Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

Ten years.  One decade.
Birthing three more babies.  A preschooler turned into a teenager.  

Ten years.  Three thousand six hundred and fifty days.
Six moves, including one to a new state.  Selling a house.  Buying a house.  Hanging drywall.  Tearing out tile.

Ten years.  Eighty seven thousand, six hundred hours.
Noses wiped.  Boo-boos iced.  Meals cooked.  Floors swept.  Diapers changed.  Hugs given.  Sticky kisses received.

Ten years.  Five million, two hundred fifty six thousand minutes.
Facebook posts.  Pictures taken.  Movies watched.  Soccer games attended.

Ten years.  Three hundred fifteen million, three hundred sixty seconds.
Sunny days.  Rainy days.  Cranky days.  Joyful days.

Ten years.
Everyday, normal living.  The ups and the downs; the good and the bad.

Ten years has past since terrorists attacked the United States by using airplanes as missiles.  I sat in my living room that day, glued to the TV, as my two young children wondered why I couldn't stop crying.  Finally, I had to turn the TV off.  It was all too much.

I wasn't impacted directly.  No one I knew was killed, injured or even near the events.  But, like everyone who lived through that day, I was impacted.  What else was planned?  Were we safe?  Would we ever be or feel safe again?

I didn't understand how anyone could hate another person enough  to do this.  I still don't.

My power, the U.S.'s power had been stripped from us.  We fought back.  Some of our response was ugly;  Those who looked like Muslims were threatened and beaten.  Some was controversial; Our government sent troops to the Middle East.

Some was very personal.  I took power back from the terrorists by becoming prepared and by becoming involved.  I joined the Red Cross and became a first responder.  Soon I was teaching first aid and CPR classes.  It was my way of showing the terrorists that they hadn't succeeded.  It was my way of showing myself that I was strong and that I would be OK     

You'd think in ten years, I'd have gotten over it.  I thought that in ten years, I'd gotten over it.  Yet, just like I did ten years ago, I've had to turn the TV off.  The hurt and sorrow is still there.     

What isn't there is the feeling of helplessness.

Ten years.  One decade.
CPR demonstrated.  First Aid lessons taught.  CERT classes organized.  Medical volunteers recruited.

Ten years.  Three thousand six hundred and fifty days.
Water tank fastened.  Gas meters found.  Emergency supplies gathered.  Water stored.

Ten years.  Eighty seven thousand, six hundred hours.
Neighbors served.  Community joined.  Voting my conscious, even in primaries, accomplished.

Ten years.  Five million, two hundred fifty six thousand minutes.
Anxiously waiting through five Middle East tours.  Heartfelt prayers offered.  Comforting reunions.

Ten years.  Three hundred fifteen million, three hundred sixty seconds.
Kindness shown.  Tears wiped.  Laughter shared.

Ten years.
One heart changed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm home today with a pukey child.  Which means that we are watching non-stop videos.  I just put in one of my favorites from the "Liken" series:  The First Christmas.  I love the music, and I love that they help children imagine the scriptures.  I really love that it's a "kid" movie that I can actually watch without puking myself.  I love that they show a modern day child using scriptures stories to solve his or her modern day problems.  But, what I love most about this particular video is that the angels are multi-cultural and come in a variety of shapes and sizes!

I think that the reason we think of angels and heaven as being white is because their glory is so bright that our mortal eyes can't see the color.  I believe that a God who created such a beautiful world with so much variety and color would live in a world that's full of the same rich variety on a grander and even more beautiful scale.  God loves all of his children and we are all created in His image.

There's absolutely no scriptural support for (or against) my color theory, as far as I know.  But, now you know what I think about when I'm home with a sick kid.