Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 11: A Bittersweet Date

Ten years ago today (September 11, 1999), I woke up knowing my life was about to change forever. I tried to savor every moment, though the day flew by quickly. I remember the calmness I felt that day, knowing I was making the right decision and that I had been blessed by God. With my hair and make-up flawless, dress perfectly fluffed, and bouquet weighing a ton, I walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with my Dad, towards my husband-to-be. Afterwards, family and friends celebrated with us with dinner and dancing. Toasts were made (along with smart-aleck comments thanks to my brother and a friend), cakes were cut (delicious ones made by a family friend), and congratulations were offered. That day, full of love, laughter, and celebration will forever be a part of me.

Fast forward two years. My husband had to be out of town for the day on business, but planned on being back to celebrate our two-year anniversary. I listened to a local radio station as I sat in rush-hour traffic. The morning DJ came on and announced that a second plane had just hit the World Trade Center. A second plane? I didn't realize one had hit the first tower. I turned up the radio and listened to the barely-there details. Once I arrived at work, I joined the rest of the employees in the lounge area watching the television. Details trickled in. The Pentagon was hit, the towers crumbled, and the plane crashed in the field. I remember standing there, jaw to the floor, awe-struck with what I was hearing. The company sent us home to be with family. That day, full of terror, tears, and sadness will forever remain with me as well.

Obviously, we didn't celebrate our anniversary that night. In fact, we didn't celebrate our anniversary on the 11th for a few years, instead waiting a couple of days. It didn't feel right. This year though, I want to celebrate it on the proper day. God blessed us that day and has blessed us for ten years. I want to acknowledge and commemorate the occasion. I no longer feel I'm disrespecting those who lost their lives, but rather honoring the Lord for what He has done for us. I've decided there has to be a balance between celebrating my marriage and remembering those who lost their lives. That is why this date will forever be bittersweet.


Need More Words said...

Joanna, It is in no way dishonoring to celebrate your anniversary on the 11th. It is a celebration of the union that God has put together. Enjoy your day. Happy Anniversary, and I do mean happy.

Joanna said...

Thank you, Diane!

smithsk said...

It's a blessing your husband was kept out of harm's way that day and you shared many more anniversaries including this day. As terrible as that day was, life goes on. Thanks for sharing.

Jan Parrish said...

Joanna, what a sad thing to happen on your anniversary. But, I think those who have departed would want you to celebrate the live and love you still have. I think you have a healthy perspective. Happy Anniversary!

Robbie Iobst said...

What a lovely post and story. Made me cry. I am so happy for you, Jo. 10 years is an accomplishment! I love how you are now celebrating again. Happy Anniversary!