I always take time on September 11 to remember my mother. I know, a lot of people remember this date for another reason, and I’ll get to that in a moment.
September 11 is the date on which my mother died. I blogged about it last year, so I will not repeat myself.
It’s been eleven years since the fateful date of her death. What’s happened since then? My partner and I settled into the house that I built, developed a stable, productive, and deep partnership together, and have led quality lives. We have had many fun and not-so-fun experiences, learned a lot, and each of us changed jobs once — moving on to better things for each of us. We have matured, grown, and have deepening respect for each other, and for others.
My Mom influenced me in many ways. She always told me to keep smiling, and keep plugging away because life is short — you only reap what you sew — so plant your roots deep and care for your family, your neighbors, your friends, and Mother Nature. That we do…. Thanks, Mom, for your continuing inspiration in my life, and for your love that endures beyond your physical presence on this Earth.
The media contrived “9/11” to refer to the U.S. attacks on that date. That media contrivance drives me absolutely bonkers, but the reference isn’t going to go away, no matter how wrong it is. (I remind you, FDR did not refer to “12/7” as a date which will live in infamy.)
Right after the U.S. attacks of September 11, 2001, I spent six months in New York City (on-and-off; not permanently) providing relief and working on a series of special projects. While I had visited NYC several times before that date, the ongoing exposure to the city in that “post-September 11” timeframe taught me many things. It taught me about the endurance and perseverance of humanity, and of New Yorkers. It taught me that people can rise to overcome many challenges. And it taught me that I really don’t like New York City.
My feelings have nothing to do with the people, as it has to do with long-term, ongoing memories that I would rather not think about. I have not returned to New York City since February, 2002, and have no intentions of going back. It just hurts too much. Plus, I am not a city boy. I do not like crowds, noise, late-night activities, and the expense. I am much more relaxed and comfortable in my simple suburban lifestyle, with my partner by my side, and enjoying the view of Maryland’s back roads and nearby areas from the saddle of my Harley. My needs are simple, and I much prefer quiet and peacefulness than noise, dust, dirt, and “busy-ness.” Not for me.
Mind you, nothing is wrong with New York City. Many, many people call it home, and many more visit every year. Great for them. It is a marvelous place. It’s just not for me nor my partner.
Life is short: remember those you love.