Twelve years ago today I was on my way to see Lee at the University of Michigan -Motts Childrens Hospital. Lee had arrived there just about two weeks prior to 9/11, having been flown in by a medically staffed airplane, from Arkansas Children s Hospital to University of Michigan Hospital. Imagine being fifteen and awakening to a whole new life, one where you can’t do anything for yourself, not a damn thing, undesired to say the least. Wake up one day and not be able to breathe or move on your own, just lay there and the only thing that works somewhat properly is your vision.
On the way I stopped at my sisters house and as I stood in living room my eyes were glued to the tv as I watched in shock as that horrific incident played out, I’ll never forget that feeling of fear as it crept up my spine. It had been only a couple months since Lee had had his horrible accident while on vacation and all I could think of is now this? What’s happening? At that moment, that very instant a sick feeling hit my gut and I wanted to be at his side, but he was an almost two hour drive away from me at the hospital in Ann Arbor. Traumatized and once again separated by distance.
I left in a thoughtful mood to go see him but also feeling very guilty because I’d been watching what was happening on the news instead of driving. My biggest fear was him being alone, granted that there was plenty of staff but they weren’t his family. It all boiled down to me not being there with him once again. I didn’t want him to be alone again and be afraid all by himself, he’d already been through enough and I I needed to be with him! He and all the others there are the hospital were, at what I thought, in the most vulnerable state of existence. Paralyzed, comatose children, babies having heart surgery and many more with all other types of illness which brought them to a place like U of M. What if, what if, a million and one what ifs ran rampant through my mind!
I remember clearly that day as Lee and I talked about what was happening and we watched the news. We proudly watched as very our own military flew over our country to protect us, a first time ever that I can recall in my lifetime. We also prayed together for all those who were lost, their families, the volunteers, our military and their families. Although he was faced with a multitude of his own challenges as a quadriplegic teen, Lee was still able to have compassion for others and pray in their time of need. Selfless, caring, loving and the list goes on and on. My Brave-heart.
Every 911 brings all of this back, flooding my entire being with such strong emotions which help to make me realize that we are tougher than any of this. These tests only help to make us stronger and give us the ability to be much more than we’ve ever been!
Wow!! 2001 what chaos you did bring…
We as Americans came together that day, we cried, we screamed in outrage, we held hands, we became humble, we prayed…we became united as a country again.
…and many, many, Heroes stepped forth!