September 11 – From My Perspective

In remembrance of  Peter Hashem – Flight 11,  Seat 20A – Struck the North Tower at 8:46:40 am EST.

As I always say when I post this column. This one’s a little different. A little more personal as I myself search for more perspective to this game we call life.

The only thought I’m consistently reminded of is – life is precious. And when it ends for what ever the reason chances are none of us will have any control of the timing or circumstances. So live to your potential everyday. Regardless of where you are in life. Because the unexpected or the horrific can happen to any one of us. Not just someone else as we so often think.

When the tragedy on September 11  happened it changed many of us. If not all. Like most I remember exactly where I was. I also remember vividly standing in line at my local bank moments after it happened. Watching the televisions while waiting in line with others in sheer disbelief. For all of us – time had stopped.

The days and months that followed with the heroism and outpouring of help and support is well documented everywhere. Living in New England at the time you either had gone to Ground Zero yourself to try and offer any help – or someone you knew did.

I owned a local Deli in NH at the time. The owner of a company who supplied me with breads went back and forth to Ground Zero as to pass out muffins and pastries to the rescue teams nightly. Then would travel back to New Hampshire to start his morning deliveries. No one complained. No one said how hard it was to do. No one was looking for credit. It was just done. Period.

On that day many of us changed. We viewed life a little bit different. Suddenly it hit you with laser like focus that life is precious, and death can come at any moment – from anywhere. No longer was this an esoteric exercise. This was life at its core. Playing out in front of our eyes leaving no gray area to ponder. You either got it. Or you didn’t.

In honor of that tragic event I set new rules for myself. New guidelines if you will for how I was going to move forward in life. I decided that I would live life my way. By my rules. And if I were to die today – so be it.

I was going to ensure with all my fortitude that I would pursue my aspirations. Not a life of just trying to get by or exist like so many do. While I’m here I’m not settling to merely survive – I’m here to thrive. After all, as tough as life is shouldn’t that be the prize we’re playing for?

September 11, 2001 changed my life forever. I say all this because unlike most who’ve only read or heard about the people who lost their lives on that tragic day. Peter was the younger brother of my close friends growing up. Life’s mysteries don’t just happen to someone else. They happen to all of us.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr