As some are looking back at the five year anniversary of 9-11, I thought I would take the opportunity to share our memories of that time. In 2001, our family had been homeschooling for nine years and one of the benefits we enjoyed was our family togetherness. But, a few months before September, I thought it would be enjoyable to get to spend a “vacation” in my own home . . . alone . . . no children, no husband . . . giving me a chance to organize. So, my involved hubby volunteered to take the children on an adventure camping in a cabin at a state park in central PA. It was set for the week including . . . 9-11. So, the one time I choose to be separated from my family, something catastrophic occurs 🙁
As most other people naturally reacted, I desperately wanted to “circle the wagons” and be close to my children and hubby, and yet, I couldn’t. Not only couldn’t I be with them, they were out of contact, including cell phone. I just prayed my hubby would call me at noon, as he had the previous two days, although we had not scheduled to do that on a daily basis. He did, and I was able to let him know what happened. We agreed that he should stay where he was since all the airports were shutting down, and with the plane that was going down in rural PA somewhere, and all the traffic from those trying to get home was still occurring, it seemed it would create potential chaos to throw themselves into that. He was at a peaceful place and could safely share the news with the children.
I found it ironic, and even a little unfair, that I was separated at this time from my family. Here I had created a lifestyle that increased the odds of my being with my family during a crisis, and yet, I wasn’t with them. The next day, September 12, is my fourth child’s birthday, although he was not there to celebrate it. However, I tried to remind myself of my blessings. This same day as my son’s birthday is the anniversary of my baptism into the church, which is a source of peace and a firm foundation for all that I believe and hope. Regardless, it took me several days to tear myself away from the TV and try to create a semblance of normalcy and still accomplish a few of the goals I had for organizing.
Before leaving on the trip, we discovered our station wagon of ten years would not be able to make it, so we rented a van. Upon my family’s return from the trip, we hit the car lots for a new family vehicle. Business was expectedly very dry, so deals were prevalent. I felt a bit guilty capitalizing at this particular time, but life does what it does, and we needed a vehicle. We ended up getting a used GMC Surburban.
Then, go forward a few more weeks, on September 29, and our lives changed dramatically, again, forever. Two little boys entered our lives through foster care, and are now permanently part of our lives through adoption. So, a month of disaster turned to one of blessing for our family. Of course, we no longer fit into the new family vehicle . . . LOL! (We since have traded in the Surburban for a 15 passenger van.)
Admittedly, September, 2001, now stands as a beacon to the additions to our family more than the tragedy to our country. But, as others have said many times since 9-11, no terrorist acts will keep us from standing tall and proud and strong and ever moving forward in hope and love.
Three of the children at the cabin in central PA, 9/01:
First photo of William, 9/29/01:
First photo of Joseph, 9/29/01: