Not Just Another Day

September 11, 2001

On this day when the surreal became the real, I'm thankful to be alive.

I woke up this morning thinking I was heading for major surgery, in a fight for my life. At the same time, thousands of my fellow New Yorkers were reporting to work downtown, thinking it was just another day at the office. Tonight, I consider myself the lucky one. I still have hope where others have none; I go to bed able to hold my partner, where others will never see theirs again.

My surgery has been postponed indefinitely while my doctor joins every other in the city attending to victims of the World Trade Center attack. I pray for those people in far greater trouble than I, grieve for those lost, and tearfully salute those noble souls who gave their lives in the service of others.

We never think it, but we live on the edge of death at any moment. As the Japanese say, "One inch ahead and all is total darkness." All the more reason to breathe deeply in this moment and give thanks for this precious gift of life. How quickly it can go.

With my family safe and near, I await word on when my own battle will resume. When it comes--whenever it comes--I will be ready. Amid all the tragedy and sorrow, I join with those who believe in the future, in perseverance, in the goodness of life on this earth. I share their will to overcome and build anew.

Tomorrow the sun will rise, and it will set. The world will welcome those newly born, and mourn those who pass.

Each day is a lifetime.

I cherish the chance to live it.