‘I want different dying thoughts next time’

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

I hope I’m not the only one who isn’t finding these September 11 anniversaries any easier to stomach as the years pass.

Maybe it’s because we see the long-term effects of the terrorist attacks on the families and survivors.

It’s not just the sicknesses that have come after. It’s the divorces, the children who have grown up with a different life and the survivors who have become victims trapped in their own mind.

I wonder if the terrorists thought about the damage they’d cause, beyond the immediate explosions and death. I hope they didn’t.

We all remember the horrible events in our own way, but I’d like to share my thoughts that went through my head when I watched a tribute show on the History Channel this afternoon. One particular story on that show grabbed me like no other.

Charlie Caraher was one of the last people out of the South Tower, and he offered up a statement that made me think deeply about my own life. He ran from a collapsing building, sure he would die, and like so many survivors have said, he was left with only his thoughts on life and what he’d leave behind when he inevitably passed away.

“I want different dying thoughts next time,” he said.

It’s a challenge to you as you go to sleep tonight. Think about some way you can change your life for the better, whether it’s for the rest of the month, year or the rest of your life. Nobody wants to have regretful dying thoughts, but we don’t really think about it until we’re facing death.

Think about it tonight, and make your life better in some way in the morning. Hopefully, each of our dying thoughts are decades away, but there’s no reason to take any regret to the grave.

Finally, I want to leave you with an article I read every September 11. It’s a first-hand account of one survivor’s experience on Sept. 11, 2001, and it’s as real as it gets. It will be the best article you read all day about the attack, and it’s one you should hold onto for years. I get something new out of it every time, and now, I’m passing it on to you.

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