How Do We Live Each Day with the Clarity of Tragic Days?

Like a lot of communities across the United States, Omaha honors those people lost on 9/11.

Volunteers put up a temporary memorial each year in one of our most treasured parks.

This memorial includes the name and age of each person killed that day pinned to individual American flags, as well as a larger banner indicating where the lives were lost, whether they were lost in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the flights, on the ground or as first responders.

Nearly 3,000 flags.

And as we know, more lives have been lost since then because of ailments caused by the toxic air and debris as the Twin Towers fell.

I took my 14-year-old to the memorial and answered some questions he had about that day.  Mostly we just looked across the flags in silence remembrance by me and reflection by him.

18 years. Wow. That’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

One thing I have been reflecting on is how that day in 2001 and other tragic moments, as well as the anniversary of them, seem to jolt us into understanding what’s important. What’s at stake. What matters when all is said and done.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t think about the significance of their relationships in the face of unfathomable tragedy.

How do we live each day with the clarity of tragic days?

How do we do marriage with the clarity of what’s at stake?

I write about sexual intimacy in marriage, but I will be the first to acknowledge that marriage isn’t just about sex. If anything, what makes sex amazing in marriage is attention to the little moments that would mean nothing at all to anyone else, but mean the world to the two people there doing life together.

I’m as guilty as anyone of drifting through some days, taking for granted way too much. No one is perfect, so hear my heart when I say that building a stronger marriage isn’t about seeing how many perfect days you can tally.


It is about investing in your relationship, in big ways and small ways. The small ways tend to matter most collectively, because they build the fabric of our life.

Maybe your marriage is a wreck right now. Or maybe it’s chugging along swimmingly well. Or maybe it has all the calling cards of something that’s way too easy to take for granted.

I don’t know where you’re at, but I do know that when two people make even small attempts at pouring into their marriage, they gain a lot of ground. New patterns set in place. Healthier connection. More intimacy (sexual and otherwise).

When I think of all the lives lost in tragic moments, I sometimes wonder what the regrets or the peace of mind looks likes for those left behind.

Do they have the peace that their lost loved one knew they were loved and treasured?

Or do those survivors regret what wasn’t expressed and experienced? Do they regret that they had lost sight of what was at stake? Of how second chances are not available? Of how they can no longer speak aloud to their loved ones the words they desperately long for them to now hear?

How do we live each day with the clarity of tragic days?

How do we do marriage with the clarity of what’s at stake?

I encourage you to share this post with your spouse and have a heart-to-heart conversation about how the two of you can become more intentional so that you have no regrets.

Not only should we never forget what was lost on 9/11, but we also should remember to live as people who know what’s at stake. Your marriage is worth this kind of love.

Copyright 2019, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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