This has nothing to do with celiac disease or living gluten free.
It’s about being human.
9 years ago today, the world stood still for at least a moment for all of us, and for much, much longer for some of us.
I had just finished a 400 mile bike ride for charity from Montreal to Portland, Maine. The first flight of the morning of 9/11/2001 I had flown from Portland to LaGuardia airport in NYC, and was awaiting a change of planes to fly home to Fort Lauderdale.
As we approached the city for landing, my friends and myself were saying what a beautiful clear day it was, how the city skyline stood out in stark relief against the brilliant blue sky. We were full of the kindness of humanity, having just spent 5 days literally riding our asses off with hundreds of others, raising money for those who could not ask for themselves.
As we sat in the terminal awaiting our plane, we began to hear that a plane had hit a building. The enormity of the situation hit when we looked out the windows of the terminal and saw the black smoke rising. The news slowly built, and a plane landed that had been in the air and saw Tower 1 hit. The passengers and staff were understandably shaken and scared. Still no one really knew what was going on.
Then sirens sounded and the airport was evacuated. In a hurried but organized and polite manner, the ocean of humanity moved outside into the bright sunlight. Having no real idea where to go, we followed some others across a foot bridge. As we were crossing the bridge, we saw Tower 2 fall. My friend looked at me, I looked at her, and as I was saying “I feel like we’re in a bad movie” she was saying “whatever is happening, this is history.”
We streamed into a local hotel, and we fortunate enough to be able to book a room. Attempt after attempt to reach my family was failing, as cell phones were clogging the lines. Finally I found a place with reception and a television (in the hotel gym, ironically) and was able to reach my family to let them know I was OK.
For the remainder of our time in NY, we were struck by the incredible kindnesses shown to each human. We took a bus to give blood, had no idea where we were going and were kindly directed by strangers. We celebrated life, in the midst of death and terror.
This is not about my story.
This is about your story. What are you going to do today to show kindness to another.
What will make you human.
Tell everyone you care about how much you love them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
No pictures today, no clever lines.
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