Remembering September 11, 2001

21 years ago today was our son Mendel’s Bris Milah.

Amid the chaos, heartbreak, and tragedy we escaped for a few minutes into a small corner of our hearts to celebrate and give him his Hebrew name.

As we drove to the hospital where his Bris was to take place (as he was still in the NICU) we were listening to the news come in…devastation. As the morning went on the news kept coming, each moment that passed felt thick. 8:46 am, 9:03am, 9:37am, 9:59am, 10:07am, 10:28am….each minute felt heavy, painful, as though you could reach out and touch it. Time became real. That morning we all felt it, we could touch time.

13 years later, Mendel’s Bar Mitzvah fell out of September 11, 2014.

Once again, we felt time. We recounted the minutes of that fateful morning, remembered the heros, recalled the fear, the chaos…and we thanked G-d for our life, our children, our blessings.

Once again we carved out a corner of our hearts to celebrate Mendel’s becoming Bar Mitzvah.

We spoke to Mendel about the preciousness of time, and he spoke about being grateful each morning we wake up.

Our joy, Mendel’s joy, filled the room that night.

On a day that evil tried to make the world darker, Mendel continued to bring sparks of light.

I suppose some souls just know. They know when the world needs some extra light. That’s why they are here, to take time and make it holy, to push darkness away, to teach the precious value of each moment.

Our hearts are with the many many many families who said good bye to their loved ones on this day 21 years ago.

A person is not defined by the moments and circumstances by which they left this world, but rather they are defined by the many precious moments they were here, filling the world with light.