Friday's Five will return next week. Today's date simply required a different post than usual.
Today is a day for remembering, a date that has become a proper noun -- Nine-Eleven. For many people, today means mourning the loss of loved ones, recounting stories of where they were when they heard the horrible news, honoring those who worked so hard to save the lives of others, wondering how eight years have passed so quickly. It is a day that reminds us of endings.
For me, today also brings memories of beginnings. I got married on the Saturday after 9/11, on what would have been an ordinary, blue-sky wedding day but what became a much-needed reminder that there was still life to celebrate in spite of the extraordinary tragedy of that week.
Although several family members and friends were unable to make it to our wedding (no flights from California or Texas -- and as my brother-in-law said, by the time their flight was officially canceled, they couldn't have driven to North Carolina in time), we were fortunate that our "big day" still took place as planned. And we were truly honored by the extra effort many friends and family made in order to be there with us, driving long distances or (in the case of two friends) catching the first re-scheduled flights out.
It was a beautiful day, that Saturday. I was a crazy bride, and probably owe apologies all around, but it really was beautiful. And it was such a blessing, on that day of all days, to be able to sing and dance and laugh and love and kiss and hope and be thankful.
This photo, taken by my cousin on the afternoon following the wedding, appears to be simply a shot of the country club where we had our reception -- at first glance, I thought this picture did nothing more than show how perfect the weather was that day.
But look closely -- although it's hard to make out in the scanned-in reproduction, there are two telling signs of the week captured here. See the flag? Even four days later, it is still at half-staff. And just above it? A fine white line of jet exhaust. Flights started taking off from PTI that morning.
This picture captures nothing of the ceremony or the celebration that kicked off our now eight years of marriage. But I treasure it as a reminder of how fortunate we are to be living a beautiful, ordinary, blue sky life.