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Why 9/11 is the Best and Worst Day of My Life

September 11 is the best date on the calendar because it was the day my mother entered the world. It is also the day my aunt who happens to be my mother’s youngest sister — made her grand entrance.

My beloved late grandmother literally began and ended her child-rearing years on the same day — which you have to admit is pretty remarkable.

The miracle of life and all the joy and sorrow that accompanies our short stint on earth is wondrous to behold.

The extreme emotions of pain and elation can’t be downplayed or avoided.

Before the year 2001 and around the time I was old enough to wish both my mom and aunt a happy birthday in a way that was sincere and devoid of any level of coaching — 9/11 was simply — September 11.

Then it became the instituted symbol when planes in the sky were transformed into missiles — and I was trapped in a city that couldn’t escape itself.

September 11, 2001 is the worst date ever.

It is the day that I watched the unimaginable unfolding. The chaos and the confusion that highlighted every step towards escape routes that looked more like panic modules — still echo in my memory log.

The sun-filled sky in all its brilliance put up a good fight but ultimately the burning flames of anguish and betrayal couldn’t be wiped away with beams of heroic light.

The burning bodies. The battered corpses. The screams of survivors trapped in unsurvivable circumstances.

The laser vision of disbelief that you are alone in your quest to pretend that perhaps you stumbled onto the set of a horror flick in motion.

But, the director forgot to yell — Cut!

The franchise has evolved into star-making roles for talent that is built around a freak show and jarring conspiracy theories.

Wreckage that still collects dust under invisible towers of steel that remain evidenced through catalogs of testimonies.

Restless spirits that roam through the streets of rebirth and channels of rubble that have accumulated to overrun the loyalists who believed in the old New York — before it disintegrated into the golden age of biased negligence and the briefcase culture of entitlement.

I packed my suitcase for the third and last time almost a year ago.

As the day of strained infamy rears its beaten head for another round of ceremony and political landscaping — the trekkers of discovery with snapshots eagerly documenting the wretched victimization of the living and the dead — populate their feeds with mandated fodder.

The best and the worst of a date that holds so much in polar opposition lies in the comfort and restlessness of having given so much to one thing with no returns.

To be rejected by the one you loved with the passion of promise can be explosive with no compromise.

As I walked through the streets with no dust and tripped over wires housing fashion week tents that still propelled the purpose of beauty over ugly — I stopped to pray for my mother.

This was her day and now it was mine.

The crowds running towards me with furious gusto compelled my thoughts into action.

I tripped but regained as the footsteps engulfed me.

Today was the worst. Today still hurts. Love is the best and birthdays don’t die.

Happy birthday mommy. You’re the best. And so is today.

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