Gratitude for One


It’s already noon, but my mind won’t rest until I change the flag out front to the Stars and Stripes.  I intended to do it first thing this morning, but it’s amazing how quickly the time slips past.  For me, but not for many Americans who are hurting today on September 11th.
Me?  I am happy and thankful today, instead of sad, which I realize, is a privilege I don’t deserve.  Many suffered losses eleven years ago today, but I was spared the loss of a good friend who was in the subway underneath the World Trade Center when the disaster occurred.
The details of the event are riveting and heart-wrenching, but that is her story to tell, not mine.  My intention lies in focusing on what her friendship was and is to me, and thanking God that He spared her that day, when so many were not.
K and I met while we were working in the dismally ludicrous Advertising industry, for a crazy, alcoholic boss.  She was technically my assistant, but I’m not sure who was really in charge, between the two of us.  Both young, single girls with plenty of energy and time to kill, we banded together after hours and took on the Dallas social scene, itching to escape from our office and looking for where we fit in.
My partner in crime, we were always on the look-out for the next Big Thing, whether it be a party, a band to go see or a new bar or club to discover.  But beyond the surface of a partying comradeship, we developed a deeper familiarity, supporting each other through broken relationships and continued career disillusionment.
One night, in particular, stands out in my mind.  We were out at a club seeing a band play, and we ran into a guy I was dating who was there with another girl.  At the time, I wanted more from this guy than he was willing to give.  K steered me out of the club and let me lean on her as we left with me in tears.  We stood in the parking lot while I cried, and she didn’t tell me to stop. 
Both of our life circumstances have changed since then with happy marriages, babies, houses and careers.  And although we don’t get to talk as often as we’d like, due to our jam-packed lives, I picture myself leaning on her when I’ve had a bad day.  Or I imagine laughing with her when I need to lighten up.
Gratitude is a funny thing, in that we sometimes have to slap ourselves to remember to feel it.  Life just goes along, from one fire drill to the next.   It’s a lot easier and more convenient to count all the mishaps and difficulties that abound.
Today, of all the days of the year, I insist upon feeling thankful for my friend.
Goofing around on my wedding day.
 
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Comments

  1. Aw, what a nice twist on a day where I imagine most 9/11 blog posts will be filled with upset...

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    1. So true. I am glad to have one thing to be happy about!

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I spent a lot of time on a church service last year for the 10th anniversary, and this year I just didn't have the heart for marking the day. I second Gia. It was nice to hear about someone who kept a precious relationship instead of losing one. Thank you.

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    1. I know what you mean about not having the heart to talk/write about that day. I know I am so lucky to have something positive to say about it. That church service must have been quite moving. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Ah, this is so full of heart and love. It makes me so happy to read and think of you finding your way through Dallas with a great person. I couldn't touch this topic because I can't do it justice. You did.

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    1. Well, those are kind words, thank you. I didn't even scratch the surface of what most people are thinking/feeling on this day, but this is what I choose to focus on...to save my sanity!!

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  4. What a lovely post. Mourning what's lost is important but so is focusing on what we still have. I agree with everyone who's said it's nice to see a 9/11 post like this. (Not to invalidate the other ones, of course.) This was a joy to read. Everyone should have a friend that lets you cry and doesn't ask you to stop.

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    1. Thank you! I start to feel so helpless about the incident and the state of the world, in general, if I don't focus on the positive!

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  5. This post made me remember and be grateful for my girlfriends during our pre-marriage and pre-baby days! They were unforgettable. Great post on a special day for reflection.

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    1. Girlfriends are the best! :) Thank you!

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for celebrating and feeling gratitude for the life that does go on. This is a terrific spin on a grim anniversary. Well done!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. Every year on 9/11 I feel a complex mix sad and grateful. Sad for all that was lost, but grateful for everything that I still have. You wrote those dueling emotions beautifully.

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  8. When given the choice between sadness and gratitude, always choose gratitude. Thank you for such a lovely post about a lovely relationship! I think it is wonderful to read these kinds of tributes to friendship and I'm so glad that you have a friend like K.

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    1. You are so right...sometimes it's a hard choice to make, but good for our souls.

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  9. Oh so sweet. Your friend was very lucky, as were you to have been spared the tragedy of losing her. What a good way to honor the day, by being thankful for what you have. That's a really cute picture too!

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    1. Thank you! She and I have lots of fun together! :)

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  10. I absolutely love this! What a horrific day it truly was and it's great that you find something to be thankful for about it!

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  11. Lucky lucky you. This was beautifully written. I was in CA at the time but now live near NYC and the stories are so extreme. From heartbreak to amazing tails of survival. Amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Stacie. Some of the stories are truly unreal.

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  12. Here is to wonderful friends, where ever they may be. I know many people who lost someone on that day. It's a good time to be thankful for those who are still around and will let us cry.

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    1. Thank you, Bill! It is overwhelming to think about how many lives were lost that day, and the loved ones they left behind. Every life saved is a gift!

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  13. A lovely tribute with a message I can't hear often enough - choosing gratitude. My heart feels bigger reading this well-written post. Thank you.

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  14. I'm so glad you still have your sweet funny friend. Anybody who can talk you down after you've just seen the guy you're dating hanging out with another girl is a keeper-friend for sure.

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    1. Yes, she is a keeper! Now we have less dramatic things to talk about, like diapers :)

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  15. Your friend sounds wonderful. We all need friends like that in our lives, and I am so thankful for you that yours is still in your life!

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  16. That's the essence of a good friendship. I'm glad you shared this sweet remembrance of a painful day.

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  17. This is beautiful. I'm so glad that your friend was OK and that you can look on that day with gratitude. I should be thankful that my husband was safe (he was in NYC, though not downtown) but instead I only remember the fear I would lose him. You have a wonderful attitude and you told a good story.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. The fear is really overwhelming and scary...so I make myself think about the good!!

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  18. So glad you have happy memories to hold on to during that tragic day. Nice post.

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  19. Wow. This was a great read. What a blessing that your friend was ok.

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  20. Like the way you took a sad day and turned it into a thankful post! Nice job!

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