Monday, September 12, 2011

A catalyst for change

The 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon has got me thinking about how life can change in a second.

And I'm sure I'm not alone.

Ten years ago, we watched wall-to-wall coverage of the astonishing events. Yesterday, our televisions were filled with both tearful and hopeful interviews with survivors, and those who lost loved ones.

It was the children who were babies - or still in-utero - when they lost a parent that hit the hardest. The lives they were meant to live, and the world they were meant to live in, no longer existed.

In the 10 years since 9/11, I have got married, had two children, six houses (in three states), four jobs.

And lost my father.

I was one of the lucky ones, I had my father with me for 40 years.  But his death hit very hard and was a catalyst for things to come.

Whether it's the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, permanent injury or disability, a move overseas or interstate, divorce, marriage, you name it, there are many things that will happen to all of us that make us question our lives and motivations.

When dad died, I suddenly became the only child of an elderly parent, with the responsibilities that come with that. It also meant that my husband and I had little childcare support for two youngsters (mum helps when she can, but it's not easy for her). It became difficult for us both to work long hours in stressful jobs, as well as be successful parents. Yes, we could have continued as we were - but at what cost?

Something had to give, and for a while, it was my health and sanity.

Then one day, I woke up and decided this was "it". I wasn't going to slave away for someone else any more, and Black Coffee Communication was born.

What makes me sad is that it often takes tragedy and grief for people to have a good look at the lives they are living and prioritise what is important. And trust me, taking that business call at 6pm, when there are kids to be fed and bathed, and books to be read, is not important.

While we can't live in fear of the "what-ifs", I wonder what the traders at Cantor Fitzgerald, the emergency service workers, janitors, airline passengers and others might have done differently had they known that they would draw their last breath on September 11, 2001?

RIP - the world has not forgotten you.

No comments:

Post a Comment