How being in third grade 15 years ago changed my point of view

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. I remember sitting in my third grade class with my little green patterned uniform in St. Thomas Aquinas school on Flatbush Ave. It seems as though it was just yesterday the tragedy struck. Little ol Rae sitting in class arguing with another student over the answer of the math homework the night before. 

It's baffling and it hurts. I'll be the first to admit, I had zero idea as to what was going on. The petty math argument didn't last for long. It was a Tuesday when it happened. So why did we have a half day? We only had half days on Wednesdays. I was confused, but I did not complain. The less hours of school, the better. But really though...why were we let out early? Kids with smiles on their faces, but their parents with frantic looks on theirs. Thinking back, it all seemed out of place for me, and I was oddly curious. So, I did what any other seven year old would do- I asked questions. A lot of questions. Almost to the point where I was annoying. I wanted to know what was going on. Didn't really get me far. Not until I sat on the staircase while my dad watched CNN that night and the following night.

The next day school was pretty passive. Like I said, questions didn't get me far enough and most of the other third graders seemed to not understand the gravity of what happened the day before. I still hadn't. When we did get a chance to talk about the tragedy in class, a week had elapsed. We sat, said our Hail Mary prayers on each bead of the rosary and chatted a bit. One person lost an aunt and the child growing inside of her. Another lost an older brother and one lost a father. He followed with the statement "He still hasn't come home yet". The gravity of this tragedy changed my outlook on life as a girl who hadn't reached the age of eight.

Life can really be cut at any minute of any day for anyone. The thought came and went now and again and I've been reminded in past years the same message via death and other grave tragedies. But for the most part, the idea is engraved in my mind. I have not yet lived up to my full intention because of one reason or another, but God is working on me. I want this to stand as an encouragement to every adventurer, traveler whomever out there.

Just do. Do you. Be you. Live. Tomorrow is seriously not promised, so if you have that one thing you've longed to do, do it. Make it happen. There's that one task in all of us, me included. Sure, I can be a wandering adventurer and a brooklynite at heart, and I enjoy sharing my ideas on this blog. But one thing I haven't done in the past 15 years was visit 9/11. I plan to do so this week. Because seriously, we can never forget.

-R