It now seems years and years ago when, on that picture perfect September day in New York City, the world changed forever. We were awakened to the fact that America had enemies that used faith as a cover for their burning hate. We were plunged into an atmosphere of hate that this society has seldom experienced. The fear runs so deep that the terrorists would have to do nothing more but sit back and watch us squirm at the least perceived threat.
All of us have, in one way or another, been affected by this cruel and brutal act of unspeakable violence. None of us looks at the world in the same way we did on September 10, 2001. We have come to see the world filled with shadows. They are shadows, indistinguishable, yet, real, plotting to do us harm. We look at our children and grandchildren differently and envision for them a world much different from the world in which we grew up. Ever since that fateful morning, everything seems to be in chaos. Nothing seems settled. We try to go about our business as usual, but the specter of another attack looms darkly, always on the horizon.
But the decade was also filled with many life transitioning events. I was blessed, as was our family, with the arrival of the two newest members, Aliyah and Keirah. They are beautiful little girls who are reminders that no matter what the present may be delivering at any given moment, there still is the hope of the future. These bright, charming and delightful little ones breathed a breath of fresh air into our lives and delivered more smiles and laughter than anyone could ever imagine. To fall in love with your grandchildren is a special gift from God that simply defies words.
Just as birth is a natural part of life, so, too, is death. And during these past ten years we have bid farewell to a number of elderly family members who had led full productive lives. They are surely missed but have really never departed from us. They linger in our hearts and memories only to become an even greater and, perhaps, more meaningful part of who we are. We know that one day we shall be reunited with them in ways unimaginable to the human mind or imagination. We still miss them but the hope of that one day of reunification propels us forward.
Now it is 2010. Our thoughts naturally turn to what the future might bring. Those two little grandchildren who are now seven and three will, in another ten years, grow exponentially toward adulthood. They will be young ladies busily planning out their lives with the energy and enthusiasm that only the young can muster. Our children will be in middle age, becoming more and more confident of who they are and what their roles mean. They will understand more deeply what it means to love another person on so many different levels. They will also realize that life is very finite and that to truly live a full life, they must earnestly embrace each passing day.
As for us, well, we will be another decade older and hopefully wiser. We will be in our mid-sixties having added even more experience to the library of life knowledge that we have thus far accumulated. Hopefully, we will have become more understanding and tolerant of others in our wisdom. We pray that our physical health stands strong so that we may enjoy life from the unique perspective of an older and wiser person. Once again we will be amazed at how fast time has flown and wonder aloud what the future will bring to us.
As for those who are a generation older than we, they may still be with us and if they are we pray that they have reasonably sound health. If they are more sickly than before, we pray that God grant us the patience and understanding to take care of them with the same care and love with which they nurtured us as children. They have never been perfect, nor will they be, but the fact remains that they are our parents and relatives and have loved us unconditionally through thick and thin.
The future is often what we make of it and it is my hope and prayer that all who read this will make their future a walk with God who will guide them along the right paths to peace and fulfillment. The future is an adventure to be lived and cherished. It is where we are all headed and while we do live in a world filled with uncertainty, it is my hope that we all find our ways peacefully and lovingly. We will not live forever but while we do, may we live life accompanied by those who love us for who we are, able to forgive even the most grievous of our sins and move on. For this is truly where we encounter God.