Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

  In one morning the world was changed forever. Some people may disagree with this statement, but I think it rings true and I think those who do not agree have forgotten. I had just gotten my first cup of coffee and sat down to see the morning news. My youngest son was awake, whining a little because the cartoons weren't on the screen. I turned it to Fox News and saw a horrific sight, one I will never forget. My mind was spinning. I didn't understand what I was seeing. New York City? The Twin Towers? I asked myself. It couldn't be, I thought. One was covered in black smoke and flames. The news anchors were recapping on what I was seeing, unsure of what was going on themselves, they described that a plane had struck the building. They called it a "terrible accident". I remember picking up the phone to call family to get some kind of clarity. Phone lines were busy. So there I was, coffee set aside, holding one of my children in my arms, as I watched History unfold before my eyes. Time went on and an urgent message alert came up, as a second plane hit the other Tower. Once that happen we knew it was some kind of Terrorist Attack on American soil.
   I watched thinking of the people in those Towers. Morning the loss of life, not even aware of the horror to come. Watching on the other side of the country. I felt alone, unprotected in my own home. I thought of my sleeping infant and son, holding the child on my lap, tighter. Once again the unbelievable happened the Pentagon was struck, the hub of security in the United States. How is this possible? Who would want to do this? Why? And the question that most crossed my mind, what was next? My baby girl.. just five months old and so unsure of what life would bring her. Tears came as the bodies flailed towards the ground. Little did I know, the devastation would only increase.
  In the haze of the morning, my father who was in Sacramento pulled in the drive. The only marker I have for his arrival is that the Towers had not given way. He had been on a business trip to the state's capitol for a meeting with the state officials. That turned into a protection detail for the Governor. Once the Gray Davis was secure, he was released from his duty. We set there watching, speaking in half sentences trying to maintain some sort of  normalcy,  for the three children now awake. We watched as the Towers fell. We watched as the people were running for their lives. Hoping and praying it was over. Then news of a plane crashing in a Pennsylvania field. This would be the last of the attacks on that fateful day.

  Some people feel the need to block the images from view. I, on the other hand long for pain and horror of that day to be fresh. I believe that if we don't know Our History we are doomed to be repeated it. Always remember, never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My brother Matthew

     Matthew would have been 28 years old today. He was one of a kind. I never thought in a million years I would ever have to write his obituary, but I did. Matthew was the brother that when he wasn't around, you wanted him there. When he was around, he could drive you crazy. That was part of his charm and he had lots of it. I can't tell you how many woman ( didn't matter the age or size ) told us how pretty Matthew made them feel. He was able to befriend any one, any place. Which was made evident by his many friends from all over. He lead a life of learning, adventure, and love. I recently found a post card he sent me from Lourdes, it brought back the loss and sadness I forgot, but it also brought this amazing joy for having been a part of his life.
   Brothers and sisters often don't get a long and there were times we were no different. We also shared wonderful times and times that weren't so wonderful, but looking back those are among my favorite.
Mom had been gone one morning and for some reason only Matthew (11) and I (15) were left in the house. Being board, as we normally were we took to wrestling. I don't remember who started it, but one thing lead to another and you know the saying "it's all fun and games until some one gets an eye poked out". Well that's what happen. He punched me smack-dab in the eye, not hard so much, as just right. Shattered my contact lens in pieces. For those of you that don't realize, that's extremely hard to do. We had to call our aunt, she came over and made sure all the pieces were out. My eye was fine. I still laugh when I remember his fist, as scrawny as it was coming at my face and the absolute amazement when it made contact. We still wrestled, even as adults. A little push here, big shove there. He made any situation more fun, for better or worse.

        He wrote while visiting Europe " So I think I've done just about everything I could have done, my life is complete." Matthew was right, for the short time he was here, he lived to the fullest.