we were all super excited.  One of our first stops was the 9/11 tribute memorial. I was prepared for an emotional experience, but I wasn’t really prepared.   My sweet, sensitive and empathetic daughter was so upset by seeing her mom cry, that it affected her the rest of the day.

The events of September 11, 2001 will live on in our hearts and in our memories forever. But let’s not forget how we rallied and pulled together as a country. We were bursting at the seams with American pride like never before in my lifetime.  We stepped up to adversity and we persevered.  We chose love over fear.

I remember hearing this in my car, driving to work, and sobbing so hard I could barely see where I was going.

The Binch

By Rob Suggs

Every U down in Uville liked the U.S. a lot,

But the Binch, who lived Far East of U-ville, did not. 

The Binch hated U.S! The whole U.S. way! 

Now don’t ask me why, for nobody can say, 

It could be his turban was screwed on too tight. 

Or the sun from the desert had beaten too bright 

But I think that the most likely reason of all 

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But, Whatever the reason, his heart or his turban, 

He stood facing U-ville, the part that was urban. 

“They’re doing their business,” he snarled from his perch. 

“They’re raising their families! They’re going to church! 

They’re leading the world, and their empire is thriving, 

I MUST keep the S’s and U’s from surviving!”

Tomorrow, he knew, all the U’s and the S’s, 

Would put on their pants and their shirts and their dresses, 

They’d go to their offices, playgrounds and schools, 

And abide by their U and S values and rules. 

And then they’d do something he liked least of all, 

Every U down in U-ville, the tall and the small, 

Would stand all united, each U and each S, 

And they’d sing U-ville’s anthem, “God bless us! God bless!” 

All around their Twin Towers of Uville, they’d stand, and their voices would drown every sound in the land.

“I must stop that singing,” Binch said with a smirk, 

And he had an idea — an idea that might work! 

The Binch stole some U airplanes in U morning hours, 

And crashed them right into the Uville Twin Towers. 

“They’ll wake to disaster!” he snickered, so sour, 

“And how can they sing when they can’t find a tower?”

The Binch cocked his ear as they woke from their sleeping, 

All set to enjoy their U-wailing and weeping, 

Instead he heard something that started quite low, 

And it built up quite slow, but it started to grow– 

And the Binch heard the most unpredictable thing… 

And he couldn’t believe it–they started to sing!

He stared down at U-ville, not trusting his eyes, 

What he saw was a shocking, disgusting surprise! 

Every U down in U-ville, the tall and the small, 

Was singing! Without any towers at all!

He HADN’T stopped U-Ville from singing! It sung! 

For down deep in the hearts of the old and the young 

Those Twin Towers were standing, called Hope and called Pride, 

And you can’t smash the towers we hold deep inside.

So we circle the sites where our heroes did fall, 

With a hand in each hand of the tall and the small, 

And we mourn for our losses while knowing we’ll cope, 

For we still have inside that U-Pride and U-Hope.

For America means a bit more than tall towers, 

It means more than wealth or political powers, 

It’s more than our enemies ever could guess, 

So may God bless America! Bless us! God bless!

Please take this as a gentle reminder to do the same in your life, with your family and your loved ones. We are all faced with adversity, fears, dilemmas, and struggles, but we can choose how we react.  We can choose love over fear. Let’s face our challenges head on.  Acknowledge your fears and frustrations because they are real. But know with unwavering certainty that you are not our challenges. You are not the hardships you are facing or the mistakes you have made.  You are love.  I hope this inspires you to practice radical self-care today- and every day.
Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.

  • Take time for reflection, meditation, or prayer.
  • Go for a walk and remember what a beautiful, clear and crisp day it was 14 years ago on this day.
  • Spend real quality time with your family and loves ones. Give them extra hugs and kisses.
  • Do a digital detox. Put your electronics away.
  • Spend some time in nature, take deep full breaths of fresh air.
  • Call a relative or friend who lives far away or next door.  Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Smile and say hi to a stranger. It’s amazing how this small gesture can make a big difference in your day.
  • Give someone an unexpected compliment.  You and the receiver will benefit.
  • Take a relaxing bath, add some Epsom salts for detoxification and stress relief.
  • Use lavender essential oil for relaxation. Rub some diluted oil directly on your skin or use in diffuser.  It smells even better when mixed with wild orange essential oil.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Read a silly book with your kids.  Laugh with them.
  • Watch an inspirational or patriotic movie. Or a chic flick, a comedy, or smut- whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Do whatever makes you feel good and puts you in the mindset of choosing love over fear.

There is no fear when you choose love. The more you choose love, the more love is in your life. It gets easier and easier.
~Melissa Etheridge

6 Comments

  1. Cheryl on September 12, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Very insightful…you have a way with words and great tips for quiet time.

    • Shellie on September 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you, Cheryl. We can never have too many self-care tips, especially during these trying times!

  2. Mary Blackburn on September 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to 911! Like you said, I remember it like it happened yesterday. I was at at our store and my husband was at the doctor’s office having stitches in his thumb removed. Later that day we were out doing service calls and a woman, neighbor of our service call, came out. She and I started talking, she was scared because she had family in NYC. We hugged, we cried, we hugged some more. I had never seen her before, and have never seen her since. She was a black woman, I was a white woman, but that day, we were women, two scared Americans.

    When my husband was finished with our call and we left, he asked me who that was. I replied, “I don’t know.” He thought she was an old friend of mine because he had seen us crying and hugging.

    It’s a shame that it takes a tragedy to bring people together, but I’m seeing it again in Houston and Florida. Thank you for the great tips for radical self care.

    • Shellie on September 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      It is a shame it takes a tragedy to bring us together. That is the blessing in these horrible events- it brings out the best in humanity.

  3. Lynne Wadsworth on September 18, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the reminder Shellie. Sometimes we get so wrapping up in our own lives, we tend to forget. We are grateful to those who gave their lives, and for our military men and women who constantly put their lives on the line for us.

    • Shellie on September 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Yes, so very grateful for the brave men and women who protect us every single day.

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