Two years have come and gone since I first posted this article. I have a deep feeling of sadness today on this anniversary and wish to honor the memory of those who died on that tragic September morning now 12 years ago. God will find a way to use each life lost as a testimony. Long live their memories and legacies.
There is so little left unsaid regarding the tragic events of 9-11-01… But I feel that my heart still weeps and wants to be heard. As I watch this video that is a daughter’s tribute to her father lost on that day, I cry for her and for the times of her life that he missed. It is touching and sweet. I too lost my father this year and can certainly identify with a daughter’s pain and the immense loss (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/). But this loss was so diverse… so widespread. It was personal for so many yet so public. The morning of September 11. 2001 I lived in Northern California and woke abruptly as if someone was shaking me…but I was alone. My mind said “turn on the TV!” Almost like a scream in my head. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched as the second tower imploded. It was as if I was watching a movie instead of a live feed on the morning news! I was paralyzed with grief… for the people involved, for our brave firefighters and police and really for our country. Was this deliberate? What was next? Who would be the next target? I quickly called my daughter who was in college in San Diego. Admittedly she let the phone ring many times before she answered it…. she knew it was just “Mother”…. what now Mom? She said I “always” called. That morning was different. I told her quickly “turn on the news”…. She was a horrified as I was to see what was unfolding. In retrospect… I’m sure there are many 20 year olds that wish their parents could have called them that morning! We share a deep bond regarding the events of that day and talk about how it changed us.
I walked around in a daze for days. Unable to put the events into anything that I could get my head around. So senseless. So tragic. I was left with a feeling of helplessness like I am sure so many fellow Americans were. And ten years later I really am not sure I have yet come to grips with the enormity of it all. I still cry when I see the images and the touching tributes. Just last night I watched the movie “Remember Me” and wept. Please take time to watch this movie… then go and hug your kids and tell them you love them! We have today…and tomorrow is not promised. If the events of September 11, 2001 taught us anything… it taught us that one fact!
My new friend who is a blogger, husband and 31-year-old father, T.J. Brown, has written a post recently entitled “The Sad Story of My Creation” http://thomasjohnbrown.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-sad-story-of-my-creation/. I was heartbroken for him as he told of his parents decision to have him and then tell him (his whole life) that he was a “mistake”! I was so appalled by this that I was compelled to comment on his post and that has resulted in the development of a sincere friendship. My respect for him is enormous as he works through the pain that this has caused him to this day. He blogs to air his feelings and “get it out”. This is a brave journey that T.J. has accepted and I am very thankful that our paths have crossed. His very supportive wife, Amber, comments on his every post and I can tell that there is much love and support for him through their relationship.
We as parents have an IMMENSE effect on our children and the kind of adults they will be! Words are weapons. Words are powerful especially being uttered by one’s own parent. The harsh words of “you were a mistake” can only serve to debilitate a child from developing in any sort of normal way! Why would a parent want that for their child? As I said in my response to him (in part): “I am so appalled that parents could describe a child’s creation as a “mistake”. Honestly adults need to own up to their actions and stop the blame game… it was not the car load of people (regardless of race) or the missed birth control which is at fault here. The truth is, it seems, that your parents chose to have “divorce sex” as you call it and created another precious human being. I believe that God allows the people that are suppose to be born to be conceived and are allowed to live. Each life has meaning and teaches us lessons as parents. Your attitude is commendable. Please keep believing that you are special and NOT a mistake. You have the touched my life with this post and that is no mistake!”
I went on to tell him about someone who I worked for many years ago. She was told by her parents that she should have been aborted! Just knowing that her parents wished that she had never been born affected her daily existence and made her a very bitter and angry individual. It seemed to me that she was always looking to hurt others the way she was hurt. I may not be a Psychologist but I am smart enough to know that what we say to our children is carried throughout our lives. Unless we go through the long and arduous process of “reprogramming those tapes” in our minds… that is what plays over and over…. and over!
My story is a different from T.J’s as daylight is from darkness! My parents were married 13 years before my birth. My oldest brother was born about 13 months into their marriage and then there were 11 years of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant with a second child. Eleven long year of being told that she was barren and may never have another due to complications that arose during the difficult birth of my brother. Imagine the happiness that they felt as they were finally able to tell their 12-year-old son that he was FINALLY going to be a big brother! That May my mother attended a local festival featuring a beautiful Queen and her court riding the “Strawberry Festival” float (a very big event in 1955!). Someone on that float had the name “Janiece”, I assumed it was the Queen but have never been able to confirm. I was told that my mother said “Oh if I have a girl I’m going to name her “Janiece”. I never met the person for whom I was named but always wondered if I could someday tell her that story. I was born about 4 months later… I was 3 weeks early and my parents had to travel from a rural Tennessee county about 90 miles away from Memphis to get to the hospital. Because of her complications she had a special doctor. They made it in time… No two parents were ever more proud to welcome their new baby girl… after over a decade of waiting.
When I was 18 months old their Christian strength was tested. I became very ill and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors told them to prepare for the worse. They said they had done all they could and that it was in the Lord’s hands. My mother used to tell me of how they kneeled at the foot of my hospital crib and prayed that God would spare my life if it was “His will”.
