- September 22, 2021
Twenty years ago, I was just a sixteen-year-old girl who was a junior in high school — living the dream and being free with a brand-new driver’s license and a boyfriend who was three years older than me. He was hotter than hot on the 4th of July. He had a sexy car, sweet braces,
Twenty years ago, I was just a sixteen-year-old girl who was a junior in high school — living the dream and being free with a brand-new driver’s license and a boyfriend who was three years older than me. He was hotter than hot on the 4th of July. He had a sexy car, sweet braces, and a smile that would knock any high school girl on her feet. Ha, well, let them try to get after my man with that smile. I’d knock them right on their feet! Oh, I was a feisty sixteen-year-old who thought she had the world in her hands. The freedom of driving was a feeling I had never had before, and I was loving my newfound life. The world was perfect. My boyfriend was perfect. My sweet late 1980’s Pontiac Bonneville was my big boat I drove around in. Thumpin’ music like it had some fancy Bose speakers and painting all the interior pieces thinking I had some incredible race car. Everything was perfect, right down to my sweet Bonne. That thing was pretty darn sweet and was my freedom!
On September 11, 2001, I went to school like any other weekday morning. I remember it being a beautiful morning that day — bright blue, vivid skies. Every morning I couldn’t wait to get to school to see Chris. Sometimes he would pick me up in the mornings if he had the time. I mean, his car was so much cooler than mine. I’d meet him in C-Lot, and we would walk up together to the school. It was a perfect Tuesday morning for a school day anyways. As always, Chris walked me to first period, slapped a kiss on my lips, and we departed, not knowing that from that point on, our world would change forever. I went off to third-period history class with an awesome teacher named Mr. Burget. I mean, what were the chances that I was in history/social studies class when history changed as we knew it? I remember the teacher from the next-door yelling for Mr. Burget. When Mr. Burget came back into our class, he was walking quickly through the door.
“Folks, change of plans for today’s class,” he said as he walked over to pull the TV out to turn it on.
“Something tragic just happened in New York City.”
We all sat and watched the replay of this plane hitting one of the Twin Towers over and over again — no one knowing what had just happened until that second plane hit. There were so many gasps in the classroom, and I honestly don’t remember our class being so quiet after that as we sat there watching in complete disbelief. I wasn’t thinking about my car or my boyfriend. I was thinking about these poor people, stuck in these buildings hundreds of feet in the air, trapped by the fire of a deliberate terrorist attack on our country — these innocent people who looked at that same blue sky that morning. The same people who were also in love and had families went to work thinking they would be home that night. Bodies started jumping from windows of the Trade Centers. My stomach dropped. How could this happen? Why would anyone do this to our country? These poor people jumped, knowing they would never see anyone they loved ever again.
Later, during the day, that’s all we watched in classrooms. Watching the Trade Centers fall and New York looking like a battleground. The plane that went into the Pentagon. Flight 93 which was hijacked. This was all so much. My heart hurt. At sixteen years old, I tried wrapping my head around all of this, not knowing that this day would stay in our hearts and minds forever.
To think this was twenty years ago, one, makes me feel super old. And two, I know that for every year that passes of the Anniversary of 9/11, that it will never be forgotten. All the people who lost their lives that day and families who never even got closure because they were never found in the large pile of devastation.
This year as I ride in the 9/11 ride with my husband Chris by my side, I will remember that day and pray for their families. The firefighters and police who never made it home. The moms and dads who never made it back home to their children. The brothers and sisters lost — the wives and husbands who never got to see their loved ones ever again.
Folks, be thankful. I can’t say this enough. When you wake up in the morning and dread going to work, but there is a beautiful blue sky, stop and take it in. These people on that beautiful crisp Tuesday morning on 9/11/01 thought they would be back home that night. But in a blink of an eye, their lives were taken away — thousands of devastated families all over the country. Millions of people’s hearts were broken as we watched. God has given you the gift of life, don’t take that for granted. Live each day to the fullest, and never forget the families of 9/11. Love your family a little extra that day. Tell them you love them. Be thankful for each and every moment.
Enjoy the simple things. Life’s too short.
Simple Creamy Peanut Butter Icing
• 1/2 cup Crisco
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 to 1 1/2 lb. confectioners’ sugar
• Few dashes of salt
Cream Crisco and peanut butter together. Add confectioners’ sugar, then add milk to desired consistency and few dashes of salt. (Top on cooled cake.)