Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9-11

I tried to write this yesterday on the actual anniversary but just couldn't seem to get anything down.  It was a day filled with reflection and emotion.  A day that always causes me to pause, count my blessings, and look back at the day that changed America forever.  When the events unfolded 10 years ago, I remember exactly what I was doing and the range of emotions that ran through me.  However, I never would have guessed how much that day was truly going to impact the rest of my life.

Ten years ago, I was teaching at a small K-12 school in the middle of a cornfield.  I was teaching 7/8 grade social studies and english and happened to be in my first hour english class when I learned about what was happening.  I remember going outside later in the morning and seeing how beautiful the day was.  The sky was so blue and peaceful until we noticed all of the plane vapor trails circling the sky.  Makale remembers me not letting him go outside to play that day, but not understanding why.

In some ways, my life was so simple until that day.  I was a single mom, working on buying my own house, and really living a pretty content life.  I had recently "met" Allen, although we had not met in person.  He was deployed at the time of the attacks.  Never in a million years, would I have pictured what my life would look like in 10 years.

I knew that day that all of America would change.  I knew that the freedom so many of us took for granted would be more appreciated.  I loved the patriotism that was brought out because of that day.  The way American's came together to help one another was incredible.  Our resilience was amazing.  However, I never knew how much my own life would be changed because of that one day.

That one day changed my life forever.  Instead of teaching a classroom full of kids, I am now a full time caregiver for my husband who was critically injured in Iraq almost four years ago.  Had the attacks not happened, my husband most likely would not have been deployed to a combat zone.  He may have faced a deployment, but that is even questionable.  In reality though, he faced 2 combat deployments which left him a completely different person.  The man who came home from war, was not the man I sent off to war.  And, all of this, is in direct relation to the deadly attacks that happened on 9/11/2001.

When I look at my life and how it changed since the attacks 10 years ago, I am a little bit overwhelmed.  I am nowhere near where I thought I would be.  With that being said, through all of the tragedy my family has personally faced, we are still very blessed.  We have Allen home with us after many long separations, deployments, treatment centers, and hospitals.  We were recently blessed with a new home, and have a community that supports us.  I have learned through all of this that I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone in order to help others and to learn and grow.  I have embraced all of this and grown leaps and bounds in my own personal life.  Not only is my husband a much different person than he was before war, so am I.  We have learned to embrace this and make the most out of any situation, no matter how grim it may be.  We have learned to love one another through good times and bad.  But most importantly, we have learned to lean on God and to trust Him to work it all out.  God has a plan for all of us, we just have to be willing to trust in Him and to listen to know what that plan is.

My heart and prayers go out to all of those personally touched in any way by the attacks of 9/11.  I pray that you all find peace and feel the love of God in your life.

Even Now.........Gina

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