“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?” sings Alan Jackson.
Today has been one of reflection on those moments that forever leave their mark on your soul. I remember exactly where I was that morning. Just as I remember exactly where I was when I heard that the USA was bombing Baghdad. And when the space shuttle fell out of the sky. Moments of our collective history.
I also remember where I was when my personal world stopped turning. When an airplane crashed into the Sunvalley Mall. When my brother and his family drove away from California, listening to the same Rascal Flatts song that was also playing in my car. The moment my dad died and I thought I would too, right then and there. When Tye and all my animal companions drove up the gravel road, and I held onto the gate and sobbed.
Today has also been one of reflection on the resilience we humans can demonstrate. How pride in our country exploded in showers of red, white and blue. How we rallied together and held each other up both physically and emotionally. How we shared tears, stories, memories and songs. How saying ‘see you later’ felt safer than saying ‘goodbye’. How it all of a sudden became just a little bit easier to tell our friends that we loved them for no other reason than to just make sure they knew.
As I tuck each one of these memorable moments back into the place in my heart where I keep them, I marvel at how they are still tender to the touch but not quite as painful as they once were. My world did stop turning, but then somehow, ever so slowly, it started up again.