I often think about: How are they now? Because I still think of them.
There is a big tragedy, a catastrophe, a trauma, an explosion, a bomb, and I want to know, how are they now? Because I still think of them.
The terrorist attack on 9/11. The bombing of the Boston Marathon. All of those injured. The coal miners that were trapped underground for months. All those inhaled toxins from 9/11. How are all of those people now? Because I still think of them.
I think about people. Individual people. I remember a girl who lost a leg in the bombing at the marathon and wonder: Does she have insurance, can she work, is she in chronic pain, does she have support, have people forgotten what she went through, does she feel like her life matters? Because it does.
Every year on September 11th they put up commercials and signs saying We Will Not Forget. Because, no one ever will. I just always think, does that mean you will always remember not only those who lost lives, but those who were injured during that time? I want to know, do those people feel forgotten? Do the survivors feel forgotten? Do those injured that day feel forgotten?
I don’t want anyone to feel forgotten. I want each individual that was wounded to know I don’t forget about you. I want the miners that were trapped to know, I still think about you and hope you are okay. I want individuals to know that the one day their world ended, and the next day the universe moved on, I still remember.
The same can be applied to sexual assault. I still remember the woman in our town that was brutally raped on the side of the road while out jogging. I have no idea her name. It was years ago. But I wonder how she is now. I still think about her. From a large scale to a small scale that no one hears about that didn’t make it into the papers, every life matters. If a trauma has happened to you and no one even knows because you never told another soul, you still matter.
It is not just that I wonder how they are now. It is that I still think of them. I still pray for them. They still matter to me. Because I know that one tragic day can last a lifetime.
I haven’t forgotten. I think of the little girl that I saw on tv in the third world country discarded near a garbage can. I think of the families whose parents and grandparents were in the concentration camps and still remember the stories they were told of those they loved. I think of the little girl that I saw in an article who was forced to have her vagina sewed mostly closed because of the country she happened to be born in. Because they matter to me.
It is not that I sit around everyday and think of negative things and the horrid atrocities that happen in our world. I simply believe that every single soul matters. And I don’t forget them. I hope for them. I wish for them. I pray for them. I hope they have healed. I pray they have long lasting support. I pray they are loved.
I know what it feels like to have people forget. I know what it feels like to be abused and feel like it just doesn’t matter the day after, a month after, years after. I have no idea what it feels like to have a limb blown off in war, in an attack, or to have cancer because of trying to save people on 9/11. I don’t know how they felt a month after, years after, and now. I can imagine that everyone who has gone through a trauma whether they lived it, or lost someone in it, is affected on some level and always will be. That is normal. They matter to me. Each of of you matter to me. I will keep thinking of you and keep praying for you because I know how important it is to feel like you were not forgotten.