Sunday, September 30, 2012

"I Want Daddy"

It is almost bedtime.  She's tired. 
And all of a sudden, her little face crumples and tears flow down her face. 
"I want Daddy."
Lord, what do I say?  I'm always at a loss.
I gather her up in my lap and murmered what little comfort I can offer.  "I know, baby.  I know.  I miss him too. But you know what?  Daddy is in Heaven and he isn't sick.  He's waiting for you and he still loves you very much."
"But Heaven is too far away.  I want God to send Daddy back down here.  I can't wait that long till I see him again.  I want God to send him back."  She sobs big tears, curls up into a ball in my lap.  Then she reaches her arms up to the sky and plaintively cries out, "Daddy...Daddy...I want you."
Jesus, have mercy.  
It's been a year and a half, but her little girl's heart still longs for her daddy.  I don't know what else to do, so I pull her even tighter, murmer little words of comfort, and silently pray for God to calm her heart, for the Holy Spirit to bring her comfort in her spirit and in her dreams.  And I cry silent tears into that fine curly hair that is just like her dad's.  Then...
"But I still have you."
Her tears quiet, her breathing slows, and her body relaxes. 
She's asleep.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We should never forget this day.

It's been eleven years today.

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? I do, with absolute clarity. I was at work, busy with a classroom of kindergarteners. We'd had circle time~ calendar, weather, a story, some silly songs to get the wiggles out before settling into our math lesson. I needed to make a copy of something or other, so I left the kiddos under the watch of my aide and headed to the ofice. As soon as I got to the office, I knew something was wrong.
I'll never forget the look on the faces of Denise and Michelle,
and the hushed tones...
"Two planes have crashed into the World Trade Center.
It's really bad."
I think I just stood there. I'm not sure. The decision was made to not inform the children, to be extra watchful and careful of our surroundings and finish the day. We didn't have TV or even high speed internet in our building at the time, so information was initially limited. I remember heading out to my vehicle at lunchtime to turn on the radio just to get any information that I could. It wasn't until then that I learned that it hadn't been two planes; it was four. Instead of one location, it was three. And the towers had fallen.
Completely down. Gone.
It was becoming clear that it wasn't accident. It was terrorism.
They were saying they didn't know how many people had died, but it could be thousands.
This is a collage of most of the people that died that day. Ninety two photos are not present.
Take a long, hard look.
This was a really, really bad day.

People in the Pentagon had no time to react
as their building was hit.

Others called their loved ones from planes and upper floors in the towers to tell them they weren't coming home.

Can you imagine how it must have felt
to make that phone call?

Some people faced the terrible choice of staying in those buildings and burning alive or jumping to their deaths. Those are photos that we don't see much of, but it happened. Lots.
Can you imagine having to make that choice?

Others figured out while sitting in their airplane seats that if they didn't act, even more people would die. They stopped their hijackers from crashing into yet another building. They stood up, sacrificed their own lives, and saved scores of others.
Can you imagine the courage it took
to overcome their fear and to act?

We heard stories of people who ran INTO the situation to help.
Many didn't escape.

That night I went home to the apartment that I rented in Michigan.
I sat in front of my TV, switching back and forth between the few channels I could get to come in on my rabbit-ear antenna. For hours I watched in horror the scenes that had unfolded while I was at work. I distinctly remember looking out at the sunny day and thinking, "How could this have happened on such a beautiful morning?". I remember feeling very alone. I remember feeling scared. I remember feeling very vulnerable. I remember calling my mom and dad, just to hear their voices and to pray with them. I remember desperately wishing I could spend the evening at their house, instead of being 250 miles away, alone in my apartment.
I couldn't sleep that night, thinking of and crying for all the husbands and wives who wouldn't ever see their spouse again, all of the parents whose children were now gone, all of the children whose mommies or daddies would never throw the front door open again at the end of the work day for a big hug.

We should never forget this day.

Take a moment to think of the innocent lives lost, the heroism of many, and all of those who were there in the aftermath, cleaning, searching, rebuilding.
Hug those you love, if you can reach them.
Call the ones you can't hug.
Because we never know which day is our last.
Each one is precious.

Where were you that day?

*All images from Google Images unless otherwise indicated.