This is a hard day for so many people and even though so many are connected by the awful events that unfolded on 9/11, everyone processes differently and has different experiences and recollections. I didn’t live in New York when terrorists changed the makeup of the world, I was in Miami with my almost 2-year-old. I was in bliss as a stay-at-home mom and my boy and I had a great routine. Part of that routine was taking a morning walk around the complex in which we lived. We would spot wildlife (yes, squirrels and feral cats counted), and we would go to the bay and hope to spot a manatee or two. Of course, as a boy, my son eagerly kept his attention skyward hoping for a plane or a helicopter to happen by. “Avion!”, he would scream. I was trying to teach him Spanish, we lived in Miami after all. I would watch with him and we marveled at the flying machines. My cellphone rang shortly after 9 that morning, while my son and I were turning the bend into the deep part of our complex “forest” where we used to feed the squirrels. It was a friend from LA calling, which meant it was just after 6am for her, and she was asking if my Mom was ok. My mom lived in New York City. I had been out enjoying the sunshine with my kid, so I had no clue what was happening in the real world, then she told me. I hung up and dialed my mom as I hurriedly pushed the stroller back towards our building. Now any approaching plane brought fear rather than wonder, but I couldn’t take that wonder away from my son. He was young and innocent and didn’t deserve to live in fear, a fear that I now recognized almost immediately in myself. I got him home and put him down for a nap and kept dialing for my mother, who thankfully was just fine but certainly scared. I sat in front of the TV with periods of anger, terror, and sadness alternating in my mind. Then my sweet, beautiful boy woke up from his nap and I had to find the strength to hold myself together and do whatever I could to keep him happy and safe. Now 13 years later, my boy stands many inches taller than me, just like a tower, a tower of strength that keeps me going every day and reminds me to be grateful for the gift of being here. I remember.