Thursday, March 19, 2015

thank you for making my life!

Ah, god bless march 19th, a day when my mother in law gave birth to the lovely soul I married. My husband said this cool thing to me and the kids during his academy awards acceptance speech. He said “Thank you for making my life.” We say that to each other pretty regularly. It is such a beautiful sentiment and it is the truth. It came from a news story I heard about survival and Sept 11th which I will paraphrase here.

The first part of the story said that when a big crisis/emergency happens there is a tendency for people to get lethargic. They mill around and do not fight or take initiative. I do not know if it is because they are in shock or in the freeze part of fight, flight or freeze, but it happens, it is a known phenomenon. The antidote for it is to think of your family. People who think of their families are the ones who rally, who fight, who escape, and who may even lead others to safety. Even Elie Wiesel talks about how thoughts of his wife were what helped him go on when he could no longer go on in the concentration camp.

Another part of the story explained that people really benefit from having practiced fire drills because they are functioning on some other level, the brain is not working the way we would like it to and the practice gives them a much needed blueprint to follow.

Lastly, it talked about how being a leader gives someone purpose, and so saving others gives them the courage to walk into a burning building.

The most touching part of the story was that during 9/11 this one guy who had lead “fire drills” became a leader who motivated people to rally and get out of the building. (I am sorry I am lame about the details and names, just going from memory here.) He kept going back to save more and more people. He continued to go in and save as many people as he could until he could not. He died that day saving people. Before he died he had called his wife and he said to her, “thank you for making my life.” I remember sobbing when I retold the story to my husband. It was so touching and beautiful. I sobbed because of the story but also because the sentiment rang so true for me.

We remember to say that to each other on a regular basis, not just in crisis. I love you Tom Cross. Happy birthday and thank you for making my life.

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