Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do I smell cleaning solution? ( and our story of 9-11)

So, as I sit here taking a couple minutes to try and improve my blogging skills, I keep getting a strange whiff of cleaning solution. It would be totally understandable if I'd have used some kind of solution in my living room, but there are no surfaces that require harsh chemicals.  Wierd.

The chickens (something I often call my children as a group because they seem to always be under my feet) have misplaced (totally hid I'm sure) the remote for the living room television.  I'm currently enjoying (not hardly) a refreshing episode of something called, Kick Buttowski.  Normally I'd enjoy this simply because his name is childish, but I'm kinda  feeling grownup.

Oh man, my birthday flowers smell like cleaning solution (crinkle nose look).

What I'd planned on writing about this weekend was what everyone else was writing about - 9-11.  It feels like it is too late to do so - but then I remember that its never too late to remember such a day.  And I do, many times throughout the year.  I often tell the story of the day to my kids because they were too young to remember.  I want them to know, and be able to tell people later, what they were doing on that morning.

We lived in Quakertown, PA.  On a map, you will see it is about 2.5 hours from every impact site.  I was running a neighborhood daycare.  I had three neighborhood children at my house, two of my own, and I was 6 months pregnant with my third.

Jason was 4, Carly was 1 1/2 and the neighborhood kids were scattered from 5-baby.  I was getting ready to make sure breakfast was eaten all the way around - sitting on the sofa catching a little news before getting one child off to the kinder bus.

I didn't catch the first impact, but once I realized it was real, I got on the phone with my mom in Alaska and woke her up (4hour time difference).  We watched the next impact together.  Then it was on to many, many phone conversations with my husband who was 45 minutes away delivering mail.

And it just kept going . . .  and so did we.  You can't just ignore a house full of tiny children.  And they certainly don't need the added burden of watching an adult break down.  That kind of thing was just not an option.  We had a day of compromise.  I caught what I could on the news throughout the day and still got the kinder on the bus and spent the day playing and educating pre-schoolers and toddlers while managing my pregnant hormones and 1 yr old.  I think back and totally appreciate having such distractions in my life at the time.

I was scared every second of the day wondering if things would get closer.  I longed for my home 4,000 miles away nestled securely between an Army Post, Air Force Base, and only 2 hours from a missile defense system.  I was scared for weeks to come.  Every time I heard a low flying plane I felt a panic. I taught my children "earthquake" safety hoping they wouldn't need to try and remember it.  Obviously it got easier to face each day and not be so scared.  I did finally realize how selfish it was to be scared . . . but I've got children to think about.  And then we faced the realization that my husband wouldn't be able to help himself from going back into the Army.  He compromised and went National Guard.

My baby boy was born December 16, 2011.  My brother was killed the following February and we put in a transfer through the postal service to move back to Alaska to help family.  We never dreamed it would go through.

December 2002 we got the transfer as my husband found out his National Guard unit would be deploying with the Strykers.  They gave him a choice. . . As much as it tore him apart inside not to go with his unit, he took the transfer for our family.  Our neighborhood was going down hill fast.  Drugs had moved in two townhouses down along with theft.  We were no longer safe, had no familial support near by, and no money to get out of there.  We were in Alaska by January 17th and his unit deployed shortly after without him.  He did join the local National Guard in Fairbanks, did some training, but realized that they were being used as disposable bodies by the government.  We were not willing to send him on a deployment with people who had no more capability than my 2 year old.  He soon terminated his contract - again - for our family.

Now, he is such an important member of our community.  He coaches three different youth baseball teams and helps with softball.   He delivers mail and has built relationships with much of our town's elderly.  He even helps them out on Sundays and after work when they need it.

He is raising incredible children whose dreams are HUGE in life.  Jason plans on going to college on academic and sports scholarships and going into forensics - joining the FBI or CIA one day. Carly can't wait to be a teacher.  Caden fully intends on getting a four year degree and joining the Army as an officer, possibly a pilot.

My children want to serve their communities.  To them, jobs of service are the only option in their minds.
I am a very proud mom!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am thankful for the time in service your husband did give along side my soldier. If Paul could have I would have been oh so happy to have him be a civilian. You are a lucky & blessed mom.