Today I stood on hallowed ground caused by terrorism for the second time in my life. Those who know me well know my story of spending thirty-six hours in Lower Manhattan from 9/11-9/12 in 2001. It’s too long a story to go into here but it was surely a day I will both never forget and that offered me the opportunity to place everything in my life moving forward in a perspective no one can understand, unless experienced.
The impact of 9/11 surely had a profound life changing impact on all of us, but those who were there and experienced it first hand know the day through different eyes.
When I arrived in Boston last night to attend a fund-raising event today for the DRI being given by future NFL Hall-of-Famer New England Patriot Vince Wilfork, I knew I had to go down to where the Boston Marathon Bombing took place. It was not some sort of macabre inner thought process but rather almost like when you hear someone is diagnosed with diabetes: “I understand that, I have been there, if I help one person I have accomplished what was needed.”
I understand the impact of terrorism, I’ve been there. So I went into the only shop open right at the area of the bombing; when I saw the name of it, and enjoyed the irony to myself, I knew I was in the right place. I bought a bottle of water and said to the owner, “I’m not really thirsty. But I’m from NY and was there on 9/11 and the first thing we did to rebuild; was to visit NY again and give them business. So today I give you business.”
He reached for my hand and shook it and said thank you as tears filled his eyes.
So it was a day of no grand gestures, no fanfare, and no big hullabaloo; just one man telling another that life will move on and that he knew this point from his own experience.
Those of us who have been through anything in our lives; diabetes, autism, mental health, cancer, tragedy, the death of someone close, and even a terrorist attack can speak from experience like no other. We do not want to be in this position, but we are here.
We know because we know like no other and when needed, we help others for that very same reason; we know.
And life will move on.
I am a diabetes dad.
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