Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Heart Day!!

Ten years ago today my Dad underwent successful open heart surgery. It was two days after the attacks of 9/11. The emotions that we were all having were like a roller coaster ride all day. When I got to the hospital a little after 6am, my Mom told me that they were not sure if they were going to be able to do the surgery. To say my Mom was a little overwhelmed is an understatement. Thankfully the surgeon came in and told the nurses that no matter what was the problem, he was doing the surgery. I am so thankful for my Dad's surgeon. After the surgery he informed us that one of my Dad's arteries was 90% blocked. The artery was what they call the "widow maker". He said that the only reason my Dad didn't have a massive heart attack was due to the fact that he took an aspirin everyday. After Dad was in recovery and we knew that the surgery had gone extremely well, we were able to go in to the ICU to see him. It was only for a couple of minutes but it helped all of us to just "see" that he was fine. I walked out of that room and fell apart. I'm not sure what came over me. Maybe it happened because I had never seen my Dad like that. He was always so strong, so in control. Maybe it was relief. Maybe it was the fact that my Dad was still here, alive and well, while other families were grieving the loss of loved ones all over our country. Whatever the reasons were that made the tears flow, there was a sense of calmness and comfort that enveloped me. I was reminded again that God was with us every moment before, during and after the surgery. And this was my moment to lay my head on God's shoulder, feel his arms around me and let it all out.

Ten years have gone by and I thank God everyday for the life of my Dad. He has been a role model to his three children and 10 grandchildren and a loving and caring husband to my Mom. He is a man of integrity and faith, who has worked hard to provide for his family and has a heart overflowing with love.

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Happy Heart Day Dad!!

Love and Blessings,

Gifts & Blessings:
*My Dad's strong and healthy heart still beating.
*Walking under a harvest moon.
*Laughing with friends.
*A freshly painted new home office.
*My husband spending time painting while football was on t.v.
*Celebrating my cat's 16th birthday.
*Cool breezes flowing through the windows.
*A child's smile.
*Life still moving on.
*A bouquet of flowers from my mom's garden.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Where were you? What were you doing? These are the questions I keep hearing people ask as we have been leading up to this day. Has it really been 10 years? But it still seems so raw, so real, so hard. Hard to understand how it all happened? Why it happened? And have we learned anything from what happened? Like so many others I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. I had just dropped my daughter Kayla off at her middle school and was driving my daughter Ashley to her high school. My son Andrew was in the back seat waiting for his turn to go to school. We were listening to KLOVE when they mentioned that a plane had hit one of the towers? Ashley and I looked at each other but we just thought it was a small plane. In fact, after telling everyone about the plane, the radio announcer played a song. I don’t think they even knew the magnitude of the problem at that time. I dropped Ashley off and headed for home where Andrew grabbed his backpack and headed up the street to go to his school. I watched him walk up the street and turn the corner and then I headed off to work. At that time I was working at a television station. As I drove across town they announced on the radio that it was a large commercial plane that had hit the tower and that the 2nd tower had also been hit. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. By the time I got to work, everyone was standing in the lobby of the station watching it all unfold on the big screen T.V. I walked over to one of my co-workers and asked her what was going on. She just looked at me with tears in her eyes. The rest of the day was a blur. When I finally made it home I just wanted to hug my husband and children. Life suddenly was to scary, to sad, to hard and to filled with death and sorrow.

Years before I had watched in horror as the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed. I had held my then 2 year old son on my lap as mothers searched to know if their child was safe. I had watched children run from school buildings after shots from a gun had killed fellow students. I made sure that when my children went to school I told them “I love you”. Those attacks were from people who were troubled and broken. We prayed for them and for the victims and families. Those attacks, as horrible and awful as they were, were carried out by people who lived in this country. But 9/11 was different. 9/11 sent us into a fear that gripped our very souls. The people that carried out the attacks and hijacked those planes, hated us, all of us. That hatred killed almost 3000 people. Our country and the lives of the families and friends that were left behind were forever changed.

10 years ago we asked ourselves, “How do we get through this?” and “How do we go on?”. Today we continue to ask ourselves these very same questions. The wars still continue. Lives are still being lost. Memorials are still being built. 9/11 is not something that can be put back together, placed in a box, taped shut and placed on a shelf. 9/11 is a day that will remain in the hearts of everyone who watched it unfold. Whether you were running down the stairs of a tower to get to safer ground, looking at the blue sky in Times Square, were working in your office at the Pentagon or the Capital building, were receiving that final phone call from a loved one or taking your child to school, driving to work or watching it on television. Our world, our lives are different.

Did we get through it?

For some, their faith in God grew , but for others, their hatred for those who look differently, sound differently, dress differently and believe differently grew too. 9/11 brought out the best in people and the worst in people.

Did we go on?

We continue to go on and believe that somehow at sometime the fear that gripped our souls will lessen. That we will feel safe again. That the wars will end, the memorials will be finished and we will move out of the cloud of fear and into the light of security.

But that light of security can only come when we put our full trust and faith in God. God didn’t cause 9/11. But he did provide the angels who helped people get to safety. He provided angels who took charge in a commercial jet and diverted it away from our capital. It’s the God that sent angels to comfort those who were hurting with quilts, cards, prayers and anything else that was needed. And it is the God who continues to comfort us, strengthen us and guide us to that light. Where one day we will stand before Him and he will welcome us with outstretched arms.

Today may we remember those whose lives were lost and thank God for his comfort, strength and redeeming grace and mercy.