Friday, September 15, 2006


Bob was about two weeks shy of his third birthday. He was in Ohio with his dad and due to leave that day to come home. Luckily, as I'd find out hours later, they couldn't get a flight out and were at home watching in shock with the rest of the country. I wouldn't see him until the day before his third birthday.

Tim and I, on the other hand, were in the hospital at the time. I was four months pregnant with Bumpo and the night before, had started having really bad cramps and spotting. So after a worrisome night, we got news that Bumpo was still tucked in safe and sound. We were just waiting to be released so we didn't have the television on. We were enjoying our good news over breakfast and talking about our upcoming arrival, totally oblivious to what was going on in the world around us. In our sheltered hospital room, we were having a great day. I remember commenting on how quiet the hospital had been all morning and how unusual that was for a busy Houston hospital.

Then, right after the second plane hit, Tim's mom called us and hysterically yelled at us to turn on the television because we were under attack. Now, because of our history, I took what my MIL had to say with a grain of salt. As I've posted before, she has a tendency to . . . Over-react. So, while I rolled my eyes, I turned on the television and watched in disbelief as they replayed the planes crashing into the towers. I watched as the towers fell, and as the news came in about the pentagon and about the plane in Pennsylvania. I watched so much television the week to come, that I became numb. My eyes were swollen, my nose was completely stuffed up and I was overloaded with emotion. The images of the towers falling, the smoke and soot in the air of New York City, the sound of the sirens in the streets, and the images of heart-broken husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and friends searching for their loved ones are just a few of the things that will be forever etched into my mind. It's a day I will never forget, but it's also a day that I think we need to learn from and move on.

Because of that day, people are much more involved in politics now, which I believe is a good thing. But it stops being good when we start hating our neighbor based on his political views alone. Dwelling on such a terrible event will not make us stronger. In fact, the thing we didn't want to happen has happened. We've let the terrorists win. Sure they haven't struck our country again since then. And sure they may think twice next time. But they have taken something so much more precious to us. They have destroyed our united front. No longer are we all just Americans. Now we are either Conservative Americans, or Liberal Americans. We are a segregated country once again. Something our forefathers worked so hard to overcome.

If that day should have taught us anything, it should have been that hate is such a strong and evil emotion. An emotion that causes pain and heartache for years to come. Who needs the threat of terrorists in this country when we're doing a pretty good job of destroying everything it stands for on our own? There is one thing I miss about that day. One phrase that was so popular in the months following that fateful day five years ago. A phrase that has since lost all meaning. United We Stand. . .