September 11 and September 12 are dates I will not, I cannot, forget. They each represent, in their way, real life as we know it here on planet Earth, the human experience as it were. Each anniversary of September 11 calls to mind the heartbreak and terror of 2001. We do not forget, how can we? I had dropped my oldest two kids off at school and taken my 2 year old over to a friend’s house to spend the day. On my way home with my 20 month old I heard the shocking report on the radio of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. Of course, at that point, it was “a plane” not “the first plane”. Once home I turned on the T.V. and saw the second hit in real time. I, like you, remained glued to the television the rest of the day, not to mention the days following, my grief and shock growing with each news update. 

My husband and I visited the memorial at Ground Zero when we were in New York last year. It is a beautiful and haunting tribute to those who lost their lives. Tears sprang to my eyes as we gazed over the zero depth pools that mark the footprints of the twin towers. We found Todd Beamer’s name engraved on the memorial and we remembered his brave “Let’s roll”. We thought of  his wife Lisa and her own courage as she quoted Romans 11 to Larry King just days after her devastating loss.

We remember. We grieve.

September 12, on the other hand, is one of the happiest days among the happy days. Eighteen years ago today my second son was born, and on his father’s birthday to boot! What joy is ours to celebrate two of the Lord’s greatest blessings on the same day! A day that I’ve spent so far, incidentally, vacuuming and mopping and when I publish this post I will then have the glamorous privilege of cleaning the downstairs bathroom. 

Isn’t that life? Lows and highs, peaks and valleys, great happiness, great sorrow, unspeakable loss, exultant joy, and in between the ordinary and the mundane obligations of day-to-day living.  We celebrate. We grieve. We clean the bathrooms. We remember the tragic, we rejoice in the blessings, and we live each day in the grace the Lord provides through it all.


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

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