I woke up today to the horror and shock of the bombing that took place in Brussels, Belgium. It’s funny because out of all the foggy memories of my past one day that I can remember clearly is 911. I remember being ushered into the gymnasium at my school, as the principle tried his best to explain the horrors of the world to hundreds of scared, naive children. I am sure it had never been quiet in that gymnasium until that day. That day.. you could hear a pin drop. I remember going home early and sitting quietly on the floor watching the television, listening to the muffled sobs in the background, and feeling my heart sink. Lower than I had felt it sink before. As a child I couldn’t nearly comprehend the destruction, and the devastation that had occurred that day. Today I’m older and hopefully much more wiser, but the sinking feeling is the same. The sadness in my heart over a world that can be so cruel is the same.
I started getting ready for bed around 10:45. I am on vacation this week with my family in Daytona Beach, Florida. As I was about to start brushing my teeth I heard my dad say something about a rocket launching on the news. I rushed in and all of us Kentuckians suddenly realized excitingly that YES we were in fact in Florida, and ran outside barefoot into the night. We probably looked something close to ridiculous looking all around frantically to see if we could see this rocket. I spotted it first and quickly squeeled it’s location to the others. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. A gold blaze of fire just sailing through the sky. It looked like it was coming straight towards us at first, and I didn’t know whether to turn and try to run for my life, or continue to stand, barefoot and dumbfounded in the street. You really would have thought that I was watching the moon launch by how moved I was. It suddenly occurred to me though, standing there in the street, that I was watching history happen right then and there.
I am still struck by the two intense feelings that I experienced today. Both opposite in nature: one a crushing sadness, and one an awestruck delight. It’s easy to forget on the days when all you do is buy groceries and wash socks that history is happening. It’s happening even when the most eventful part of your day is putting three sugars in your coffee instead of two. Today I experienced two types of history, the kind that breaks your heart and forever lives on in your mind and soul, and the kind that takes your breath and moves you to your core. It is so easy to forget how precious and fleeting life is. You have to live every day like it’s history, like your great grandchildren are going to read about it in their school textbooks. You have to live like this because it’s true. Because when you wake up tomorrow, everything that I am saying right now will just be a part of the past. If you are reading this, I hope tomorrow you face the day with a new resolve to live life to it’s fullest, even if you are just washing socks and putting extra sugar in your coffee. I also hope that before you do anything else, you send up a prayer for those whose lives were forever changed today by the bombings in Brussels. We will always remember.