Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
7 years. That's a long time. I was 22. I had been married a little over a year, I had no kids. My life has changed a LOT in 7 years. I have changed a lot in 7 years. My priorites, my relationship with God, my goals, my dreams. Some things have not changed. I can't manage to put all my thoughts about 9/11 down in words. Writing is what I do. It's my coping mechanism. Most of my prayers I write rather than voicing. I have not put my thoughts about that day that as Bloomberg said "started out like any other, and ended like no other" on paper ever. I hadn't planned on it today. Here is the thing. This blog is called 'a living journal' for a reason. I see it as a memoir for my children. this morning I had the tv on and was observing the first moment of silence with tears streaming down my face. My son? playing on my bed with a tube of toothpaste really wanting me to open it for him. Oddly at 1 1/2 he wasn't all that affected by the tv coverage of the memorial. This day defined my generation. If that sounds overly dramatic I would have you try to argue the point. We had never been attacked, never really had a war that affected us, we lived our soft, self-centered, materialistic lives assuming that nothing would ever change that.
Everything changed. 7 years later it hurts like it did then, the anger swells when I see the images. Today like no other I hate that I no longer work in Manhattan. Somehow not being there makes me feel like I am an outsider looking in on someone else's grief. Like I am feeling pain in a wound that is not my own. I know that it touched the whole country. I understand that it was an attack on all of us, our beliefs, our security. It was different if you were a New Yorker. I am not going to write all my experiences that day or the days to come...over time maybe...other anniversaries. Just some of the things that I remember the starkest. I went to college in lower Manhattan. I remember the first day I went back to college. Several blocks up from the WTC site you could still smell the awful smell from there. I was walking toward my college building trying to cope with that and trying to assimilate that in some ways so soon after life was going back to 'normal' when I noticed something on a wall that I was coming up to--something that just seemd new and out of place. When I got there what it was was a wall full of pictures of 'missing' people. Most of them were attached to pieces of paper telling where this person had worked in the towers, when the last contact was made , and a contact number where someone who loved them could be reached if anyone had any information. There was this assumption right after that the hospitals would be overwhelmed with injured, those who couldn't identify themselves, or people would be dazed and wouldn't be able to find there way home. That just wasn't the case. Almost all of those pictures were of people who had perished. However, they remained for MONTHS as a sort of make-shift memorial.
I lost someone I knew. I had worked with him for a few months, we had actually gone out on a few dates before I met the man who is now my husband. He wasn't a Christian, he was still in college so it never went further than a couple of lunch dates but we stayed friends. He would always stop in on summers when he was home for college and a bunch of us would go out to lunch and catch up. I saw him August of 2001. He came in to Lazard because he was done with college and he was so excited because he had gotten a job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the WTC. Less than a month later he was dead. Do you know what kills me? I never ONCE shared my faith with him. I had chances. He knew that I was a Christian, he knew that because he wasn't was the main reason I wouldn't keep dating him. Because he knew that much I patted myself on the back for not being ashamed of my faith. After I heard that he was a victim it could not have been more clear to me how useless it was for him to know what MY faith was.
Well that is a part of where I was "When the world stopped turning". Today the pentagon is opening their memorial . It's time for New York to get on it. Were New Yorkers--were strong, we don't let people hold us down, it's time to replace the hole that has been left in Manhattan with something that like it's people is bigger and stronger than it was before.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I can NOT believe the summer is over. That my calendar is reading September 6th definitely seems a little hard to grasp. The summer was an amazing one. My kids are both at that priceless, precious age. They are both still so excited by so much of what they see around them, still easily pleased. There is NOTHING sweeter to me than looking in my rearview mirror in the van and seeing two kids who are sound asleep because they were just exhausted by a long day at the beach. Their still wet, salty hair clingy to their cheeks which are still rosy from the sun and exertion. The end of the summer was especially special. August 14th my sister flew in from Nashville and we headed down to Ocean City, NJ to spend time at "Grammy's beach house". Timmy took a long weekend and I stayed down for almost a week. It was so incredible. If you have read any of my blog you know how special Nonni is to Kaity. Well the week at the shore showed that the fascination was not lost on Rodney either. "Nonni" is now one of the words that he says...and often. Just today he was in the crib at my parents house trying to fall asleep and talking to himself and quite often one of the words you heard him say was "nonni". Too cute. I also realized that my daughter shares my love and passion for the ocean. She would be at the ocean every chance she was given, and in the water when she was in the ocean as much as she possibly could be. She would go in by herself with her boogie board and ride the waves, or be 'just like grammy' and put her beach chair right at the edge where the water could lap over her sit there.
Well I drove back from Ocean City Wed. Aug. 20th-spent the 21st doing laundry and re-packing everything because August 22nd we piled the whole family in the car and headed for the Outer Banks for North Carolina. ON the way down we stopped in Salisbury, MD for the night to break the trip up. We got a hotel with a pool so that the vacation memories could start right away. The next day we figured that we had about 3 to 3 1/2 hours until we got to our vacation destination. We WOULD have been right except that we had completely underestimated the traffic getting off and on the island. THe last 13 miles of our trip took us a little over 3 hours!! BUt we finally arrived.
The vacation was amazing. The house was beautiful. We had a private pool and hot tub in the back yard. Everything was new construction. From the deck looking one way you saw the ocean and looking the other way you saw the bay. On Sunday TIm's sister and her family arrived to share the house with them. We hadn't seen the whole family in a long time and it was the first time we had a chance to spend a significant amount of time with them. They were awesome. Kaity was in cousin heaven! The ocean was beautiful. I got to go ocean kayaking one day which was so much fun. Something that I really MUST try to make a habit of when given the chance.
One day when I went down the water was as rough as I have ever seen the ocean. Ironically, I can't tell you when I have ever felt more at peace than standing in water that as deep as my calves had the power to knock me over. I was overwhelmed by the scriptures that just flooded my mind standing there staring at this huge, swelling, churning mass of water. I thought about the disciples on the boat when Jesus calmed the storm. I thought of Heb 6:19 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul firm and secure" (ok i couldn't have told you the reference at that exact moment but the verse was there. ) I thought of Christ as our strong tower that we can run to. Psalm 107: 29b "the waves of the sea were hushed". I mean seriously looking at that ocean (thanks to Gustav). And thinking of God 'hushing' that. It was awe-inspiring. I don't nearly have the literary talent to put what that moment was into words. You could NOT miss the realization of how small you were in God's creation but how in control HE was, and if He could hush the waves with a word how much more is HE capable of calming the storms that come up in my life? Internally or from outside forces?
The week was over too soon, and reality is always waiting isn't it? I came back to a house that looked like a vacation bomb had exploded--which had ignited a clothing bomb--which all exploded over what was left after a dog hair bomb had gone off!!! I came back to spiritual battles, ministry demands, family conflicts, life requirements. Even political concerns. It's all still here. But you know what? That moment on the beach between me and my All-Powerful God---that's still with me. He knew what strength I was going to need to face the good, and the rough from this fall and coming year and I think that maybe He knew that I needed word from HIm to let me know that He was going to be there and ready and able to calm the storms if they ever got too rough for me to handle.
I didn't mean to turn this into a discussion part of my spiritual journey. I was really just going to talk about my vacation but my mind always takes me back to that day when I think of what was significant about that trip.
Were back now, I have vacuumed up the dog hair, washed and put away most of the clothes, cleaned the house--and now we are excited to face what the fall and the coming year hold for us!!