Let Us Remember!

I did not set out to leave the television off today.  I just did not feel any eagerness to again watch the images that filled me with so much anguish a decade ago.  Life was so different then.  My small children were near me and as a mother I could not help but be concerned for their future.  Now they are all adults living away from home.  With just a few exceptions, most of my interaction with them is over the telephone.  It was in one such conversation today that I realized my aversion to the television was no accident.  It was not that I did not want to remember, but as a friend posted on Facebook today, “Remembering and reliving are [two] different things.”  Although I do not fault anyone for having a desire to connect to their fellow citizens across this nation in a day of remembrance, I knew that for my particular personality, I could not relive these events.  This afternoon, however, I found myself in a conversation with my daughter, JaNae.

At first the subject was discussed inquisitively in regards to whether or not there was any discussion of the 9/11 anniversary in each of our churches today.  Of course, each question led to an answer, an insight, or a memory.  I did not realize that my emotions would be so close to the surface so when my throat tightened up and the tears begin to well in my eyes, I was a bit surprised.  In our conversation, I reflected upon a picture I had seen this week; one that I do not recall having seen before.  It was a closeup picture of one of the towers focused on the floors just above those impacted by the plane.  The people on these floors had gathered in groups at the windows.  They were climbing on the ledges.  Although the expressions on their faces are not visible, I could sense their desperation by the way they were crowding those window openings seconds before their death.  It was in recounting this image to my daughter, that the tears first began to flow.  How could anyone do such a thing to another human being?

We also discussed an article I had read this week about ‘the jumpers’.  I was surprised to learn that for the most part this was a group which had been forgotten.  People simply did not want to admit the reality that people chose to jump rather than go down with the building.  Families who were told that one of their loved ones may have been among the jumpers refused to accept it because suicide was against their religion.  To them it showed cowardice.  How can anyone possibly believe that these jumpers committed suicide?  Personally, I believe that they simply had a hope for survival.  It may have been an irrational hope, but who among us would not be irrational at such a time.  Nevertheless, to see an image of a person falling from such a height is greatly disturbing!

In discussing these two images, I, for a moment, did relive what to me was the most disturbing image of that day ten years ago.  It was not of those gathered at the windows, nor was it the image of the jumpers.  In fact, it was not even the horrific images of the collapsing towers or even the tear stained faces of those who were searching for loved ones.  The image, after ten years, that I still cannot shake, is the image of little children celebrating such an evil act by dancing in the streets.  How can any of us, God-fearing or otherwise, teach children to celebrate an event that would bring such extreme sorrow into the hearts of thousands upon thousands of fellow human beings?

Yes, it was a heart-wrenching period for the citizens of this nation!  It was hardly bearable for the ordinary citizen of this country little lone those who paid such a personal price as losing the life of a loved one.  It seemed to be a time when many people came to God, but many also turned away wondering how could He let such a terrible act happen.  Certainly it can be a mystery for us mere mortals, but I can testify that during that time I felt God’s presence.  I felt His compassion and understanding towards those left behind.   He was and is aware of our aching, our confusion, our loss.   To us, the loss of life was such a tragedy that day, but to Him, death is just bringing these souls back into His presence.  The sorrow is only for those left behind; those of us who someday will also be brought back into His presence.  Today my heart again remembers and feels great compassion for those who lost so much that day and for those whose lives have been lost in the wars since.  Please remember today and everyday, not by reliving, but by reaching out in love to all those around us.  There is no better way to honor those whose lives were lost because of hate than to flood the world with love.  Everyday, let us all Remember!

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

Advertisements

Memories

Recently, I have not been able to sleep more than a couple of hours each night.  I’m exhausted!  As I lay in my bed last night unable to sleep, I was thinking of my grandson.  As is typical with me, my mind started to analyze his stage of life.  Why is it, for instance, that one cannot remember being his age?  When do memories begin?  Do we have to learn to have memories?  Is that why, in general, an earliest memory will not go beyond being younger than 3?  As I thought about these questions, the following came to my mind.  It contains my very earliest memory–a shiny, silvery moon coming in the mail.  What was that?  Anyway, I call this “Memories”.

