Our world changed 20 years ago with the terror attacks of September 11th
. On each anniversary, I remember where I was and what I was doing that day and during the following days, weeks, months. I was a new mother of twins, and my immediate thoughts were for the safety of my newborn babies. It was such a scary and emotional time.
Now, we remember the lives lost and the sacrifices made. In my memory, our country came together to mourn, pay homage, and rebuild. We were not divided by the events, but united. First responders worked together, putting their own lives on the line, to tackle the job at hand – first as rescuers, and later as they recovered the remains of victims from the rubble. Many still suffer health-related issues as a result.
Over the past 18+ months, we’ve been suffering again. This time by a pandemic. And racial divide. And political turmoil. And natural disasters. And again, my immediate thoughts are still for the safety of my “babies.” Like 20 years ago, there is no easy answer to successfully navigating these waters, however, we know that we are stronger together. My hope is that we find a way to again work together to control the pandemic, prioritize equity, respect our differences, and help one another recover.
As a nurse myself, the worry about my colleagues’ health and safety is front and center. How much more can this frontline endure? To my fellow nurses, thank you. You are doing work that many can’t even imagine doing yet they benefit greatly from your skills, knowledge and compassion. Keep your head up, take advantage of opportunities for self-care, and know you are valued and appreciated.
Late last year, my colleague and I wrote the blog post, 10 Ways to Stay Positive during Tough Times
. It’s been read so many times that it really reinforces how many of us are struggling and searching for ways to cope. As we remember the events of 20 years ago, I encourage all of us to remember how far simple kindnesses can go. Remember to smile, share thoughtful words and gestures, offer and accept help, and look for ways to stay positive.