Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Is it too cliche to post about 9/11 today?

It is the 11th anniversary, I have changed from a college senior rambling through life to a mother of three settled in the town where I will mostly likely grow old and die.  A mother of three kids who have no idea what happened on this day eleven years ago.

I was on the road when it happened. On the way back to school from a family funeral, many of my family members were in planes that day going all over the country to their respective homes after we gathered to honor my Grandpa, a veteran.

My cousins were dressed in their military uniforms to place the flag over his casket and a folded flag was given to my grandmother.  Many of these cousins were about to be impacted even greater than they could have realized that day as they later took turns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the news first broke I remember looking from car to car to see if other people were hearing what I was hearing. I pulled off the highway at a rest stop so I could see a TV as the reports on the radio were impossible to imagine. Strangers in northern West Virginia gathered and stood glued together held frozen by the images flashing before us.

But we couldn't stay there. We all had places to be. We talked about heading east to see if there was anything we could do to help.  But, most of us got in our cars and continued.  We continued the exact direction we were heading before.

Years later, we're all aware that we are not exactly the same as who we were before and yet we are never as wise as we were the days following the attacks.  We were one. We hugged our loved ones and forgot the petty stuff.  We said prayers, expressed sympathies and made donations. We prayed.

My children are now 7, 5 and 3 and know nothing about September 11th.  When is the right age to teach them? Do I leave it to school to introduce it and then fill it in with discussions at home? What are the important messages that need to come out of the tragedy that day?

'We will never forget' is our slogan... but what exactly is it that we want to remember? Do we want to remember the frailty of life and appreciate the time we have? Or do we want to remember the cowards that perpetrated the attacks and to never let our guard down? The victims? The heroes? The villains? The quotes? The images?

I suppose, it would be best if we remembered everything. But, that is how people felt about D-Day and Pearl Harbor and so many other tragic events that eventually are just another day in history class for so many Americans.

If I had my choice of one, I would want to immortalize the story of flight 93. Of people who were not trained to be heros but couldn't stand the idea of being part of anyone else's death. With faith, courage and love for others, they risked their lives to make sure that the murderers on that flight would not win.

And after that story came out, I know I am not alone in that every time I got on an airplane... I psyched myself up... just in case the need to fight arose.  Though I could never say what I would do in such an incredible circumstance I'd like to think that forever honoring the passengers of flight 93 would remind us all to be courageous in times of incredible darkness.

And, in immortalizing their story, we would never forget that there are people around us everyday who go to work prepared to risk their lives for others. The firefighters, police officers, military and civil servants that day and every day deserve to be appreciated.

Seeee... so that's why I blog, I was trying to figure out how to signify this day as special for my kids and I talked long enough to get there.  So now, I'm turning off the computer... saying goodbye to the youtube memorials (and the truther crap that gets stuck in there) and baking cookies with my kids. We'll take 'em to every fire station in a 5 mile radius just to say thanks...

thanks for reading,

ps. if you are here to read my 50 shades, click here.

pps speaking of great civil servants (is that what you'd call 911 dispatchers?) I love Mike.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Employer... From a skilled Mom.

Today I dropped off my youngest child at preschool. He will only be away for about 5 hours total in any given week. But the moment I left the school I realized that for the first time in almost 8 years, there will be regularly scheduled times that I will be alone.  

Was I sad to leave my baby behind? Sure. But the overwhelming feeling was one that I had felt before... close to my college graduation.  I had to answer a question I hadn’t even had time to ask myself in close to a decade... what am I going to do with my life?

So, knowing my resume, with an 8 year gap in employment may be less than impressive, I took time to work on my cover letter... what do you think? 

Dear Prospective Employer, 

Though I may not have the advanced degree or computer acumen of many of my competitors. And, though I most likely require a more flexible schedule and more pay as well, I believe I have some unique skills that my co-applicants may not. 

For example, 

I can catch vomit in my bare hands and carry both it and a child 30 feet without spilling a drop.  

Why would this help you? What this illustrates is that I have come to a point in my life where I have close to zero self regard and remarkable problem solving skills. When an issue arises at the office, many may try to shy away. But I will run at the problem and carry that proverbial barf and your company’s good name to safety. 

Next, I have a keen sense of smell illustrated by the fact that I can detect accurately who hath ‘dealt it’ between at least four humans and two dogs. 

Again, you may ask, other than as a party trick, how does this help? Not only in midcheek expulsions, but in all parts of life I have learned to handle and assign culpability with tact and grace. No one wants to be the 'smelt it' tattle tale so to speak, but when someone is around that can spot and handle the guilty party, no matter the crime, with the noblest of ease, parties are more likely to hold themselves accountable and much office shenanigans cease before they can escalate.  

