It has been six years since the terrorist attacks changed our lives forever. Since that time I’ve become a father which has changed the way I see the world and the way I see myself. Six years ago I was angry. Six years ago I wanted to hunt down the scum of the earth responsible for these horrendous acts and make them feel the pain that was inflicted on our country.
Today, I’m not sure what I feel. I guess I still feel a sense of loss. A loss of freedom. A loss of innocence. That day six years ago changed us and there is no going back. I read somewhere that 9/11 is our generation’s JFK assassination or Pearl Harbor. We all remember where we were that fateful day and we all remember how our lives used to be.
This morning, I snuggled with my two beautiful children while scanning some of my favorite blogs. The smell of lavender shampoo was strong as Swee’Pea and TheMonk rested their heads on my chest while they watched The Wiggles. I visited my friend MetroDad and was reminded again how my loss of innocence does not compare to his loss of his best friend.
How lucky am I to have all that I do.
And then I thought of someone else. About a year or two ago a co-worker of mine named Eryn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. These nerve cells die and eventually the person afflicted with ALS becomes paralyzed. After that comes death. There is no cure.
Eryn was not a close friend. We did not even work at the same location. But I knew her casually and we would chat about her beautiful small children. She would light up when talking about them and I knew that we shared a love for parenting our children.
Erin moved to another state to seek treatment and recently I received an email asking for me to consider helping raise money to fight ALS through Eryn. I thought of her two small girls growing up without their mother and I cried. And then I made a donation.
Many tears are being shed today. I weep as I write this very sentence. I weep for people like Pierre who have lost their best friend in a senseless act of violence. I weep for Eryn who must be so afraid inside yet is courageously fighting the only way she knows how. I weep for my children as I realize how impossible it is to protect them from all harm and disease in this world.
May we weep together, my friends. May we stand tall and unite to make others lives a little better. We cannot undo the awful things that happened six years ago. But we can help others in their name.
If you feel so inclined today, I ask you to consider making a contribution, small or large, to one, or both, of the following places…
The Andrew Golkin Memorial Fund in honor of MetroDad’s best friend. This fund goes to give scholarships to underprivileged kids in New York City.
The 2007 Walk to D’feet ALS that my friend Eryn is participating in. If you do give, please put in honor of Eryn Baird.
Thank you for anything you can give.