With cooler mornings and the days beginning to shorten, we will soon ease into fall. It won’t be long before the leaves turn into vibrant oranges and gold. This particular season shows us more than any other how wonderful change can be. Many of us start to prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We are engaged in moments that create memories. An advertisement recommends “Spend More Moments in the Moment.” What a wonderful message. Too often we are so busy going, doing, and acquiring that we fail to be present in the moment. But all moments are not the same, even when they create memories. And all memories are not good memories.
I remember the moments on this day nineteen years ago when our world and the Twin Towers came tumbling down. That is one event that most of us will forever remember where we were and what we were doing when it occurred. Our country and our world changed forever on that day. Blessings to those who lost loved ones in that tragic moment. May we never forget the sacrifices of many. Todd Beamer’s “Let’s Roll!” lives forever in my memory.
We are living through another event that has changed our lives forever, creating moments and memories, some very difficult, including the death of loved ones. For at least six months most of us have been living through the pandemic, finding our daily routines very different than our norm. Many of the events that create important memories have had to change, including graduations, weddings, and even funerals.
While we do not yet know when this will end and our lives return to (a new) normal, many of us have begun to reengage with some parts of our lives that we had lost. In many states restaurants, gyms, and other venues where people gather in groups have reopened, although on a limited scale. Many of us are getting more comfortable going out into society, wearing masks and social distancing, but still reengaging with others in a manner that we have not been able to for several months. Most schools and many workplaces are still (at least in part) virtual.
While for many of us our lives have begun to have some normalcy that we had lost, we have created some moments and memories that will remain with us. We have cooked more, shopped less, and engaged with our family in a manner that our usual frenzied lives did not allow. We have adjusted to our new routines, finding comfort in a new closeness to home and hearth. Now that we are beginning to come out of those cocoons, some think that many of us will not want to return to our lives as we knew them before the coronavirus and COVID-19.
There are many ways that we can create moments and memories. The exact activity is less important than the commitment to be present with others, consciously and consistently turning moments into memories. The pandemic has forced us to be present with a few others for longer periods of time than we would have ever imagined and separate from others who we dearly miss. When we look back on this time from a very different place, may we remember the moments and memories that were created, and never forget the sacrifices of those who kept us safe.
Both the events of 9/11/2001 and the 2020 Pandemic changed us forever. May we always remember.