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Letting Life Take You Where You Are Suppose to Be: 9/11 Tribute

September 11, 2016


After losing someone in the 9/11 attacks, I told my family I would never venture to New York City by air or car. I most surely wasn’t ever going to go to the 9/11 memorial either. I thought it would be too painful knowing how many people lost their lives there that day – especially my friend Dan Brandhorst who was in the second plane that hit the tower.

It’s funny how strong emotions subside gently over time. Two years ago, my youngest son decided he wanted to visit Manhattan College in the heart of New York City where the lacrosse coach was interested in him playing for their team. It took every ounce of parental love and logic to drive him there one Saturday morning.

AdamandITimesSquareI have always loved cities so when we crossed the George Washington Bridge, I felt fairly peaceful. After all I was on this trip for my son, not myself. After touring campus we decided to take the subway to Times Square leaving our car on campus. I told my son, “There is no way I want to end up near the 9/11 Memorial. Please don’t ask me to go there.” He agreed.

Making certain we would get on the same train to get back to Manhattan College to find our car after being in the city for a couple hours, we got on the same exact train we got off not realizing we were heading south not north. Because Hurricane Sandy had hit Lower Manhattan a few weeks earlier there was still flooding so the subway announcer made us get off at an unexpected stop to take another train north. As the doors opened, I was standing at the 9/11 Memorial. My son looked at me wondering how I would react and I said, “Well okay then….I guess I am meant to be here.”

The air was cool, it was dusk and not a lot of people were in the vicinity. It was quiet for New York City. The lights from the Freedom Tower structure which was still being completed lit the sky. As we approached the first 9/11 reflecting pool we wondered if we could find Dan’s name on one of the two enormous structures; but believe it or not the very first name we found was his. I knew in that instance my friend was guiding me to his resting place in love, not fear.

dan1I am grateful for the serendipitous experience. If you knew my friend Dan you’d know he was going to make sure if I got to New York City, I was going to end up there. I pray that other people who lost loved ones in the horrific events of 9/11 visit the memorials. I hope they leave, like I did, feeling better than when they arrived. Thank you Dan for guiding me out of fear and into peace again.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2014 11:41 am

    Incredible, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. September 11, 2014 11:45 am

    Thank you Jill for your comments.


  3. September 23, 2014 2:46 pm

    Tracy, thank you for such a heartfelt post. What you experienced could also be called a “godwink” –that sign from above that makes you feel like you’re on someone’s radar screen.

    I highly recommend reading the When God Winks series of books where you’ll find more stories like yours and be so inspired by the ways in which a godwink has completely changed the course of someone’s life.

    I am a little biased because the author of these books is my dad, SQuire Rushnell, but I think you’ll find them to be very uplifting.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!



  4. October 23, 2016 12:00 pm

    We enjoyed vising Manhattan College. Thank you for reposting our post and mentioning my son’s visit.



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