“Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?”

– Alan Jackson

It was my first day back to the office after maternity leave with my daughter, Olivia. I was so excited to be back doing what I love: Guiding individuals, families, business owners and nonprofits with their accounting and tax needs. It was 9/11/2001 at 8:45am when I went up to the front of the office and on the TV was a news report of a plane hitting the Trade Center in New York.  We all were glued to the TV as the news was developing. All I could think was, “I want to go home.”

I left the office shortly thereafter and went home to be with my kids. We sat at the kitchen table and colored. I kept the TV off. At dinner, my husband and I were overwhelmed with terror and sadness on so many levels. It was difficult to put into words. That night I spent most of the night thinking of the lives lost and the horror that had forever changed our world. In the face of tragedy and despair, I found hope and perseverance.

The next morning, I made a decision that changed my life. I decided that I was going to “hang my own shingle.” I went into the office, met with my boss, and gave my notice. I started to plan my course of action carefully as I had three small children who were my number one priority,  but I felt I could create a business that we all would benefit from. I felt it was my duty to give back, someway, somehow. In early October, I went to a CPE conference and met a lovely woman, a CPA who was in her mid 60’s and was retiring.  We connected instantly and it turned out that she gave my name to several of her clients. I spent the next few weeks going on interviews and landed three of those clients. All of whom are still with me today.

As much as today leaves an emptiness in all of us, it is also a reminder of how resilient we are and the opportunities that we are afforded living in America. Since that day my business has grown to 2 offices, 6 full time employees and many, many successful clients. I have so much to be thankful for. Today I reflect on that terrible day, remember the lives lost, the heroic stories of all involved, and do not take one day for granted. I am blessed and determined to live a life of success and significance.