On September 11, 2001, businessman Ed Fine was in the north tower. He survived after walking down 78 stories and getting through the debris cloud of the south tower collapse. Mr. Fine became the symbol of the resilient businessman. But the five years since show us that there’s been something more important on his mind.
In a recent USA Today article, Mr. Fine said this about his experience:
It made me realize how transitory life really is. You can be doing nothing but normal things, and your life can be wiped out in an instant.
He had been married for 37 years at the time. He says he and his wife have learned more about each other in the past five years than in the first 37.
I’m spending some of today reflecting on the final wishes of those who didn’t make it. I wonder how many wished they had a chance to reconcile with a loved one. Or could tell someone how much they treasured them. Or had talked matters out before the divide widened. Or could have hugged someone important in their life, just in case they couldn’t ever hug again.
I’m thinking of all the voicemail messages left by those who survived and those who didn’t. I doubt there were any that said, “What you did to me wasn’t ok.” Or, “I’m still angry about what you said.” “You always forget to take out the trash, so here’s yet another reminder.” I bet the things that did get said, and the last thoughts that never had a chance to get said, were mostly like this:
I love you.
I want you to know how important you are to me.
I’m sorry for our argument. I wish I could hug you right now.
Please tell ___ that I love him. I don’t have his number anymore.
I love you.
I know how I’m spending today. How about you? When your moment arrives, who will be on your mind? Today seems like a good day to reach out without waiting for your particular moment.