Friday, September 11, 2009

Anniversary Inventory

It's probably just me... But when I think about what happened on September 11, 2001, the first thing I used to think about, after the anger I always feel, is just how grateful I am to have survived that awful day - And to have the opportunity to experience all the Wonderful, and even the, not-so-wonderful things about just being alive. Among the things I am grateful for is being an American and being fortunate enough to live in this Great country.

So every year on this day I take a quick Inventory of everything I have in my life. I give thanks for the things that have continued for me and those I love - things that sadly, came to a Horrible end for all the innocent people who didn't survive that Terrible day.

This isn't a new exercise for me. The day I learned, twenty-some-odd years ago, that my brother's best friend sprinted through a Fixed glass window on the 7th floor of the Monterey Sheraton (now the Marriott) and plunged to his death onto the pool deck below, all I could think about was how happy I was to be alive to see MTV's world premier of the new Van Halen video that just came on before James called to tell me.

Maybe hearing my dad say one time that Every day after he made it home from Vietnam was gravy, instilled this sense of Gratitude in me. Or maybe it's just part of being human or possessing a Soul and having faith in God like I do, that I just instantly become more grateful for Life every time I remember that, But for the Grace of God, it could have been me on one of those airliners or me that was sitting at a desk in one of the Targeted buildings.

So every September 11th for the last eight years I've thought about how fortunate I am to have been given another year beyond the morning Life ended for those murdered by 19 cowards practicing "peaceful" religion.

But this year is different. Different now that Brandon, aka my heart that walks outside my chest, has left his University to join the Army and became an Airborne Ranger - Because he felt called upon to defend his American family. That's our family. And yours.

Today, September 11, 2001 has become the reason my then, 13-year old, Catholic school attending, sweet boy became a Warrior - A man I cannot look at without shaking because I am so proud of him and feel so Terrified over losing him all at the same time. A young man in his Prime who now, at twenty-one is willing to leave all the Comforts and security his father and I have so carefully provided him, to stare Evil in the eye and face bravely all the Horrors of war. A war he firmly believes is Worth fighting. For you and for me... A war our Ranger believes is a terrible, but necessary endeavor so that even those who don't support him might continue to live. I cannot speak for you but speaking just for myself... I feel wholly unworthy of the sacrifice my son is willing to make.

While gratitude for Surviving that awful day eight years ago is still mostly what I feel, I cannot lie and say there isn't a whole big, stinking pile of Resentment and fear on top of it now.

Being a shiny new Army mom on this 9/11 anniversary makes the Fact that so many innocent and Precious lives are still at risk and being lost in war, because of and for the Freedoms we Americans cherish and our Warriors are willing to fight for, Very personal.

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