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“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

I forget…a lot.  The good and the bad.  Out of sight, out of mind.  But some things are not meant to be forgotten. Some things need to be remembered.

Two days ago, September 11,  I arrived at JFK from my trip to Brazil.  I was feeling blessed for having had an uneventful, but still amazing trip to Brazil.  It makes me feel good that I am able to bring my mother to NY twice a year and provide her with a comfortable and fun time this late in her life.

This flight to NY was unexpectedly better than previous ones.  Mom and I were upgraded to first class.  To be able to lay flat and sleep on a 9 and a half hour flight is just amazing. The Brazilian cheese bread and Brazilian corn biscuits for breakfast were the icing on this champagne filled cake.  What I loved most is that my Mom was able to experience the comfort of first class.

“Human beings do terrible things to each other and the tragic thing about it all is the way the remembrance of past hurt can rob us of our future and become the narrative of our lives.” ― Richard Holloway

Life was unfolding as it normally does whenever I arrive from Brazil with unpacking and catching up on work stuff when I realized it was September 11.  I should have remembered it.  I felt silly for celebrating flying first class when so many were remembering and mourning a tragedy.  I felt tone deaf and disrespectful.  I am embarrassed that I didn’t remember it earlier.  I didn’t think of it when I booked the ticket or even when I checked in.

I personally knew and worked with several people that died that day.  I worked for Euro Brokers Inc for several years in their Stamford, CT office.  Their main office was on the 84th Floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  I quit that job on a spur of the moment when they decided to close the CT office and move everyone to the NY office. I had no interest in working in Manhattan and I also felt I was done with the commodities brokerage world.

A year later, and still to this day I am working in Manhattan in the same industry I was tired of 20 years ago.  

“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.” – ― Czesław Miłosz

I was late remembering the date but I often remember details and moments lived with some that have passed, in other occasions also. There are so many memories of the people I knew that perished.  I remember one for his kindness, one for his laugh and one for his readiness to help. Then there is another that loved life so much he never missed a party or a trip and only dated models.  There were so many people, so many different stories, so many lessons to learn.

I said prayers for their souls and their families.  I also paused for the ones that I didn’t know and also the survivors  that are still dealing with survivor’s guilt. I remembered the true heroes of that day, both dead and alive.

I am remembering and trying to honor their memories the best way I know how: being kind always, being helpful whenever I can,  laughing aloud often, enjoying life fully, and being grateful for all.  I am no longer feeling guilty and embarrassed about talking about flying first class.  Enjoying life is the best way to honor the dead.

I am grateful for the gift of memory, even though late and faulty.  For having my parents still here, for being upgraded and feeling luxurious for a moment, for having life while many were taken too soon.  For all the blessings small and large. For every moment and every breath.

“I could have.What does this phrase mean? At any given moment in our lives, there are certain things that could have happened but, didn’t. The magic moments go unrecognized, and then suddenly, the hand of destiny changes everything.”― Paulo Coelho