No, I didn’t Forget

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Yes I know that this past Sunday was September 11th and yes I know I did not write a post about September 11th. For those of you who may not live in the United States and may not know the significance of September 11th in our country it was that horrible day in 2001 when the muslim terrorists attacked my great country and killed over three thousand people. 

No, I didn’t forget about it. How could anyone who lived through it forget it? I lived only twenty minutes outside New York City on the Jersey side at the time, I remember watching the flames burn and the smoke billow for weeks into the air from my living room window. I remember not being able to open the windows because of the stench coming from the city. I remember watching and seeing the small children who went to school with my nephews and my niece whose parents were murdered that day walk around in utter shock. I remember watching people jump out the windows of the Twin Towers to their deaths. I remember watching people waking aimlessly like zombies the city streets for even a thread of information about loved ones. I remember trying to get through on cell phones to loved ones and friends unaccounted for. 

I remember for the next few years ducking my head every time a plane flew over my house as we lived in a flight path, the same flight path that the terrorists took that fateful day. I remember the fear that crept in no matter how much you tried not to let it. I remember the funerals, the masses, the memorials, the tears, the pain. I remember the souls who perished that day…I do not like remembering all of these things. I do not like that, when I remember I can literally still smell the stench that was in the air for over two weeks. 

It is not that I don’t care. It is that I care too much and it is that, fifteen years later, I can still remember, feel and smell as if it were yesterday.

So yes, I remember. 

 And no, I did not forget.. 

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No, I didn't Forget

nicole-holofcener-quote-believe-me-i-didnt-forget

Yes I know that this past Sunday was September 11th and yes I know I did not write a post about September 11th. For those of you who may not live in the United States and may not know the significance of September 11th in our country it was that horrible day in 2001 when the muslim terrorists attacked my great country and killed over three thousand people. 

No, I didn’t forget about it. How could anyone who lived through it forget it? I lived only twenty minutes outside New York City on the Jersey side at the time, I remember watching the flames burn and the smoke billow for weeks into the air from my living room window. I remember not being able to open the windows because of the stench coming from the city. I remember watching and seeing the small children who went to school with my nephews and my niece whose parents were murdered that day walk around in utter shock. I remember watching people jump out the windows of the Twin Towers to their deaths. I remember watching people waking aimlessly like zombies the city streets for even a thread of information about loved ones. I remember trying to get through on cell phones to loved ones and friends unaccounted for. 

I remember for the next few years ducking my head every time a plane flew over my house as we lived in a flight path, the same flight path that the terrorists took that fateful day. I remember the fear that crept in no matter how much you tried not to let it. I remember the funerals, the masses, the memorials, the tears, the pain. I remember the souls who perished that day…I do not like remembering all of these things. I do not like that, when I remember I can literally still smell the stench that was in the air for over two weeks. 

It is not that I don’t care. It is that I care too much and it is that, fifteen years later, I can still remember, feel and smell as if it were yesterday.

So yes, I remember. 

 And no, I did not forget.. 

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Love Simply

Last week as most of you know , Mother Teresa of Calcutta which is actually spelled Kolata but in English it’s Calcutta, was declared a Saint in the Catholic Church. For me this is a day I have been waiting for. 

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I have loved, admired and followed Mother for many years and in 2013 and became part of the lay group of Missionaries of Charity that Mother began called ‘The Sick & Suffering Co-Workers of The Missionaries of Charity’. Needless to say Saint Teresa of Calcutta as she is now referred to in the Church is very near and dear to my heart as are all the Missionaries of Charity. On September 4th 2016 I was so filled with joy watching Mother be raised to the altars. What was it about Mother that myself and so many millions loved about her and why are we so attracted to her? The answer is easy. 

She loved simply. She loved very deeply probably deeper than most people can but still, she loved simply just as Jesus loves. Simply. Mother, like Jesus didn’t care where you came from, what you believed, what you did or had done. If you needed to be loved and cared for she did just that. She took care of the poorest of the poor. Those who no one cared for, those who were hungry, those who society and family and friends forgot about. From the oldest to the youngest babies. She didn’t make things complicated. She simply loved. Mother always said “if you are judging someone you have no time to love them”. The Lord in all his mercy worked through Mother as a beacon of light shining down on those who suffer and to do this he used a very simple woman who came from a very simple background, who understood that in order to make real change in even one persons life it didn’t and doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be simple. That simple love that she gave to so many reached across the entire globe and goes on today. 

We all need to love as Saint Teresa of Calcutta did… She would say “you must love until it hurts”” and that love must begin in your own home with your own family and then you can go from there”.. Do as the Lord has commanded us ,”love one another as I have loved you” and do it as Mother did… Love deeply and love simply…

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Social Media Pitfalls

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There are many social media platforms but the most popular is Facebook. Four years ago I was still against joining the connected millions but as fate would have it I eventually caved to the request of friends and family and joined. Looking back I think it may have been a huge mistake. No, I know it was.. Now, sadly, I can count myself among the facebook surfing addicted. An addiction by the way I am trying to break.

I experienced the same “honeymoon phase” most did when they first got a friend request from someone they hadn’t spoken to in years. Then another came and another and another…It was mind blowing for the first year or so. All these people I grew up with that I haven’t seen in decades, kids I spent hours with in Summertime as a child. Relatives I haven’t connected with in years and on and on…and then…………as with any relationship real life sets in and things don’t look so rosy. And lately they look downright bleak. 

I find Facebook these days as depressing and dividing as the nightly news which I also stopped watching about two years ago. Each time you log in your bombarded with the days most upsetting, angering and sometimes gruesome news out there. And yes, you can adjust your newsfeed settings to see only certain things but when ‘friends’ are posting what you don’t want to see it’s no longer hidden. 

I’ve also found that as a society in the quest to be more connected, social media has made us even more disconnected. For many, the days of the Saturday drop in on a friend for coffee are gone. The spontaneous “lets call so and so and have them over for dinner and a game or something” are gone. The porch sitting at the end of the day with neighbors are gone. Why? Because we’re all so virtually connected that we are physically disconnected. 

For myself, this addiction has taken away from things I used to like to do. Simple things in life such as , all of the above, reading, watching a good movie, crafting etc. Why? Because I’m addicted to social media and always have my eyes on the laptop screen or my phone. I have vowed to break this addiction. In reflecting on my time on social media I have come to some conclusions. 

  • I don’t always need to be connected
  • Being connected all the time makes the mind unable to relax
  • I’ve wasted  a lot of time that could have been spent in better ways
  • I’ve become lazy in my physical connections
  • The majority of the people I haven’t spoken to in decades with the exception of a few hold no more importance in my life than before I knew “where they are now”
  • Sometimes, the kids you were inseparable with as a child and this includes family as well, grew up to be people you couldn’t stand to sit in a room with for ten minutes. 
  • The select few you have reconnected with surprised you because they turned out to be some of the nicest people you’ll ever know
  • Those who you truly connect with and not in just a superficial virtual way will stick with you through email and phone calls even if you leave facebook.

The good things I’ve learned from being on social media?

  • I’ve made a few old/new friendships that will last the rest of my life no matter where I am online or off
  • Just how important being physically connected to those I care for is.

Having learned all this I will be trying very hard to get to the point of deleting my facebook account all together. Until then I will be choosing to spend my time more wisely.. How about you?

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