Archive for There Are No Words

I’m Back from My Hiatus

I hit a wall.  Things in my life were not going well.  I didn’t want to talk to friends, I didn’t want to talk to family, and I surely didn’t want to blog.  Life was overwhelming, and I wanted to just be alone. 

Today, I am hopeful.

When my father married my mother, he gave her a strand of pearls as a wedding present.  They divorced when I was four, and my mother remarried when I was eight.  Her second husband gave her a strand of pearls as a wedding present (kinda creepy).  She gave my fathers pearls to her mother for safe keeping.  I found out about the pearls many years ago, and told my mother that I didn’t want to take them from my grandmother, but that one day when the time was right, I would like to have them.  I was never a child that dreamed of my parents getting back together.  Probably because I was so young when they divorced, and never remember them ever being together.  But to me, the pearls represent the love they once shared, and that was important to me.  To believe that once they were in love, and we were a family.

Three years ago when I got engaged, I called my mother and asked her if she thought it would be okay to ask for the pearls from my grandmother.  I wanted to wear them on my wedding day as my something old.  Of course she said yes.  Two months later, hurricane Katrina devastated the region where everyone in my family lives.   And at Christmas the following year, my mother cried as she told me that the pearls had been lost during evacuation.  How could I be upset?  Everyone in my entire family had lost everything they owned and all I had lost was a strand of pearls. 

My birthday was last week.  And my mother called while we were out for my birthday dinner.  She told me she had a very special present for me this year, and she cried as she told me she had found the pearls at my Grandmothers house when she visited them for Thanksgiving.  I cried too.

Today I am hopeful.

Remembering 9/11

We had just moved from Edwards AFB, CA to Hanscom AFB, MA.  It was my second day at my new job, at Hanscom AFB Fire Department.  For emergency response personnel it was a horrific day.  A few of our Fire Fighters would get off shift, drive to New York and work the rescue as volunteers and drove back for their 24 hour shift the next day at Hanscom.  Two of the reservist were from New York and helplessly watched, wishing they were there.

 

I felt alone.  Having just moved to Hanscom, I had no friends.  The base went to treatcon Delta, which meant total lock down.  I was able to get my kids home from daycare and school, and then we were confined to our base home.  My husband – now ex-husband – although stationed at Hanscom, his work site was off base.  And the gates were locked, and he could not get home.  I felt trapped.  I felt scared.  Knowing the flights had originated out of Boston, where there more terrorists in the area, and would they target the Air Force Base, only 20 miles away next?  I feared for the safety of my family.  I cried for the lives lost.  It forever changed my life in so many ways.

 

At work the next day, things were somber.  For Emergency Response personnel, 9-11 brought on a whole new realm of responsibilities.  I was appointed to the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Oversight Committee by the Fire Chief to assist him.  We spend the year on response plans, contingency planning.  I know things that I wish I didn’t.  The world we live in is a scary place.  I think the time I spent with Hanscom Fire Dept. has made me more aware of terrorism, and the treats that come to us every day which John Q. Public will never know.   When I think about today, I remember the lives that were lost.  But it is also a reminder to me of all the men and women who are first responders, ready to put their lives on the line every day.  And I am grateful.