Our political differences didn’t matter in the days after 9/11. We were unified as a country, we were one. I hope on this 9/11 young people can learn from those who remember that terrible day how we came together.
Sometimes I think I’m naive to hope that we can return to one United States, but this picture of my husband and me as newlyweds in NYC with the Twin Towers in the background reminds me to not give up hoping.
This is a picture of two people who couldn’t be more different (except that we share a birthday). Most glaring is that we have different religions and different political beliefs, but we have been happily married for 21 years and those differences have made for some great conversations over the years, but they don’t define us.
If I could choose for us to be the same on those fundamental differences I wouldn’t, because being different gives me a perspective I wouldn’t have otherwise.
So if we can get along, why can’t people who don’t share toothpaste?
As I watch other parents sending their teenagers off to college, I remember the agonizing lump in my throat when we were doing the same one year ago. I wish I knew then what I know now.
As we prepared to drive the 600-plus miles to take our oldest child to school, I wondered who thought this was such a good idea? My husband was the culprit, luring our son to a Utah Jazz game in February 2020 to show our son how fun it would be to live in Salt Lake City. With alternating annoyance at my husband and that darn lump that threatened to escape into sobs at any moment, I found strength the morning we left when I saw my son saying goodbye to his siblings and our dog.
I fought the urge to turn the car around — there was no way I was going to leave him in another state, let alone a big city — during that long drive. At the thought of him living on our couch his whole life, I realized my sadness stemmed from thinking that this chapter, my favorite chapter so far as a family of six, was over. “Eighteen years sure went fast,” I said to my husband when my son ran into a rest stop.
“It didn’t go that fast,” he deadpanned.