Friday, September 11, 2009

We Remember

No doubt we are all, on some level, reflecting today on that day of horror - September 1, 2001 - and the days that followed it. Words like stunned, incredulous and heartbroken pale in comparison to the gravity we all felt and, even now, find difficult to articulate.
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My youngest son penned the following letter to our family the day following the 9/11 attacks. They are his own personal reflections, but they represent the vast majority. I can think of no better way to remember the day than to read it again and to share it with you.
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In lieu of comments, please join me in prayer instead. Pray for the families that lost loved ones on that day, and for the government leaders that must continue to be wise and vigilant as they ensure our national security. Pray for people everywhere, that their security would be found in Jesus.
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Kelly writes ...
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Yesterday morning around 6:50 AM I received a call from my Operations Manager. He told me that there had been some sort of terrorist action involving two planes crashing into the World Trade Center. He also said that other American targets were being hit. It was my responsibility to contact all of our crews; and to divert them from downtown buildings as well as the project at Sea Tac airport - the new control tower we were working on.
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As I called the staff I couldn't help but wonder what, exactly, I was preparing them for.
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After I had called everyone it really set in what was happening. I picked up the nearest phone and repeatedly called the house, without any response. It was probably 30 minutes before I got ahold of my wife. In some non-understandable way, I needed to hear her voice. I had two requests for her to grant me.
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The first request was for her to turn on the TV (I wanted another person to pinch me to wake me up).
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The second request was to have her contact my mother in Arizona to find my dad (who travels on planes often). She agreed to do this, but would need to call me back.
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During the next ten minutes I managed to hot wire an antenna to our conference room TV well enough to catch a fuzzy image of the first tower's collapse. By now, two or three people had trickled in to see what I was up to, only to be taken back by the images unfolding before their eyes.
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I sat with them for a few minutes without a single word spoken amongst us. Then my phone rang and the Caller ID told me the call was from home.
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I didn't want to hear the news in fear of what it could be. I know that my dad travels on planes several times a week, which would bring the odds up considerably from most people. I had just been reflecting in the minutes prior on my solo fishing trip to the Yakima River where I had missed my friend, my dad.
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As Trina spoke, and since her voice was not stuffed full of horror or sorrow, I smiled because I knew my dad was safe.
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I promptly hung up so I wouldn't miss the events on the Channel Seven news. It was about ten minutes later that I posed the question to myself regarding the potential for a full out war that included my state, country, city, and home.
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At that moment my focus changed completely to one of fear; of not being with my family at what was possibly our last hours or minutes in the event of a full blown attack.
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I spoke with several staff members and decided to stay at the branch until we could get a formal decision from senior management. We sat huddled in this one small room around the television like eight year-olds around a snake or a frog. We ordered pizza around 10:00 AM, having accepted that no work would be completed that day.
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Eventually we elected to close the branch and go to be with our loved ones. This allowed me time in the car to reflect on the events that had transpired. I knew my value-system had changed forever, and that life would never be the same in my heart and mind.
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I know what it really means to love life and to smell the roses. The problem I was working on now was to try to explain to a six year-old what had happened. How do you do that? If you know how, please explain what happened to me.
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I feel like a six year-old today.
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As we sat down to dinner that night I traveled outside of my box and asked Trina to say Grace for the first time in our marriage.
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What I didn't tell her was that I had been saying Grace for eight hours straight.
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In error I haven't taken much time to express my love for many more people than my wife and kids. I hate that it has taken something like this to remind me how much every person in my life means to me, regardless of personal differences.
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It breaks my heart that I watched every person I know live and die for a brief second in my mind on Tuesday; and for some that second will last a lifetime.
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I love you with every ounce of my soul. I wouldn't trade any one of you for all the gold in Fort Knox.
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Kelly
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12 comments:

Andrea said...

Beautifully written from the heart of a kindred spirit.
Remembering, andrea

LisaShaw said...

I know you said "in lieu of comments to pray" please forgive me but I had to just say, I wept over the letter as it's content is so full of love and wisdom and...

I'm praying.

I love you.

Andrea said...

So moving, so sincere and very heart-wrenching.

Remembering and Praying With You,

Andrea

P.S. Thank you.

a portland granny said...

I can pray and comment!!

That was a beautiful letter....and somehow, I would have known it was from your child--his ability to express thoughts and feelings, his fervor for those he loves, his tender heart.....thanks so very much for sharing that most moving letter!

RCUBEs said...

Praying with you. Beautifully written letter from the heart. Blessings.

Heart2Heart said...

Kathleen,

I too had to say thank you for a look into a very personal letter that was written that day.

Prayers are continuing all day long today for everyone, everywhere.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Debbie said...

Oh Kathleen, what a special son you have! Unfortunately it often takes a tragedy like this to open our eyes to what's really important. Your son is so filled with love for his family. We must never forget!

Love,
Debbie

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I just had to comment and let you know how thankful I am for the words you posted here.

Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Beth E. said...

I'm praying, Kathleen...I'm praying.

Technonana said...

How Beautifully Kelly expresses himself!! He expressed thoughts that I am sure many of us had that day!! Glued to the TV for all the information we could gleen!! I'm sure that in our lifetime most of us will long remember where we were and what we were doing that day!!
Thank you, Kelly... Thank you, Kathleen for sharing this on this day!

christy rose said...

I cannot not comment on that! How precious is this piece of writing! Thank you for sharing this on this day!

Joan Carr said...

It reminds me of the feelings that I had on that day that leaves a mark on us and in our history forever. So beautifully written and expressed.