Sharing the love....

It's been 11 years today.

11 years ago, I can still remember every feeling and thought that ran through my mind as I sat in Rita Hall, eating breakfast and hearing about the first plane hitting. I shrugged it off, thinking it was only a little Cesna. I could not have been more mistaken.

I can still recall the conversations occurring when I entered French class in Marion Hall that morning...my classmates telling me about the second plane, the Pentagon being on fire, the plane that crashed in PA. The surreality of the situation numbed me to my very core. None of this could ever be true, could it? But when my  French professor walked into the room, her face said it all. And instead of learning about the vocabulary lesson we had due that day, we spoke about the violence.

Walking back to my dorm was surreal, my bookbag dragging behind me (mainly because I wasn't able to process the turn of events.) But the moment I walked into my dorm room and my roommate questioned me, I broke. Turning on the television, the both of us watched as the towers fell, engulfed in thick smoke from the flames of the planes that crashed into them. I had to talk to my family. I had to talk to my friends. I had to feel like everyone was ok. I spent hours doing just that, attempting to keep calm and get through each conversation without breaking into tears. I had to be strong. Even though it wasn't me there, I felt like in a way, it hurt me personally.

It's been 11 years and even as I woke up today, I was struck by that same melancholy and panic that I had the moment it happened. But I pulled myself out of bed, walked downstairs and greeted Matt (who had apparently been up for hours before me.) And in our simple "good morning" exchange, I felt the love. The pain lessened, warmth crept in and all was well.

I want all of you to know I love you and care about you. (Even if I don't know you personally, I want to share my love with you.) After that extremely rough and tragic day 11 years ago, I can also remember the feeling of love I felt at dinnertime, when I walked into Rita Hall and saw tables filled with students. No one sat alone, everyone needing that closeness of their peers. Some of us spoke about the incident, others tried to crack jokes and talk about their families to create smiles.

Love is a powerful thing. Without it, we can't function properly. And so today, I send all my love out to each and every one of you. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get through September 11th without wanting to break down, but I have all the love that I need to try. Today, and every day, let's put the hatred and tragedy down with love. I may seem too hopeful, but I'd rather be that than cry my eyes out.

~ Jenny Rockstar

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