Remembrance:Remembering 9/11 and Those Still Mourning

Ten years ago today, I was awakened by my father calling. That was before auto voicemail was the norm and I could hear his panicked voice from the living room. I got up to listen again to his crazy message, so confused. What is he talking about? I turned on the TV and that's when I saw the same tragedy the rest of the world was seeing. It only took a minute for the shock to be replaced by fear. My best friend lived in New York City and I couldn't get through. Phone lines were a disaster and all I knew about her job was that she was working near the towers.  I was panicked over her safety. Where was my sister?

Praise God when her sister called me to say she was okay. They were able to get through to one another before the phone lines went crazy.

Such panic the world was in and I remember my sister calling me from work because of the plane that crashed near Pittsburgh. Could I get hold of Aunt Rosie to make sure she and the family were okay? No one felt safe and I was sick to my stomach watching the TV but could not drag myself away.

I worked at a restaurant and the owner wouldn't close so I had to go in. I was so angry, as were the other employees, because he only wanted us there so he wouldn't have to cancel his monthly wine luncheon. I remember the one table we had in two hours: a woman upset that her flight was cancelled because she had planned on vacationing somewhere in Europe. I couldn't believe it. Such entitlement when America had just been attacked by terrorists. I don't remember what I or the rest of the staff said to our boss, but he finally relented to letting us leave once his wine luncheon party was served their first course. I remember my disgust at hearing the laughter coming from the party as we left the restaurant. How could anyone laugh when our country had been attacked a few short hours ago? When thousands were dead? When the image of people jumping out of windows was so vivid in my mind?

For the days and weeks following, I couldn't tear my eyes from the TV. My obsession for ESPN was replaced by this tragedy and as I think back to that day, I want to call my dad and tell him I've forgiven him.

It can't be easy for those personally affected by 9/11 to find forgiveness in their hearts. It's taken me two decades to forgive my father. 

However, my prayers today are for those of you still mourning your losses from 9/11, for those of you still anxious from the terror experienced.  I pray not only for the victims but for the rescue workers and others involved. May the Lord bless and comfort you all.

I end with lines from one of my favorite Scriptures:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on us, because Jesus Christ has been sent to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom from the captives, and to comfort all who mourn. He will provide for those who grieve, bestowing on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. 
(Found in Isaiah 61)

God Bless America

March 2010

I'm behind in posting so here is a poem I wrote on March 5th as a new Christian:


   The sun on my face
a warm breeze caressing me
   the rainbow on my drive
that set my teardrops free
   for I knew you were there
loving and romancing me
   but it has been years
since I've opened my heart to anything
   Oh Jesus, my God,
you've not given up on me
   I can still feel your kisses
softly whispering to me.
   You are opening up my heart
for all that I can be
   and I know that I am loved
for your Son, Christ, died for me.