Relationships Matter the Most

“What matters most is the relationships we have in life,” Joe Daniels, President, 9/11 Memorial.

9 11 memorial

Today I look out my living room window to the heart of Buckhead and the view I love. I wonder what went through the minds and hearts of those who lived in view of the World Trade Centers as they looked out their windows on September 11th, 2001. I think of this, not only today, but every time I see an airplane that looks like it’s too close to one of the tall buildings I’ve come to know from my window.

As people post remembrances today, I came across a beautiful video about the special arrangement of the names on the 9/11 memorial. According to the president of the memorial they are in “meaningful adjacency…arranged by an almost hidden logic.” I think to myself–sort of like in life. We develop friendships with people who came into our lives through “meaningful adjacency.” I like to think that was designed by a Divine Plan that to me is “hidden logic.” The names on the memorial are arranged so that those who died together are listed together. Special care was taken to connect the names of people who had some relationship with another who is listed there.

I think back to September eleventh, twelve years ago. I was home with my husband, Phil. I work from home and he’d just left a job so he was home for a while. We watched the TV in shock. He thought of our dear elderly friend, Russell Hood. Phil called Russell and then picked him up and brought him to our house so he wouldn’t be alone watching this national tragedy on TV. We wanted to comfort him. He comforted us. Russell who was born in 1920 told us of his memories of Pearl Harbor and how the nation recovered. Suddenly our perspective shifted from horror to trusting that the nation could recover.

Today we remember the many who lost lives and think of those who lost loved ones on that historical day. Both the men I was with on that day are now gone, too. Russell Hood died in February of 2008 at 88 years old. My husband, Phil died in July of 2009 at the age of 51. Their memories and stories remain with me always.

I agree with Joe Daniels, “What matters most is the relationships we have in life.” I also truly value the stories we share. That—more than memorials or tributes–is how their memory lives on. Another thing I’ve learned through the experience of losing my husband so early is that once a loved one is gone there is only one question that matters. “Did they truly know how much I loved them?”

Today, in honor of the many who have lost lives and loved ones, share a story. Be kind to those you find yourself randomly adjacent to.  Most of all show someone how much you love them. Once they are gone, it’ll be all that matters.

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