Ten years ago, on an early September morning much like this one, I was getting ready for work with my TODAY Show companions Matt and Katie chattering away in the background. I’d just returned from getting my children off to school – 8th, 6th, and 3rd grades. My wife, 7 months pregnant, was already at the office, managing our small family-owned business.
Life was plugging along, pretty much mindlessly for me. Then it all changed.
The chattering on the TV turned serious, concerned, confused. I sat down, paying full attention, and watched incredulously as it all changed.
The north tower of the World Trade Center was on fire, and it was pretty scary. Fifteen minutes later, I watched in disbelief as the second plane flew into the south tower, and it was totally surreal. Then I heard about the third hitting the Pentagon, and the fourth spiraling out of control nearby in rural central Pennsylvania. All hell was breaking loose, and I’ll never forget the feeling of complete uncertainty and helplessness.Minutes ticked by in terror, Hours ticked by in shock, Days ticked by in anger and anxiety, Weeks ticked by in deep grieving sadness, Months ticked by in awkward oscillating moments of normalcy and not, Years ticked by in loving, laughing, crying, shouting, silent, healing gratitude.
Everyone has had their own journey. Everyone is healing in their own way. And we are all doing so, together.
Ten years hence, I thank God for the gift of another day. And for the joy and pain of raising three children from elementary school to college, alongside the pain and joy of raising another from birth to the start of fourth grade this week.
Amazing grace indeed, this circle of life (which includes the mysteries of death).
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know what the next moment will bring.
I am aware, in this moment, that I am eternally grateful for this life, and for all those who have shared the journey with me.
I am aware, in this moment, that I am hopeful and enthusiastic about our future together. I believe our divinely-inspired, compassionate humanity will prevail. I choose to believe that.
And I will continue in my daily work to shine that light of love wherever I can. Even as I do so as a perfectly imperfect human being.
Today, in this moment, I simply wanted to share a heartfelt wish from my family’s faith:
May the Peace of God be with you.
Wherever you are, however you spend this weekend – may Peace be with you.