I was one sick little girl but the antibiotics and fluids that they administered had given me the strength to pull out of the sickness. Iwas a fighter. Never gave up. My parents, both devout Christians, dedicated my life to the Lord then and there. I have scars in my forehead and my ankle that remind me of this story. As a huge happy surprise they welcomed another addition about a year later… my little brother! I have what I like to call a “brother sandwich”! 😉
MY BROTHER SANDWICH
(Left – Johnny, my oldest brother, me and my “baby” brother David – right)
Both my parents are no longer living but I can still hear my mother’s voice as she would recount how eternally grateful they both were that the Lord had spared my life. I always felt VERY special knowing that my parents desperately wanted me and then almost lost me…and then gratefully dedicated my life. They were wonderful examples of what a parent should be. I thank God daily that I had them in my life as shinning examples. And of course I miss them both terribly… Mom for 25 years and Dad only this year gone. You can read my memorial tribute to them here: https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/its-been-25-years-today-mom-i-still-miss-you/ and https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/.
It occurred to me that the story of my creation could not be further from that of T.J. We had very different welcoming committees. Mine was very much like a ticker tape parade and his was vastly different. Yet be both ended up blogging and sharing. We ended up having our paths cross because of these differences. We ended up as friends. Thank you T.J. for your inspiration. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Photo credit: http://iamachild.wordpress.com/category/wilbur-lawrence/
I have my very first Guest Blogger! I’m so excited to share George with my readers. He is a gifted writer, dad, granddaddy (“Tah”-his nickname) and all-round funny guy.
He serves our country as an officer in the Georgia Army National Guard and did a tour of duty to Iraq in 2005. I am proud to know George and hope that through his writing you too can know this man who is my friend.
Here’s his letter to his oldest daughter as she left the nest recently flying off to start her life with her brand new Marine Corps husband…taking the only grandbaby with her. This is priceless and SO George! See the note at the bottom explaining the nicknames for his kids… it will help if you have that information first. Thank you, George, for sharing your heart and showing us that your daughter is “Holding Daddy’s Hand Forever” just like I am! http://wp.me/p1aeRt-9L
FIRST BORN MOVING DAY by LTC George L. Fisher
Sorry I got something caught in my throat when I was talking to you on the
phone…it must have been the chicken biscuit….
I will call you later because I know you are busy on MOVING DAY……
When you were born they threw your goo-covered butt in the warmer thing at
the hospital–you were squawling to beat all getout. I went over to where you
were and held your tiny little hand–you latched onto my pinky finger and
held on–in just a few seconds you stopped crying and the new parents had a
I was hooked from that moment on—proud as I have ever been—as was your
Mom—and as a result you “may” have been a little bit spoiled…
So for the last 20 years or so you have been right there with us, thru thick
and thin..good times, bad times, and lots of just regular times.
Amanda “Booger” Fisher was there.
Along came Joe, then Winnie….. The tank of tropical fish, the cats, and
everything else—and the Booger was still there…
Then there was himself–your baby boy, aka “The Pottamus”–not exactly the
best timing in the world, but inasmuch you do things your own way, it all
worked out–Mom and God both knew this and as usual I was the last one to
figure it out– but eventually I did. (I’m not as big a heathen as folks
And the Booger…. like the Flag–like the mortgage–and like the
everlasting pile of laundry— was still there.
Our Booger AND our Pottamus, who is just as much “ours” as any of you kids,
even if he is a GRAND…. And he has been just that…GRAND—and
incidentally has a window into my soul and I’m powerless in his clutch.
Your Mom loves her babies—all of them–unconditionally. That means no
matter what. (I do too, but you kids aren’t supposed to know it)…
AND That means—while no matter that Moms’ babies are 20 years old and even
has a baby of her own, who is moving away–and regardless that there are
still two remaining kids , three dogs, and yet another round of trips to the
orthodontist and teenaged drivers pending to break our butts and our bank
account—the reality is our Boogs and our Pottamus won’t be there…..and
that, Dear Boogs, is what makes things get caught in ones throat.
And that’s why Mom and I wish we had a pinky finger to latch on to right now.
George and his daughter Amanda on her wedding day
George’s Nicknames for his kids–
Amanda (oldest) is Booger (because she’s so fun to pick at)
Joe (middle) is “Mans best Friend” in my stories because he is and has been the most loyal to me especially when he was small because we were so tight..most other times I call him “buddy”-which is for the same reason…
Lyndsay (youngest) is Winnie just by default and she was into Winnie the Pooh so she got winnie poops and other variations (nothing spectacular on her nickname) but primarily
Tah and Pottamus
And the Pottamus (grandson) —well, he was 2 days old and was having tremendous gas–Amanda called and said I have a name for him-Poot. So Poot became “The Poot” then Pootie then Pootiepottamus which morphed into a prehistoric animal called the Pootasaurus, or Pootipottamus Bunkus Rex (his latin name) which translates to little brave scout. Ha ha.