Had we, Sandy, Linda, and I, realized today was the anniversary of 9/11, we would not have planned all of our surprises and festivities for today. It didn't even dawn on me until last night when I was putting up the last post about "a surprise for today". BUT I'm sure the victims of that nightmare would say in unison "do not quit living because this happened". I can say that because I knew one of those victims, and know her family very well.
Julie Geis grew up in my little home town, Beaver Crossing, Nebraska. She was one of a large family, and her older sister was closer to my age. She was a bubbly, sweet little girl, and grew up to be an amazing woman. She was a starter on the University of Nebraska's women's softball team --- her number was retired after 9/11. After she finished college, she became a teacher. By then, we were living in Lincoln. Imagine my surprise when we went for Parent/Teacher conferences and found Julie as one of our middle son's teachers! She did her job, told us about our kid, and then we sat and talked for 90 minutes about things we remembered from back home (luckily we were her LAST conference for the evening). She was brilliant, she was loving, sweet, and beautiful.
Later she took a corporate job and moved to Kansas ... and it was that job which took her to the towers. She was on an impact floor so her remains were never found. BUT the memory of her has never left. The 9/11 and aftermath days are still vivid in my mind. As time has gone by, we've read the stories of those who perished and those who survived ... and with every telling of every story, one knows that each victim who perished would be saying to us .... "Hey, don't forget ... but don't quit living and don't make this day a day of mourning --- celebrate us and get on with your plans"
And so today, as we start a new venture, I'm also celebrating Julie and the legions of others who perished that day.