Nothing!

No memories.

New in the world.

New ideas waiting to be formed.

But then, in time, faint memories begin to form.

A shiny, silvery moon in the mail.

A puppy with a collar and a dangling, jingling bell.

The school playground; sand in fingers, sand in shoes.

Jump rope, hopscotch, flying through the air.

Playing kickball, foursquare, chasing boys and playing tag.

Grandma dies, the world stops, waiting for hearts to heal.

Junior high school lockers, friends surrounding, mean girls always in the mix.

On to high school, turning sixteen, sitting cool behind the wheel.

Having boyfriends, breaking up, waiting for hearts to heal.

Graduation, off to college, missing home so much the heart could break.

So much homework, new friends, late nights, class comes early, missing home, when will this end?

Disappointments, cannot do this, missing home, look, now success.

Graduation, leaving college, missing friends, waiting for hearts to heal.

New job, new life, new everything, not sure this is going as was planned.

Adjustments follow, love blossoms, marriage proposal comes along.

New family formed, first baby born, feeling the joy she brings.

First hearing mommy, baby walking, soon another comes along.

Being busy, no time wasted, running errands, catching breath, what’s for dinner, need more groceries.

Out of milk, another baby comes along, helping with homework, giving baths, reading stories, when will this end?

Work in classroom, helping with homework, driving carpools, one more baby comes along, catching breath, sick child up all night.

Helping with homework, baby crying, buy more diapers, watching children grow, baby laughing, need more groceries, does this ever end?

Laundry piling, what’s for dinner, reading stories, watching children grow, driving carpools, now one in elementary, one in junior high, two in high school, helping with homework, school play, awards banquets, catching breath, baseball game, piano lessons, soccer balls, practices, helping with homework, what’s for dinner, graduation, taking her to college. . waiting for hearts to heal.  The time is flying, last one’s leaving, waiting for hearts to heal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Did it really end?

Children moving, wedding receptions, teardrops falling, waiting for hearts to heal.

Missing children, silence screaming, grandbabies coming, Christmas gatherings,

Children’s voices, carol’s singing, grandchildren cuddling, sending them home again.

Silence screaming, missing loved ones once nearby,

Waiting for phone calls, parents buried, waiting for hearts to heal. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Going for visits, staying with children, leaving once again.

Thanksgiving feasts, grandchildren’s visits, taking walks with each of them,

Grandchildren’s weddings, gathered with family, the heart feels joy again.

Where are the keys? Telephone ringing, children’s voices on the line,

Happy to hear them, which street is the house on, finally find it on the right,

No longer driving, waiting for hearts to heal.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do, now who are you again?

Sometimes they’re known; sometimes they’re not,

The days go by so slowly, do they end?

This is your daughter, this is your son,

Can you remember them?

Tear drops falling,

Waiting for hearts to heal.

Giving a smile, waving good-bye,

Wishing they were here,

Until the memories are . . .

Nothing!

I did not realize that this would be so hard to write.  When I got to the point of burying my parents, I could hardly stand it and, of course, after that I was a mess.  Nevertheless, I’m glad that I did, so that I could take a moment and reflect upon those memories that have created within me such a love.

Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4                                                                     [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

One for the Road

First and foremost, for those of you who read my last post, I have to admit that I almost took cuts yesterday.  Of course, it was in a small group of people, mostly family, and the person who I almost “cut” was my father.  All of a sudden I remembered my promise and decided that I would let him go first.  I am still good with my promise and hopefully will remain so.

Now, this is a more participative blog; I really want your comments on this one.  As I have observed the devastation of natural disasters or other types of destruction of homes, I have wondered, “If I had just a few seconds to grab something in my house to take with me and everything else would be destroyed, what would I take?”  Now in this context I realize that human life is most important.  Making sure our family and perhaps pets are safe would be our first concern, and rightly so.  But, for this project, we will assume that all those you love are safe and protected and also that you are not in need of choosing  anything to sustain life, such as food or water.   We will also exclude legal documents such as birth certificates, deeds to houses, and so forth.  This is just simply an exercise to decide what material possession is most important to you and why.

