The Day After

I’ve been perusing news articles, blog posts, tweets, Facebook, TV and radio observing the reflections of a day ten years ago when terror struck on September 11, 2001. The impact of four commercial planes full of innocent people, heroic people, and the worst kind of people who eventually saw all four of the planes through to a tragic end has left an indelible mark on me, on a city, on a nation, and on the world.

Ten years is a long time, yet, it isn’t very long at all. It seems so fresh, so yesterday, so real still. I still expect to turn on the TV and see smoldering rubble in the business district of Manhattan, a burned and gaping hole in the side of the Pentagon, and a big, dirty, smoking trench in a field in Pennsylvania. Yet, those aren’t my tragedies.

One of the tragedies of 9/11, for me, is the change in perspective. What once would have been a coincidence, a natural phenomena, or a just a freak accident is now questioned: Are we being attacked once again?

Recently there was a relatively minor earthquake that shook our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. The first thought for many people in D.C. was that there had been another attack, that something had exploded nearby, that the worst had struck again.

Before 9/11, we would have all thought that it was an earthquake…first.

Parents of children with diabetes also have this perspective shift. Before diabetes, a child acting the fool, goofing off, and just being the beautiful weird that a child can be would have been attributed to just having fun and being a kid. After diabetes, the same acts are questioned: Is his blood sugar low? Does he need a snack? Is there a reason for this odd behavior? Is this my fault?

Diabetes is its own sort of terrorist, hijacking our immune system, demanding that we be forever vigilant of how we feel, what we eat, and what we do and how much we do it from that point forward. It requires us to closely scrutinize things that we would have previously overlooked, such as being thirsty or having a headache, and question their intent and what they stand for.

Both the evil of 9/11 and diabetes have claimed and continue to claim the lives of friends, families, loved ones, innocent people, heroes, and even those that we don’t admire so much. There is no discrimination, aside from sweeping political and religious idealism that has been portrayed by the media over the years since 9/11.

The day after 9/11, we questioned everything. The day after diabetes, we questioned everything. Still, we have the day after, and that is one more day to live with all of this, and one more day to overcome it.

“Nothing we do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.” — Ashleigh Brilliant

NYC World Trade Center Rebuild - May 2011

Rebuilding the World Trade Center - May 2011

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