Over the past few weeks there has been much on the news about the 35W Bridge that collapsed 10 years ago. Aug 1st was the 10th
Anniversary of this tragedy. I remember learning in my collage Psychology class about “Flash Bulb Memories”, that is some event that
happens and is recorded very clearly in your memory, similar to how a flash bulb can still be seen even after it has flashed. Some of these
events in history are hearing about Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination, and in more recent years 9-11 and for us in Minnesota, the 35W
I remember very clearly, I was in the basement of the Rectory at St Hubert’s. Fr Mike came down and told me about it, since I did not
have my TV on at the time. I was, like many others, glued to my TV for the rest of the evening. There was speculations, “Was this an act
of Terrorism?” Sadly more and more Terrorism is that quick go to response. It was so unexpected, so sudden. If you were one of those
who crossed that bridge daily or even now and then, you likely thought about “What if I was on the bridge?” I often have thought about
the person who had just crossed the bridge, did they see the bridge disappear in their rearview mirror? Or the person who got stopped
just in time, and witnessed the whole thing play out in front of them.
These ‘Flash Bulb’ events often make us appreciate life a little more. Spark us to tell the people we love how much they mean to us. And
make us appreciate life a little bit more. Sadly that fades so fast. Our children have not lived through 9-11 and anyone under 10 has not
lived through the 35W bridge. We can sometimes have these things slip away into the pages of our history books. That will never
happen for those who lost someone dear to them.
Let us live everyday to the fullest. By this I do not mean anything goes. Living a life that we tell people how much we love them. Forgive
and ask for forgiveness. Call someone who we have been meaning to call, but have been putting it off. I remember the regret I felt, when
I received the e-mail notice of the death of Fr Keller. I had been meaning to go and see him for months. But, now it was too late. I felt
even worse when I found out from his niece how much he talked about me. I felt even worse when I found out he willed me his
ordination chalice. All I would have had to do is make the time.
Don’t wait for a flash bulb memory to appreciate life. Do it today. The Lord has given us so many things to be grateful for in our lives,
how often do we simply let these gifts be over shadowed by darkness. We are a people of the Light, Christ our light.