Last, I am virtually unflappable.  I have literally been shit on while in the middle of a budgeting phone conversation and checking myself out at a grocery store. I did not stutter in word nor operation.  Whatever crisis arise, I will stay calm, collected and dedicated. 

Though you may take pause at the year of my last official employment, I hope you will not forget that in addition to the skills I have already outlined, my ‘off the job’ training also made me proficient in multi-tasking, conflict resolution, and lego extraction. 

Oh, and apparently, my lips have taken on a Christ-like quality in that they can relieve suffering and take away the boo-boos.  Frankly, if you don’t want a Jesus lipped vomit catcher, I fear for the future of your company. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest Regards, 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Isaac, Abraham and did God used to be a #*&%?

The story of Abraham binding Isaac always bothered me.

Abraham bound Isaac got out the knife and was ready to kill the crap out of him.  But, taa daa God sent the angel just in time saying "nope, nope, never mind! I'm just kidding!!" stopping Abraham and allowing Isaac to live.  

Yayyy, right? No. Boo. What a sucktacular story! And, talk about a God I don't want ever trying to contact me on a personal level!  I understand that the story is often used to teach you to obey God no matter what and all will be alright.  But, by the 4th grade, I figured if I saw God or one of His angels, I had an over 50% shot of being asked to die, kill or get pregnant... so, thanks, but no thanks. 

And to the allegorical point, you'd think an all-knowing God would foresee that a variety of mental illnesses seem to manifest themselves by people hearing God telling them to kill someone.... wouldn't the better moral of the story have been Abraham was rewarded for not killing?

We'd all grow up with the story of, 'when you hear voices telling you to kill... God will reward you for not listening!'  That seems to be a better story for society in general... 

I wrote it off as another one of the 'crazy angry God' stories from the Old Testament that I didn't quite understand... right up until last Easter. 

At that service, for the first time, I put the story of Isaac and Abraham truly side by side with the story of Jesus in my mind.  God gave his only Son that we may live.  

We are meant, I believe, to have a visceral reaction to the Isaac and Abraham story. Because Abraham and Isaac were both living breathing humans, it is easier to associate ourselves with them than it is with God and His Son.  Abraham and Isaac, that could be God asking me to kill my son.  I can relate.  And I sometimes can't help but think with God, somehow its not the same.  But it was. Jesus was His Son and Jesus suffered fear and pain and torture and death and God watched every moment, not stepping in... for our sake. 

And, even that phrase, "God sacrificed His only Son that we may live." I find myself questioning... He is God... couldn't He have figured out a better way to save us all?  Mr. Clean Magic Erase away the sin?  Just make us not sin in the first place?

But it all boils down to us having free will. We have to choose to follow God. We have that choice everyday and every minute. He couldn't just wave a magic wand to "open" Heaven.  He had to create a moment and an act so incredibly powerful that it started as a tiny seed, possessed by the least important and furthest removed people in the world. It had to grow and blossom organically.  It was a story and a message that you couldn't keep to yourself. It was too incredible not to share.  And it had to be momentous enough to stand the test of time, noble enough to last through scandal and men's folly, and strong enough to outlive wars.

So, in His all knowing, kind of way, He knew that the story of a Father putting His own Son to death, would sit and stay with us as humans.  And the story of that Son and the kindness and love He taught would last and could lead humanity to choose the path to goodness and Heaven. 

Have we messed it up on the way? absolutely, we've killed in Jesus' name instead of saved and we've cast out instead of accepted. Both opposite of The Way we are taught.  But Jesus' narrative persists despite our blunders and it will continue to persist long after we are gone... continuing to show people the path to God. 

I often think about how... if I were asked to die so that my kids would live, I would say yes... no hesitation.  If I were asked to die for their children or grandchildren or world peace... yes yes and yes. 

But what if I were asked to die in a horrific way... for the benefit of people thousands of years down the road with people misinterpreting my sacrifice all along the way... would I say yes? Could I have that kind of faith?  no, probably not. 

I wish I could say I did... but really, I think if I did have the courage to even think to say maybe yes, it would only be because I was assuming it was just a test and the angel's right around the corner about to say, "Nope, Nope! you passed! Just Kidding!"

Which is why I'm thankful that I'm only human.  With all the sadness and destruction in the world, I do hope that God and Jesus don't get upset by my constant questioning, spinning and rambling... rather that they giggle at my trying, like I giggle at this poor hamster just trying his best to hold on. 

thanks for reading,