"...Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment... And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
Sunday I spent mostly alone, as Mr LKP had to hit the road for work that morning, and Mini-Me was spending time with her father, who had the fortunate opportunity to break away from editing his magazine and come spend some time here in town for the weekend.
My thoughts were to dial-up some 9/11 footage here online. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. All I could remember was lying curled up on the couch, glued to my TV for 2 days solid, completely cried-out, but unable to turn it off.
My heart ached at the thought of re-opening that wound... and I cried again, even without the footage. So I put those thoughts aside and went about things the Ranch needed that day, and wrapped up MOST of my workflow from the the last event I photographed. (Almost had it to burn-point, and realized something went wrong in my slideshow, so I am tweaking it to perfection tonight, and dropping discs in the mail tomorrow. But that's neither here nor there.)
digital CD. But I missed it first-hand.
I also read about, later, in our local newspaper online, that a new memorial was celebrated and installed Sunday as well. It's a piece of of beam from one of the Twin Towers. Amazing! Just perusing the photo gallery reduced me to tears. So, in part I'm glad I missed that one first-hand (I'd have been a mess). But I'll probably go see it in my own time, away from crowds. I just need a private moment there I think. I feel I need to place my hand on it. Probably sounds weird, but I need that connection. Some sort closure for me, I guess.
One of the speakers at the 9/11 Memorial unveiling called the piece of beam sacred. I get that. Makes sense to me. I felt the same way in the middle of one cold October night in '06, at the Oklahoma City National Memorial as well. It was 1 or 2 in the morning when we visited, which probably added to the quiet, intimate experience. There's a part of the wall still in place there. There's also the Survivor Tree, which literally survived the explosion that blew past it. The whole site feels sacred, and humbling. Similar to how it feels for me when I'm in the Temple. That alone was beautiful, but the moment I placed my hand on both the wall and then the tree, I felt this energy... this connection. It was real, and I wasn't alone. Intense and amazing all at the same time.
So I think I need me a moment with this piece of 9/11 that has come to its new home here.
Felt another connection today, though. While I was in town, I saw Time's commemorative issue on the newsstand. Picked it up and flipped through the images. My favorite section are the portraits in the "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience" feature. Instantly, I identified some of the faces and loved hearing their perspective. Other faces I hadn't seen prior to this morning, but the connection was still there. Real. Alive.
"I had burns, they say, on 80% of my body and a broken bone in my back. I had my contacts in, so they were melted to my eyes. I don't remember all of it. My wife says she came into the hospital two days later and walked right past me."
-Ron DiFrancesco, Survivor, World Trade Center, South Tower, 84th Floor
"I was intending to turn right, to stairway C, which is what I was in charge of as fire marshal. Something, and I can't explain it, just pushed me around to the left. I went down the other hallway and went to stairway A. And with the fullness of time, we learned that there are no stories of anybody surviving from anything other than stairway A."
-Brian Clark, Survivor, World Trade Center, South Tower, 84th Floor
Amazing no? I've got a feeling that what fuses the connection I feel each time, is that same something that Mr. Clark couldn't explain in the moments before the stairwell. That something isn't a what, its a Who. The same Who teaches me what is truth... Who comforts my aching heart, and Who walks with me every moment of each day, since Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ cannot personally do so. The Holy Ghost (aka Holy Spirit) was given this purpose, so as to tend to God's children.
Heavenly Father wants us to be connected, to remember, and to not move on but to move forward with greater resolve to be better versions of ourselves... as well as create a better version of this world.
Tragedies occur, this is true. But without those tragedies, also known as opposition, we could not know joy and peace and happiness nor how priceless each of those are in our lives.
"...We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
-Articles of Faith, #13
I will be connected... and I will remember. Always.