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Sunday, September 11, 2011


I will never forget that fateful day ten years ago.  Hubby and I were just starting our journey living in the U.S.   We've just bought our first home in America and in hindsight we were like toddlers.  We barely learned how to walk;  teetering on our tippy toes and at any moment's notice our world could come crushing down. 

I was talking to my Mom back in South Africa on the phone when I noticed something was going on from the corner of my eye.  I will never forget it: "Mom, a plane just flew into a building in New York!"  I was dumbfounded.  I could not believe what my eyes saw.  She was stunned and did not know what to say.  Our brains were both in disbelieve!  "Mom, go turn on your T.V!"

When the second plane struck I slumped into a heap right where I was standing.  "I' don't believe it!  Another plane struck the building next to it!"  I remember grabbing my forehead and just crumbling into a huge ball.

I did not have to wait for an analysis or a reporter to investigate.  I knew.  I knew America was under attack.  But I was clueless as to who they were and why they did this.  My mind was racing trying to process what just happened running through a million unanswered questions at the same time.

I knew this was going to have a  profound impact on our country and on us being immigrants trying to start a new life living in the U.S.  I knew right then life would never be the same. 

 The process of becoming a citizen was put on hold indefinitely.  The IT bubble burst and hubby had to struggle find another job when the software company that employed him went belly up.  But when the going gets tough the tough get going and we've always had the tenacity of bulldogs and the work ethic of people who had nothing to lose.

We pulled through it.  Bigger, better and a lot wiser.

Today I saw a lot about "how to discuss this with your children!"  And I know we all should impart what our country stands for to our children.  But I made the decision not to discuss this with them.  I don't think their five year old spirits need to carry the burden of all that happened that day, but over time I know they will learn about it in history books and T.V. and friends and teachers. 

What is it we all need to learn from this?  Life is fragile, fleeting and at a moment's notice life as you know it;  could be over.  And even if just in a small way we all were brought to our knees to question and reaffirm our believes, our faith and our priorities.  I believe we all are wiser, stronger and more determined as a result of it.  Instead of becoming bitter and hardened by this cruel and senseless violence I would like for my children to stand strong and hold on to the fundamental belief - "But now faith, hope, and love remain--these three. And the greatest of these is love."