I tend to be a night-owl as those who read my website know. Some of my best ideas come at night when I scour stock charts into the late hours. It is a time of peace and quiet. Phones don’t ring and the neighborhood in which I live becomes silent. I love the night-time.
Late last night though I received a call from a friend whom I met at an investor conference in New York 20 years ago. He called to tell me that his wife who had survived the attacks of 9-11 had got a job. This was her first job since that fateful day. Her new job is as a counselor for those recovering from traumatic events.
This is her first job in 14 years, not because there have been no jobs available, but because she has taken 14 years to recover from the trauma of that horrible day when many of her friends and co-workers perished in the collapse of the World Trade Towers. For 3 years she was in a mental ward as doctors worked through a combination of drugs and therapy to get her to function again. For the first year she did not speak a word. By the second year she remembered her name, her husband and her children’s names. By the third year she could remember that fateful day. Through all these years her husband and children came each day to live their lives beside her hospital bed. They read books to her, played music, brought photo albums, played games and enjoyed treats. They stood together as a family. The fourth year saw dramatic improvements and she returned home and they rebuilt their lives.
The scars of that day are still with her, her children, her husband, her family and friends. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She was a vibrant, fun-loving person who took joy in her family, friends and her job. She could laugh at a moment’s notice. After 9 – 11 she rarely laughed.
This year she felt strong enough and ready enough to find a job but she wanted to help others. With her children now grown she felt ready to go back to work. It has been 14 years since that fateful day. Stunning to say the least.
Yet here we are 14 years later and for thousands of people, the horror of that day is still as fresh as that beautiful September morning when my friend’s wife woke up, got dressed, kissed her children goodbye and went off to work where a few hours later her life was forever changed.
Watching the ceremonies this morning I could not help but share the triumph of my friend, his wife and children.
The terrible thing is, they are not alone. Thousands of people have similar stories to share as so many lives were forever changed on that day.
May God bless them all.