I'll never forget September 11, 2001.
I'll never forget opening my eyes to a perfect blue sky and dazzling sunshine as my husband's phone call woke me from my sleep.
I'll never forget knowing, deep in my bones, that as I told my daughters the news, I was shattering the illusions of safety and innocence that had guarded their childhood up till then.
I'll never forget going about our daily routine of Spanish class, math homework and dinner chores, trying to feel normal in a day that had turned the world upside down.
I'll never forget leading the children's message at my church that night, listening as the kids shared honest and heartfelt prayers for themselves, their families, their country, and the "bad guys."
I'll never forget how all four of my daughters were scared to go to sleep that night. They huddled together with me on a single twin bed and let me try to soothe their fears..
I'll never forget, after they had drifted off to sleep, hearing the sound of a military aircraft, piercing the silence of the traffic-free night skies as it patrolled the Pacific coast. I couldn't decide if that plane was a comfort or yet another element of terror.
Though I didn't know them in this life, I'll never forget the men, women and children who died because of September 11:
The victims of the original terrorist events.
The rescuers and heroes of the aftermath.
The soldiers caught up in the conflicts and wars to follow.
And ultimately, thankfully, trustingly, I'll never forget that God promises to make all things good.
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Other thoughts on the anniversary of September 11: