I wrote this last year and wanted to post it again. I added an update at the bottom. I find I feel the same today as I did when I wrote it.
Have you ever reflected on little segments of your life and realized just how much they influenced who you are today? One of the big questions that people will ask of each other this weekend is “where were you on 9/11?”. Everyone has a story. Each one unique and each of us on that day were changed. We hugged our loved one’s a little tighter, perhaps were a little kinder and together we bonded in our love for our country.
If you have a memory or two tucked away that involves the World Trade Center, chances are you are pondering those as well. On that day, as I watched the first tower fall and then the second, I couldn’t help but reflect back to my days in NYC and an amazing dinner at Windows on the World with two very special people in my life. They, like the Twin Towers are no longer here.
It was a period in my life that was all good. I was a young naive college student studying design at FIT on 27th and 7th. I walked to work at Macy’s and had an amazing roommate and best friend from New Jersey named Lisa. We hung out at Columbia University, Studio 54 and the Underground. We were thin and fabulous. We wore short skirts, stiletto’s and designer clothes. Truth be told, we thought we ruled the world.
My Aunt Jinny, a gentle soul that never married, called me one day from Cincinnati and asked if she could come visit for a weekend. I almost selfishly said no…are you kidding me? Give up a weekend to entertain my 60 year old aunt? Thankfully, I had some sense and told her I would love for her to visit. Looking back, Lisa and I had some of our best times with Aunt Jinny over the next two years. We would dress her up, give her a make-over, let her sleep in our dorm and take her out on the town as if she was the college student she never was. In return she would bring us skyline from Cincinnati, take us to tons of musicals and gift us with one special memory – dinner at Windows on the World.
It was a magical night. We took hours to get ready and then called a cab to pick us up. As the elevator climbed to the top floor of the tower and the doors opened up, you truly felt as if you were on top of the world. The view was incredible, the bathrooms fabulous and the food delicious. Back then, to us it was about being dressed up and out on the town at an exclusive restaurant that we could never ever have afforded as a college student. Today, I realize it was about being in a magical place that no longer exists with two very special people that meant more to me than words can say and like the World Trade Center… are no longer here. Ginny passed away shortly after the towers fell and unexpectedly, Lisa just a few years ago.
I am emotional. I was inspired to write this after I read a post this morning by Thrify Decor Chick; touched by her photos at Ground Zero. Now my mind is flooded with memories of Jinny and Lisa…I miss them. They made me a better person. I wish I had just one more conversation with them… I am glad they knew I loved them.
Excerpts from a book written by high school friend Andrea Raynor called A Voice that Calls you Home swirl in my mind as I think about that heart wrenching day known simply as 9/11. In her book, Andrea shares her emotional journey including her days at ground zero blessing body parts and later, her battle with breast cancer.
I think of my friend Heath who is getting ready to leave his family to serve yet another year across the world I think of my friend Cheri’s son Jake, and my children’s friends Jason, Zak and Ashley who are all in the different segments of the US Military. They make me so proud. I just want to wrap my arms around them and all the other brave men and woman who are serving our country and working to keep us safe.
Today, I am reminded how precious life is… How lucky we are to live in this wonderful place called America. In these trying times, in the midst of a struggling economy and financial struggles… we may not agree on politics or religion or even sports teams, but that fateful day on 9/11 reminded us that regardless of our differences, we are united in our love for this beautiful place on earth called America. Today as I remember, I am especially grateful for that. xo Amy
Update: I am VERY excited that my friend Heath is coming home this month! I will get to see him at a Ohio State Football game this year – can’t wait to welcome him back! Jason left a few months ago for Afghanistan and his wife is expecting their second child. I’m keeping them (and all military personnel/families) in my prayers! Here is an article about my friend Andie (Andrea) that was in USA today recently. xo