For now, I’m going to withhold my decision.  In fact, I would like a little more time to think about it, but I am very interested in what material possessions people value most.  So, have fun with this and please take time to respond.

Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4                                                                     [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

Another Look

Now, it was not my intention to post another blog today, as I am trying desperately to finish a take home test for Complex Analysis as well as other mass homework that my professors gave me to make sure I didn’t get bored during Spring Break.  Never mind that March Madness begins this week; my professors were flying to Sri Lanka and China respectively to spend time with their families, which I guess is understandable since we have to import professors to teach math in our country.  Evidently they do not have as much interest in basketball despite the fact that UNLV plays tonight in the “Madness” that this family loves.  However, I received a comment on my last blog from none other than that handsome husband of mine reprimanding me for my last post.  Apparently after being married to him for 28 years, he still doesn’t get my sense of humor, but who can blame him, there are not many people who do.  I’ll talk about that on another post.

Well, it appears that he did not like my self-deprecating comments on my blog (see his comment under “A Brief History of My Life”). So, as a matter of not perpetuating that self-deprecation any further, I’m going to tell you that I really am the most wonderful person in the world.  I am sure they will have to sell tickets to my funeral so you might want to consider preordering.  Certainly my full autobiography will be available to all who attend.  In fact, I will have it published and will spend the next twenty years of my life autographing each copy.  If you let me know in advance that you plan on attending, I will even personalize it for you.  In fact, if you just want to say something nice about me now instead of waiting for me to die, I will even include your comment in my book along with the attribution of proper credit.

This all, of course, is determinant upon you all outliving me.  You see, I am kind of like a cockroach and I very well could outlive every creature on earth.  Therefore, I am going to make a one time offer of purchasing my autobiography prior to my funeral.  If it serves no better purpose, it could possibly be a good sleep remedy, but then again it could keep you on pins and needles.

Now in all seriousness, I want you to know that I really have written a personal history, however, it is only updated to 1993.  I have committed myself to updating it as soon as I graduate from school.  That will cover an additional 18 year period.  It is amazing that it has been that long and how much has happened in the interim.  I look forward to the opportunity to bring it up to date because I remember that writing about the first 30 years of my life (yes I know I gave away my age) was an extraordinary experience.  That is not to say that I am an extraordinary person, but only that it is a very wonderful and humbling experience to reminisce on one’s life and to understand the positive role that so many have had on me becoming who I am.  And, to each of you who have played a positive role, I give my utmost thanks.  It is also refreshing to realize the many blessings that I have had and to recognize that even the hardships were ultimately character building.

So, my challenge to each of you, if you haven’t already done so, is to write a personal history.   When I originally wrote mine, I felt that I was doing so for my future posterity.  In the process, I found out that it was my life that was blessed.  I am grateful for that opportunity and consider it to be one of the best experiences of my life.

As I think of all those histories to be written, I am reminded of a poem that I love and am sure that is familiar to many of you.  It is called “The Dash”.  I do not include it here because of my respect for copyright laws, but I do include the hyperlink.  If you haven’t heard it, or if you would like to reread it, I know you will love it as much as I do.

Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4                                                                     [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

A Brief History of My Life

Last night I had a quite lengthy discussion with two very special friends from my past on Facebook.  We started to talk about Personal Histories, so I decided to share my brief history here with you.

I was born April 28, 1963 to Frank and Cynthia Larson.  For several years things went on in my daily life of which no one in particular would be very interested.  I suppose I’ll have more similar days in the future and then I will die.  Hopefully someone will care enough to attend my funeral and find at least one nice thing to say about me.  If not, who could blame them.

This is the brief history of my life.  Perhaps yours is similar.

Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4                                                                     [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]