Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A wake Up Call

My article, below, was first printed by Story Circle shortly after the 9-11 Tragedy. Now, seven years later, we are still reeling from the blow. Unfortunately, this September 11th, Gunner (my SIL) is serving a third tour in Iraq as we attempt to maintain our freedoms here at home. The support for our troops is high, but public support for the war has waned and our military faces an increasingly lonely journey. I pray for Peace but not at the price of our Freedom.
Give Sorrow Words: The Day America Changed - September 11, 2001

A Wake Up Call

The phone doesn't usually ring at 6 AM in my mother-in-law's home. Even if she were not in the hospital, no one would call at that hour since being 86 years old has some privileges. I could feel my pulse quicken as I reached for the insistent telephone, which could only be the harbinger of bad news. Mom had been better when we left her last night. What could have gone wrong?
I had hardly voiced the obligatory "Hello" before my middle daughter's excited voice rang out from the other end. "Are you watching the news? Turn it on right now! A plane has hit a building in New York! Oh no! There's another one!!"
I seemed to be moving in slow motion as I turned on the TV and watched in silent horror. Time seemed to stand still as I listened to the background telephone noises of my grandchildren busily starting their day. I desperately longed to gather all my loved ones around and keep them close and safe. This daughter’s husband was active military. Where would he go? Our son and his wife lived just across the river from Manhattan. Would they be safe? All our children, grown and responsible, were scattered from one side of the continent to the other. I could only wait, watch, and pray.
I sat by my mother-in-law’s bedside for the next week watching her valiant battle for her life. I also watched the horror of 11 September 2001 as it unfolded, again and again and yet again against a background of public grief and world pain. As I drove home each evening, the sight of American flags waving from homes, businesses, and cars buoyed me. The condolences offered by other countries were reassuring. America did not stand alone.
Like willful, free-spirited children, Americans have always fought the loss of personal autonomy and individuality. This latest and most blatant terrorist attack, while striking hard at our sense of security, has helped forge the links of world friendship and cooperation. My children are safe; my mother-in-law is better; our beloved America rises like a Phoenix from the ashes.


  1. I also remember being there with you that morning when Ko. called and then going out to find that the roads were empty.

  2. ME reminded me how well you write.

  3. Yes, Uncle Dan, you have always been a stable force in our lives! Thank you....for the compliment, too...

  4. After 9/11, one of the most interesting things in NY/NJ was that nobody honked their car horns in anger/frustration for about 3 weeks. As you may imagine, anytime there is traffic in those highly congested places, honking was bountiful.

    After three weeks, I tried to start the "return to normalcy" our President called for by busting out the dreaded "NJ triple honk" when some guy was going to slow in front of me...

  5. I am happy you lived to tell the tale, Dave.
    Houston is a relatively quiet city. There is a history of people being shot for honking their horns at others.


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