Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Give Up.... Never Surrender.

Twelve years ago today I was living with my parents.  I worked as a nurse aide at a local nursing home, and took on the project of turning the closet in my small room into a wardrobe.  I wish I had photos to add to this blog of my creation, but that was twelve years ago.  I didn't have a camera phone back then.  I don't think many people did.

I was in my parent's car port, listening to 103.9 the X (my favorite station back then), and diligently sanding every drawer front to a smooth finish that my 8th grade wood shop teacher would have been proud of.  I had purchased a template to do the dove tail joints on the corners because this was going to be done right, and I desperately wanted my parents to be proud of this fixture that would be there long after I left their house.  This wardrobe is now part of my mom's craft room, and seeing it twelve years later, it's apparent that a novice wood worker put it together, but it's the thought that counts?  Right?!?!

I was living with my parents because they rescued me from my abusive ex.  I was depressed, as I loved him, and wanted to make my relationship work with him.  This wardrobe was a project to keep my mind and hands busy... and hopefully help me recover from the loss that was so difficult for me.  But that is another story all together.

The radio suddenly stopped playing music.  Instead some news caster was talking about something terrible happening in New York City.  Saying that they were unsure what was going on, but one of the twin towers had just crumbled.  They were speaking of first responders, and of all the possible casualties.  It didn't sound real to me.  I thought it was a really sick joke.  Some War of the Worlds type of broadcast.  I kept listening for the punch line.  For someone to tell me to go get my little Orphan Annie Decoder to reveal the secret Ovaltine message, like Ralphie on A Christmas Story.

My mom or dad came out.  I can't remember which it was.  They asked, "did you hear what happened?"  I told them my theory.  Sick joke.  Wasn't falling for it.  See... I was a cynic even then!  The 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower.  I listened to the radio of the blow by blow accounts of what was happening.  I listened in shock and disbelief...  this wasn't a sick joke.  It was worse.  It was real.  People were dying.  Why???  I asked my dad, "HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN, Who would bomb the towers."  While it was happening it wasn't widespread news that it was a jihad act.  That terrorists were actually using a plane to kill themselves as they killed countless other innocents.  Most in the country were asking the same questions as I, trying to learn what was going on.  I stopped working on the wardrobe, but I couldn't stop listening.  I kept getting angrier and angrier.  This wasn't right.  This couldn't be happening.  How could this happen???

Those were my feelings all day.  Anger.  Sadness.  Being enraged.  Wanting desperately to do something to help.  Someone on a news channel announced that the Red Cross needed blood for the survivors.  They were requesting rare blood types especially.  My dad being type O- (6.6% of the American population), and myself being A- (6.3% of the American population) decided it was best we made a trip to the local red cross and donate.  I know it was small, but maybe it helped.  I really wished I could do more.

Over the next few days and weeks the truth of what happened came out.  It was a shock to all.  Everyone in the country mourned the loss of so many innocent people.  A friend of mine mourned the loss of a dear friend of hers.  Almost everyone knew someone who perished on that horrific day, 9/11/01.  I would like to think that that awful act of terrorism pulled us closer together.  Made us stronger as a country.  Made us realize how precious life really is, and how much we should live it to the best we can.  I know 9/11 means something different to everyone, but to me...  it means to never give up.  Never surrender.  To live and enjoy life, because so many lives were cut short that fateful day.

I carry this into my raising two children whom I didn't birth.  I continue fighting against everything that happens.  I continue to be a voice for V at school, trying to keep her on the right path.  I continue to make DQ do her home work, practice her dancing, and get a good night's sleep no matter how much she fights me on it.  I will not give up.  I will not surrender.

The week of Labor Day is one of the worst weeks I have had since I was in an abusive relationship.  One after another, things just went wrong.  I can not go into too much detail, but something happened on Labor Day, and now the girls are going to have limited time with their brother.  My parents have custody of their brother, so I fear that will strain my relationship with them.  Found lice in DQ's hair, and spent countless hours treating it (treated everyone in the house... bugs creep me out!!!).  Ripped the house apart and cleaned everything in fear of lice.  Basement flooded again.  I have awful plumbing.  Guess I can't complain.  it is nearly 70 years old.  Hot water heater quit working a few days later, thank goodness my dad is a genius and could fix it.  M and I had a huge fight and he was so angry that he drove to his home town....  5 hours away.  I am not exaggerating.  It was one of the worst weeks of my life.  But that week is over.  I have done all of the cleaning and damage control that I could.  I learned a lot.  I hope my kids learned a lot.  I hope M learned a lot.  And now we move on.  We never give up on each other.  We never surrender to the awful things that happen.  We hold our heads high, and keep fighting the good fight.  It is all we can do.

DQ has been asking about her biological mom a lot this last week.  I am again encouraging her to write her a letter, and ask her some of these questions herself.  Hoping to fend off any rebellious, "I'm going to find my mom" teenage actions.  DQ is doing a solo in competition this year, and her dance teacher seems to be proud of how far she is coming in it.  She said she is where she needs to be right now to compete in February.  So I am quite proud as well.  It is beautiful!  I am making the costume!!!!  She is doing well in school, and bringing home a lot of A's on the work she is doing.  She is a wonderful kid.

V is doing fairly well in the ED class at her school.  She is riding the school bus, and I am praying she doesn't get kicked off.  Her teacher and I stay in constant communication.  I really like her, she is good for V.  V has decided not to dance this year.  She is taking Karate instead, and the Karate instructor is amazing.  I can't say enough good about him.  I am really glad that fate brought us to him, and have high hopes that he will help her to be more disciplined, and less impulsive.  She melts my heart with how sweet she can be.  Just this morning, she threw her arms around me and proclaimed very loudly, "I love you mommy.  You are the best mommy."  I must be doing something right.  

Today is a day of remembrance for our country.  I hope we all take a moment to reflect on what is truly important in life, because it is so short.  My heart goes out to all of those who lost a loved one twelve years ago.  May you find peace, and may your memories of that loved one never fade with time.  May you never give up...  never surrender.

Aunt TT

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